As in more traditional forms of work, employees performing work supported by information and communications technology (ICT) are legally entitled to safe and healthy working conditions. In the area of traditional office VDU workplaces, this is assured by a number of detailed provisions and recommendations. The area of mobile work and the associated information and communications technology is however presenting occupational safety and health with new challenges. In this area, work is generally performed outside an office, and in most cases outside a company's premises altogether. Work is often performed on the move on laptops, tablets and/or smartphones, at locations or in situations which have little or nothing in common with traditional workplaces: in airport departure lounges, on trains, in railway stations or hotels, or simply wherever the worker happens to be at the time.
In such situations, it is not easy for the employer to fulfil his duty to ensure healthy working conditions. The majority of occupational safety and health (OSH) provisions concerning the area of information technology relate to a permanent location. The few codes of practice for changing working locations that do exist at the present time are very general in nature. In view of the expected further increase in these forms of work and the associated stress for the workers concerned, action by the OSH bodies is urgently needed.
In conjunction with the IAG, the IFA is studying the healthy design of mobile IT-supported work from several different perspectives:
The results of all activities are to be made available to industry.
Mobiles Arbeiten mit moderner Kommunikationstechnik/
Interview: Tablet-PC – für die Arbeit tauglich?
In: UKPT Kontakt, pp. 6-12 (PDF, 2,6 MB)
Division 1: Information technology, Risk managementTel: +49 2241 231-2902