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What is the role of the organisation of the company?

Whether work systems are designed safely and in a health-compliant manner depends on the organisation of the company – the management. Often, the causes of health hazards do not result from the specific working conditions on site, but from the organisation of the company and the internal communication. These flaws often have far more dramatic effects than flaws in individual work systems.

Weaknesses regarding the management of the company that may result in accidents include

  • lack of supervision,
  • omission of instructions,
  • no assignment of duties,
  • no suitable work equipment,
  • insufficient safety precautions (e.g. technical anti-fall protection, protection of parts),
  • no personal protective equipment, and
  • working in a non-coordinated manner.

The inclusion of safety and health protection into the organisation of the company (corporate philosophy) is an important prerequisite for the success of your company.

Inclusion means

  • that occupational safety and health is known and accepted at all levels and established in the area of responsibility of the management,
  • that the competences, responsibilities, and authorities are arranged and known within the company (e.g. who determines and assesses hazards, who plans and implements necessary measures, who supervises the implementation),
  • that the employees and, as far as applicable, their representations are involved, and
  • that prevention schemes for health promotion are performed.

Inclusion also means that occupational health and safety should be operatively established in the management of the company. Red-tapeism and formalism will not lead to the desired objectives.

Every executive, every employee must be aware of safety and health protection when performing any activity, at any workstation and act accordingly.

In small-scale companies, the inclusion of safety and health protection directly depends on the entrepreneur’s commitment. If he/she also performs work and takes into consideration his/her own safety (and/or the safety of his/her family also performing work and his/her employees), occupational health and safety will play an important role in the company.

GDA Guidelines “Arbeitsschutzorganisation” (organisation of occupational health and safety)

On 15 December 2011, the central steering board of the Joint German Occupational Safety and Health Strategy (Gemeinsame Deutsche Arbeitsschutzstrategie – GDA), the national occupational health and safety conference, adopted the Guideline "Arbeitsschutzorganisation".

The guideline provides the prevention management departments of the accident insurers and the supreme health and safety authorities of the federal states with standards in order to be able to implement the joint consulting and supervision strategy in the field of organising occupational health and safety in companies as a holistic task of the prevention services and the health and safety authorities of the federal states required in the Occupational Safety and Health Act and in Social Code VII (SGB VII).

The detailed implementation into the respective practice of the regulating services shall remain reserved to the individual federal states and accident insurers due to the variability of the supervision and consulting concepts.