Working safely and healthily in the construction industry

The construction industry is of great economic importance. It shapes the quality of workplaces and makes it possible for working environments to be configured safely in all areas of the economy. An efficient construction industry that offers safe, attractive jobs therefore serves the interests of many fields of policy.

The distinctive issues for occupational safety and health (OSH) in the construction industry include:

  • the continuing and widespread occurrence of classic hazards
  • the delivery of unique, project-specific structures and buildings under varying organisational arrangements
  • the performance of work on construction sites remote from the company’s own premises

The activities in this sector are concerned with two central dimensions of occupational safety and health:

  • Ensuring compliance with the minimum standards laid down in OSH legislation, for example by means of rules and regulations that take account of industry-specific factors, the provision of explanatory and information materials, and cooperation with other players in the OSH field. Examples of this include the technical cooperation that takes place on the Committee for Workplaces (Ausschuss für Arbeitsstätten, ASTA), the collaboration on the German Occupational Safety and Health Strategy (Gemeinsame Deutsche Arbeitsschutzstrategie, GDA) Guideline "Planning and Execution of Construction Projects" (Leitlinie Planung und Ausführung von Bauvorhaben), the dissemination of information about the Construction Sites Ordinance (Baustellenverordnung, BaustellV), and the federal conferences for safety and health coordinators.
  • Ensuring work is well-designed and well-organised in an industry dominated by SMEs. One example are the activities of the Good Construction Campaign (Offensive Gutes Bauen), which are now being further developed and supervised by the SME Campaign (Offensive Mittelstand) Craft Trades Expert Group (Fachgruppe Handwerk).

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