GERMANY: DGUV comments on the “Work 4.0” Green Paper

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The German federation of accident insurance organisations, DGUV, publishes its comments on the Green Paper on “Re-imagining work – Work 4.0” from the federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

It considers that new technologies, materials and production systems will be able to make the working world safer and healthier. But at the same time, these changes engender new risks, such as, for example, injuries related to human/robot collaboration, stress due to information overload and atypical jobs. According to the DGUV, the key to solving these problems lies in research, more training and the development of a workplace safety culture.

According to the DGUV, the main fields of action which are currently emerging are as follows:

  • The digital transition
    Technological progress offers great potential for improving occupational safety and health and reducing the number of occupational injuries and diseases. At the same time, new risks are appearing, such as previously unknown hazardous substances, safety risks caused by collaboration between humans and robots, and the stress resulting from permanent accessibility and information overload.
  • New forms of employment
    Forms of employment such as crowdworking, clickworking and teleworking raise the question as to how social security and occupational safety and health can be organized in the absence of a stable employer or job. It is especially important to behave responsibly and with respect for health in such an environment.
  • Diversity
    Technological and medical progress is making it possible to organize work and risk prevention so as to prevent health risks and diseases and allow for limitations due to age or disability. This is favourable for the long-term employability of older workers and disabled persons in the job market. At the same time, social changes, the shortage of skilled workers and immigration are resulting in a growing number of women and migrants in the labour force.

Read the Green Paper

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