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Safe design of the working environment

Employers are required to ensure that workplaces do not pose any risk to employed persons. BAuA's research makes an important contribution to determining these requirements and making them applicable at the practical level.

Meeting at a construction site  © Uwe Völkner, Fotoagentur FOX

Stairs and floor coverings as sources of danger

To ensure that stairs and floor coverings do not pose any hazards in workplaces, their user-friendliness should also be taken into account in their design, and come before factors such as functionality and aesthetics. The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) aspires to promote a holistic approach to the design of stairs and floor coverings in this particular area. For this purpose, BAuA derives recommendations for the practical level from the findings of its research projects. Moreover, the results of the research are incorporated directly into both the national and European regulations.

Analyses of accidents demonstrate that technical defects are not always responsible for accidents involving falls on stairs. Other factors can also come into play, such as poor adaptation to structural parameters and inadequate lighting. The same applies to the type or condition of the floor coverings.

Psychological and technical factors of the design

Based on systematic investigations, BAuA offers a series of recommended courses of action providing support with the safe design of stairs and floor coverings. These range from technical factors, such as adequately dimensioned steps as a basic safety requirement, to factors regarding cleanliness and lighting, through to the psychological perception factors of the colouration.

Other factors in focus

Stairs and floor coverings are not the only sources of danger in the workplace, however. Poor lighting, an unfavourable indoor climate and other physical factors, such as noise, optical radiation and electromagnetic fields, can also place employed persons under stress. For this reason, the impact of these factors is of key importance for both occupational safety and health and for the research conducted by BAuA.

Publications

Further Information

Escape routes at workplaces

An expert report analyses the impact of pathway widths and constrictions, as well as a time-staggered use of the escape routes on escape times.

Find out more : Escape routes at workplaces …

Research Projects

Project numberF 2527 StatusOngoing Project Indoor air flow, aerosol spread and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 for selected ventilation concepts

Find out more : Indoor air flow, aerosol spread and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 for selected ventilation concepts …

Project numberF 2475 StatusOngoing Project Interactions of indoor climate, noise and lighting in workplaces - Scoping Review and exploratory data analysis (Interactions working environment)

Find out more : Interactions of indoor climate, noise and lighting in workplaces - Scoping Review and exploratory data analysis (Interactions working environment) …

Project numberF 2471 StatusCompleted Project Feasibility study of BIM for workplaces
Development of the planning method of Building Information Modelling (BIM) for safety and health in the value chain of construction

Find out more : Feasibility study of BIM for workplaces Development of the planning method of Building Information Modelling (BIM) for safety and health in the value chain of construction …

Project numberF 2302 StatusCompleted Project Lighting of workplaces: impact of AmI-based lighting systems

Find out more : Lighting of workplaces: impact of AmI-based lighting systems …

Project numberF 2159 StatusCompleted Project Need-related design and equipment of sanitation facilities at workplaces

Find out more : Need-related design and equipment of sanitation facilities at workplaces …

Publications

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