Quality of prevention - Effectiveness and efficiency of prevention services offered by the German institutions for accident insurance and prevention - Part 5 Accounting for prevention management

Project No. FF-FP 02305


completed 12/2008


Companies "invest" in corporate prevention work. The term "corporate prevention work" will be used here to mean anything from prevention measures to occupational safety and health protection. Measures of occupational safety and health protection should directly prevent breaches of health and safety regulations, potential hazards as well as the resulting accidents and illnesses. This does not only have a positive effect on employees, but also indirectly on productivity and the company's operational success.

The aim of a preliminary survey should be to determine the primary direct and indirect effects of corporate prevention work. For this purpose, a non-monetary description is sufficient. The following main survey has build on the findings of the preliminary survey as well as pursuing the ongoing target of monetising the return on prevention.


The interview-style preliminary surveyed identifies how companies evaluate their prevention work.
Main emphases of the questionnaire:

- the assessment of the influence of corporate prevention work in individual areas of operation within the company,
- company statements on direct and indirect returns on prevention,
- the evaluation of current prevention work taking place within the company.

At the beginning of 2007, with the collaboration of the Berufsgenossenschaft for the precision engineering and electrical industry in Cologne (Berufsgenossenschaft der Feinmechanik und Elektrotechnik, Köln), 390 sets of data were collected. The interviewees were made up of the following: 64% safety experts, 24% personnel (members of staff who do not belong to any other group), 6% safety officers, 5% members of the works council and 1% employers. They work in the following industries: 73% industry, 18% construction and 9% trade.


Corporate prevention work is most influential in the areas of transport and warehousing. Workplace prevention measures lead to a reduction in breaches of regulations and accidents. Prevention work was found to be particularly relevant for the improvement of hazard awareness. Almost 75% of all surveyed companies rate prevention work as very good or good. The above prevention benefit-cost-relationships were calculated according to different statistical procedures (paired or unpaired, median or mean values). They identify the return on prevention (see section 3.3). The rounded down mean value of the four single values is 1.6.

The return on prevention expresses an economic potential for success in an abstract manner. The underlying positive selection of companies in the survey supports the representativeness of the calculated value. Companies which more or less have prevention work anchored in their system of corporate aims recognise the profit contribution of the prevention measures to occupational safety and health protection. Companies which have previously "invested" little in prevention work, tend to receive a higher return on prevention.

Last Update:



Financed by:
  • Deutsche gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut Arbeit und Gesundheit - BGAG
  • Universiät Gießen
  • Unfallversicherungsträger

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

questions beyond hazard-related issues


Prävention, Evaluation

Description, key words:

Accounting for prevention management, Quality of prevention