DGUV Kompakt 2020

December 2020 / January 2021

  • The German social accident insurance institutions have been fielding an increased number of enquiries regarding the use of masks. A significant reason for this increase has been the concern that wearing a mask could be detrimental to a person’s health. The DGUV has made it clear that there is no inherent danger to health as a result of wearing a mask.
  • As of 1 January 2021, various changes to Book VII of the German Social Code will enter into force that will affect the Law on Occupational Diseases. These changes include removing the forced obligation to stop working as a prerequisite for official recognition of an occupational disease. DGUV Kompakt spoke about this with Jürgen Schulin, Deputy Managing Director of the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Foodstuffs and Catering Industry (BGN).
  • The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) is almost upon us. On 31 December 2020, the transition period agreed upon by both sides will end. The Member States, the EU institutions and all stakeholders are being called upon to be prepared in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


  • The figures for work, school and commuting accidents have been declining for years. During the corona pandemic, the figures reached a historic low. This result can be seen in the preliminary figures from the German social accident insurance institutions for the public and private sectors, which the DGUV published at the beginning of October.
  • Less than eight percent of German companies carry out a risk assessment of mental stressors in accordance with legal requirements. One possible reason is that the topic of “mental health” is difficult to grasp. The processes are complex and require an open discussion culture in the company. Bayer AG has developed a tool with a systematic yet fun approach to address this issue. DGUV Kompakt spoke about this with Thorsten Uhle, psychologist and global HSE Manager at Bayer AG.
  • In June, the European Commission published a report on long-term demographic trends in Europe and their implications. On the basis of the report, the Commission will release a Green Paper in spring 2021 to initiate a debate on the long-term implications of the ageing population. The umbrella organisations of the German Social Insurance European Representation (DSV) are taking part in the debate with a joint statement.


  • The majority of companies and educational institutions (71%) feel very well informed or well informed about the OSH standards concerning COVID-19. This was confirmed by a survey conducted by the DGUV in July 2020 on ‘Safety and health in businesses and educational facilities’.
  • The corona pandemic is a difficult challenge for the European Union. The outbreak of the pandemic has seen social issues and OSH gain in importance. During its Presidency, Germany wants to strengthen social cohesion to ensure that Europe emerges stronger than ever from the crisis. DGUV Kompakt spoke about this with Ilka Wölfle, Director of the European Representation of German Social Insurance in Brussels.
  • As a result of the pandemic, the issue of negative psychological stress in the world of work is being paid greater attention. The DGUV’s new guidelines on ‘Mental stress and strain on employees during the coronavirus pandemic’ help employers, and those responsible for safety and health in companies, to keep an eye on mental stress during the pandemic.

July/August 2020

  • The risk of having an accident at work fell again in 2019. This is the result of the annual review by the German social accident insurance institutions for the public and private sectors, which the DGUV published in June 2020. For the first time, the accident figures were broken down more precisely by groups of insured persons.
  • Goods vehicles are used for transporting a large proportion of goods within European countries. Time and again they are involved in serious accidents. DGUV Kompakt spoke to Dr Klaus Ruff, Deputy Head of Prevention at the German Social Accident Institution for the Transport Industry, Postal Logistics and Telecommunications, about what causes accidents and measures for improving road safety.
  • EU Member States and other interested parties were able to participate in the consultation on the EU Commission’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) until 19 May. The DGUV, together with the German Social Insurance European Representation (DSV), also submitted comments.

June 2020

  • Working safely and healthily despite a pandemic: the SARS-CoV-2 OSH Standard published in April has made this possible. But it’s important that standards apply equally to everyone.
  • During a crisis, it is especially important to stay well informed. But do all people have equal access to this information? DGUV Kompakt spoke with Jürgen Dusel, the Federal Government Commissioner for Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities, about accessible information.
  • Are firefighters exposed to an increased risk of cancer as a result of their job? This is the question being investigated by the DGUV’s ‘Fire Brigades, Emergency Services, Fire Protection’ Expert Committee, the Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the DGUV (IPA), and several other partners as part of a research project – the first study of its kind in the German-speaking world.

April / May 2020

  • How satisfied are insured persons with the Occupational Disease Procedure? How are satisfaction levels affected by the procedure resulting in recognition or dismissal? To find out, the German social accident institutions conducted a survey of their insured members.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has created major challenges for businesses and educational institutions. DGUV Kompakt spoke to Dr Stefan Hussy, Director General of the DGUV, about how the German social accident institutions are supporting companies and educational institutions during the crisis.
  • Social security systems play an important role in containing and combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Against this background, the European Social Insurance Platform (ESIP) surveyed its members on their social security measures.

February 2020 / March 2020

  • Following Brexit comes a marathon negotiation process. In March, talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union begin in Brussels. What will be happen with the protection and benefits provided by social accident insurance?
  • The Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardization (KAN) has been committed to implementing OSH directives and requirements into standardisation for 25 years. DGUV Kompakt spoke to Dr Dirk Watermann, Director of KAN, about new challenges facing the Commission.
  • Work-related illnesses and occupational diseases often only appear long after exposure at work. ‘DGUV Vorsorge’ (DGUV Health Care) is a new cross-institutional information and reporting portal covering all aspects of post-employment care.