DGUV Kompakt 2017

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December 2017/ January 2018

  • Top Story: In 2016, more than 10,000 employees experienced violence in their workplace. The health and care sectors are particularly at risk. These figures come from the German Social Accident Insurance’s Workplace Accident Statistics 2016.
  • Interview: According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 2.78 million people die every year from work-related injuries and diseases. Another 160 million suffer from an occupational disease. In light of this, the Germany Presidency of the G7 Summit in June 2015 initiated the creation of the Vision Zero Fund (VZF). Dr Annette Niederfranke, Director of the ILO Office for Germany, took stock in an interview with DGUV Kompakt.
  • In October, the European Commission presented proposals that it would like to finalise before the end of the European Parliament’s legislative term in May 2019. The initiatives included in the Work Programme for 2018 aim to strengthen the future Union of 27. In addition, solutions to major challenges such as boosting growth and jobs are to be found.

November 2017

  • Can almost ten million people be virtually invisible? If you look at the media coverage of people with disabilities living in Germany, then the answer is yes. This is the conclusion of a study commissioned by the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Health and Welfare Services (BGW)
  • In March 2018, the 12th Paralympic Winter Games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. DGUV Kompakt spoke with Friedhelm Julius Beucher, President of the National Paralympic Committee Germany, about the upcoming Winter Games, the image of disabled sports and its relationship with the media and politics.
  • In addition to the digital world of work and the digitalisation of healthcare, the European Union is increasingly working to digitalise all public administrations in the Member States. The European Commission has proposed that asingle digital gateway be established.

October 2017

  • In the first half of 2017, 223 people lost their lives due to an accident at work. That’s 25 more fatal accidents than in the first six months of the previous year. Even though it’s too early to establish the trend for the entire year, these preliminary figures from Germany’s statutory accident insurance are a strong reminder: To achieve a world without fatal and serious accidents, more effort needs to be made.
  • On 18 October, the German social accident insurance institutions launch their new workplace safety and health campaign called kommmitmensch. The goal: to promote a culture of prevention in companies. DGUV Kompakt spoke with Dr Walter Eichendorf, Deputy Director General of the DGUV, about the new campaign, why prevention is worthwhile and what roll managers play in establishing a new prevention culture.
  • The European Commission has made a proposal to amend the EU Regulation on the coordination of social security systems. The provisions stipulated in the Regulation guarantee that nobody who moves to another Member State loses their social protection. The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) has submitted comments on the proposal.

September 2017

  • How can people who are in non-standard employment work safely and healthily? Is our definition of work still even valid? Details on the various parties’ responses to the challenges posed by digitalisation are still vague. „There must be concrete answers to these issues in the coming years“, declared Breuer.
  • With more than five million employees, healthcare is the largest sector in Germany. One of the greatest challenges for healthcare policy, in addition to demographic change, is digitalisation. DGUV Kompakt spoke with Professor Axel Ekkernkamp, Medical Director of the BG Klinikum Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin.
  • Industry 4.0 offers many opportunities but it also carries risks. The German social accident insurance institutions and their umbrella association have drawn up a position paper that describes the areas where action needs to be taken due to new risks, as well as new possibilities for working healthily and safely.

July / August 2017

  • In June, the DGUV published the 2016 annual figures for the German social accident insurance institutions for the public and private sectors. Whereas the risk of having an accident at work declined, cases of officially recognised occupational diseases increased significantly.
  • Interview: On 1 March the European Commission presented its White Paper on the future of Europe. In conjunction with the White Paper, the Commission will also publish five reflection papers. The first of these on Europe’s social dimension was published at the end of April. DGUV Kompakt spoke with Dr Joachim Breuer about the scenarios described in the paper for how the EU and the Member States can work together in the social field.
  • The Bundesrat approved a change to the German Occupational Diseases Ordinance (BKV). As a result, five diseases have been added to Appendix 1 of the BKV. The change occurred because of new scientific understanding from the medical world based on scientific recommendations by the Medical Advisory Committee for Occupational Diseases (ÄSVB).

June 2017

  • Top Story: On 18 and 19 May 2017, the G20 labour and employment ministers met in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler to discuss issues related to labour and social policy. The G20 labour ministers also focused on Vision Zero – the concept of a world without serious or fatal workplace accidents.
  • On 16 May, new posters for the road safety campaign “Runter vom Gas!” (English: Stop Speeding!) were presented. The campaign is a joint effort between the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the German Road Safety Council (DVR). DGUV Kompakt spoke with DGUV Deputy Director General and DVR President Dr Walter Eichendorf.
  • This year, the Association for Social Security Research and Policy (GVG) celebrates its 70th anniversary. The members of the GVG champion the values that have been established over the last decades and advocate a well-functioning social security system.

April/May 2017

  • On 29 March 2017, the British Prime Minister Theresa May officially declared the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the European Union (EU). This will also have legal consequences for social insurance provisions.
  • Interview: New representatives for the self-governing committees in all branches of the German social insurance system will be elected this year. It is essential to strengthen and protect self-governance as a means of directly involving citizens. DGUV Kompakt spoke about this with DGUV Chairmen Dr Rainhardt von Leoprechting and Manfred Wirsch.
  • The number of fatal workplace accidents declined further last year. This is shown by preliminary statistics from the DGUV on the occurrence of workplace accidents.

March 2017

  • On 10 March 2017, the German Bundesrat will discuss the Act on Therapeutic and Medical Devices. Among other things, it details the possibility of locum doctors who provide emergency services in rural areas to be exempted from social security contributions. Representatives from the statutory social insurance providers see this as an infringement of the principles behind a community of solidarity.
  • Interview: The Second Act to Strengthen Long-Term Care (PSG II) came into effect at the start of 2017 and has brought with it several fundamental changes. DGUV Kompakt spoke with Gabriele Pappai, Managing Director of the German Statutory Accident Insurance Institution for North Rhine-Westphalia, about the changes to the Act and what this means for statutory accident insurance.
  • Young people aged between 18 and 30 have been able to register for the European Solidarity Corps since December 2016. The new initiative offers young people the opportunity to work on humanitarian and social projects in Europe.

February 2017

  • The European Commission has announced its intention to strengthen the social dimension within Europe. An instrument for doing this is the European Pillar of Social Rights. As part of the public consultation launched in March 2016, the DGUV issued comments on the Pillar.
  • Interview: Light plays an important role for vision and thus for the safety of employees. It also influences our well-being and our internal clock. Currently there are standardisation projects on biologically effective lighting that the Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardisation (KAN) has been critical of. DGUV Kompakt spoke about this with Angela Janowitz, Deputy Director of the KAN Secretariat.
  • The Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardisation (KAN) was established in 1994 and is tasked with monitoring standardisation processes and attending to the interests of OSH. KAN is composed of representatives from the social partners, the government, the German Social Accident Insurance and the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN).

December 2016 / January 2017

  • Further developing occupational disease law: For more than 90 years, people suffering an occupational disease have been compensated by statutory accident insurance. Representatives of both employers and employees have now put together a joint proposal for modernising the law and making it more transparent.
  • Interview: The Self-government Committee of the German social accident insurance institutions has proposed that the German legislature further develop German occupational disease law. DGUV Kompakt spoke with DGUV Chairmen Dr Rainhardt von Leoprechting (representing employers) and Manfred Wirsch (representing employees) about the proposed changes and the background behind them.
  • Starting 1 January 2017, the German Social Accident Insurance Institution of the Federal Government and for the railway services (UVB) has a new area of responsibility. As part of a four-year pilot project, the UVB will take on the majority of accident insurance duties for federal civil servants and judges in certain parts of the federal administration.


Kathrin Baltscheit
Redaktion DGUV Kompakt
+49 30 13001-1431