The tasks of this section in the Department for Exposure and Risk Assessment involve research, development and consulting for the monitoring, documentation and evaluation of working conditions. An essential goal of the unit is to use recorded data for the purposes of risk management in OSH at company and industry level, in order to identify and evaluate exposure and thus to contribute effectively to reducing risk.
The unit coordinates the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions' MGU measurement system for exposure assessment. This comprises control of the MGU's quality management (QM) system and commissioning of QM tasks in the IFA and at the accident insurance institutions involved in the MGU. This in turn includes the conducting of audits and the determining of indicators for the MGU, and production of the annual QM report.
The unit's remaining tasks are divided between three groups:
The ZOB is the interface between the measurement services and the laboratories in the MGU. It provides organizational support to all parties involved in the MGU by:
Regulating the procedures particularly involves the planning of measurement campaigns and assurance of their quality, in order to ensure that all parties involved follow a harmonized procedure.
The MEGA group documents and maintains the exposure data recorded in the MGU. By way of statistical evaluations requested by the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions, exposure data for hazardous and biological substances are made available for the purposes of:
Not all forms of hazardous substance exposure can be determined by measurement. The GESTIS-Stoffenmanager® (www.dguv.de/ifa/gestis-stoffmanager) is a web-based software application made available, maintained and developed further by the unit; its purpose is quantitative estimation of inhalative exposure. The application can also be used to prioritize hazards of inhalative and dermal exposure. The GESTIS Stoffmanager assists companies in their first steps in the area of risk assessment.
The ZED central exposure database is maintained and developed further in the group of the same name (http://zed.dguv.de). Data on the person-specific exposure of workers to Category 1 A and 1 B carcinogens and germ cell mutagens during hazardous tasks are recorded and archived for the statutory minimum duration of 40 years. Companies can supply their data to the ZED through an Internet portal, document them continuously and manage them independently, and thereby meet their documentation obligations in accordance with the German Hazardous Substances Ordinance. Employees can request their data in the ZED from the DGUV. By using the ZED, companies are absolved of their duty to archive and issue the data. For employees, the ZED simplifies the production of their occupational histories.