The German social accident insurance institutions welcome the Sars-CoV2 OSH standard published yesterday by the Federal Ministry of Labour. Dr Stefan Hussy, Director General of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), explained:
‘It is imperative that there is a single minimum standard that provides guidance on safety and health at work under pandemic conditions and that is binding on all companies. This encourages acceptance and increases the chances of it being successful. As the partners of companies in matters of occupational safety and health, the German social accident insurance institutions have been providing businesses with information and help since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
They will now compare the specifications set out in the Sars-CoV2 OSH standard for health and hygiene with these aids, adapt them where necessary and, where this has not yet been done, translate them into a language understood by their respective sectors. The social accident insurance institutions have industry-specific expertise that they can and will use for this purpose. We will provide businesses with pragmatic assistance in meeting the requirements so that they can resume operations as soon as possible or continue working safely.
Our focus will be on small businesses, which are more reliant on our expertise than large companies that have their own OSH specialists. As usual, the emphasis is on advising and convincing businesses. Whenever individual companies breach minimum hygiene standards and thus endanger the safety and health of employees and third parties, our prevention services will intervene. I intentionally say ‘individual companies’, because overall we have seen that most businesses are aware of their responsibility and are acting accordingly.’
The DGUV is the umbrella association of the German social accident insurance system and its institutions. The role of the social accident insurance institutions is to advise, supervise and train companies and institutions in matters of safety and health at work. Following an accident at work or in the event of an occupational disease, they provide care for the employee affected.
Information on occupational safety and health in individual sectors can be obtained from the relevant social accident insurance institutions. Additional information is available at http://www.dguv.de/en. The ‘kommmitmensch’ prevention campaign provides information on management issues at www.kommmitmensch.de (German only).