The TAQP prevention project

Safeguarding fitness to work using technological innovation, work organization, training and prevention

TAQP: Background

Employee health plays an important role in a company’s ability to innovate and compete over the long term. With demographic change set to force employees to extend their working lives, particular effort is required in order to maintain the long-term health of all employees. One potential approach to this challenge is holistic preventive workplace design. The TAQP project adopted this approach, and was carried out as a cooperation between the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) and Fraport AG.

TAQP: Method

Work exists in a context characterized by people, organization and technology. Preventive workplace design therefore needs to cover all three dimensions:

  • TECHNOLOGY – using innovative technologies (T);
  • ORGANIZATION – using process design and appropriate work organization (A);
  • PEOPLE – using multimedia qualification (Q);
  • Prevention (P) is the common element that integrates the three dimensions.

Design scenario: Commercial airport, Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main’s commercial airport is one of the world’s largest airports. As a profit-oriented company, its operator Fraport AG is subject to constant pressure to raise efficiency and productivity despite increasingly critical macroeconomic circumstances.

Fraport’s ground handling (i.e. the loading and unloading of baggage) and airport security check divisions face their employees with particularly stressful situations, and were chosen as the project’s two in-plant fields of action. The third field took the form of a comprehensive action plan aimed at the integration of prevention and innovation.

The TAQP project examined selected aspects of the three defining dimensions (technology, organization and people) within the context of these fields of action: innovative baggage handling technologies (technology dimension); work organization issues related to baggage handling and airport security checks (organization dimension); and selected qualification issues (people dimension). Holistic prevention was targeted by developing an action plan which incorporated OSH issues into in-plant change processes (see figure).

TAQP: Research questions

The project dealt with the following prevention-related research questions:

  • How can prevention be systematically incorporated into work system design?
  • What contribution can prevention make during the design process itself?

TAQP: Targets

The following targets were set for the three fields of action:

  • In the field of baggage handling:
    • Health-conscious technological design;
    • Consideration of older employees in the organization of work.
  • At airport security checks:
    • Optimization of work flows at the human-human interface;
    • Optimization of the working environment.
  • As part of a comprehensive in-plant action plan:
    • Drawing up of a general concept for the integration of prevention into sustainable innovation and management processes;
    • Drawing up of a programme for the training of operational management personnel as prevention knowledge champions.

TAQP funding and support

The TAQP project was funded between 1 April 2007 and 31 April 2011 within the framework of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funding programme "Capacity for Innovation in a Modern World of Work", funding focus "Preventive Occupational Safety and Health", topic "Health Promotion in a Context of Demographic Change", and co-financed by the EU’s European Social Fund. The project was managed by Germany’s National Research Center for Aeronautics and Space (DLR).

Dr Markus Kohn
Abteilung Sicherheit und Gesundheit (SiGe)
Telefon: +49 30 13001-4530