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Hazards due to Working Environment Conditions

Woman with white work coat in front of a VDU workstation © Uwe Völkner, FOX photo agency

The different working environment conditions may entail a hazard regarding the safety and health of the employees.

In addition to acute effects that may directly result in accidents, there are long-term effects that may result in a chronic damage to the health, but also in a reduction of the productive capacity and in dissatisfaction of the employees.

Except for the physical parameters climate, illumination and air, design elements of the place of work and at the human/machine interface are taken into consideration. Regarding the design of the place of work, only the hazard caused by insufficient escape routes is described due to the current adaptation of the technical rules regarding the Workplace Ordinance. The topics traffic routes, safety and health protection labels, as well as free movement area at the workstation, arrangement of the workstation, and break/sanitary rooms will be added at a later point in time.

  • Climate: Heat at the workstation may cause heat exhaustion up to heat stroke. In extreme cold conditions, hypothermia and local frostbite of the body may occur.
  • Illumination, light: Too low a light intensity or blinding may cause industrial accidents. Minimum light intensity values are necessary in order to meet the visual task.
  • Suffocation, drowning: A reduction of the oxygen concentration in rooms due to displacement or consumption may result in employees suffocating. When falling into waters or in open basins, there is the risk of drowning.
  • Insufficient escape routes: If the escape and rescue routes are designed insufficiently, the employees safely leaving the place of work cannot be ensured in the event of a fire, for instance.
  • Human-machine/computer interface: A poor and non-ergonomic design, respectively, of operating elements of a machine may cause erroneous operation and may also result in accidents

For further detailed information please refer to our German Website.