Why is health and safety important

Safety and health at work

Employee absenteeism means high costs for companies. Especially in small and medium-sized companies, the absence of an employee can cause serious disruptions in the operational process. It is therefore naturally in your business interests to avoid accidents at work and health hazards in the workplace.

As an entrepreneur, you are obliged to observe accident prevention regulations and organize first aid. You can use the advice offered by your professional association. An occupational safety specialist, a company doctor and safety officer will support you in implementing the safety measures.

Company doctors
As an entrepreneur, you have to have your employees cared for by occupational medicine. To do this, order an occupational physician in accordance with the provisions of DGUV regulation 2 that applies to your company. He carries out the preventive medical check-ups and advises the entrepreneur on all health protection issues. The minimum number of hours a company doctor can work is specified in the BG regulations.

Specialist for occupational safety
In accordance with the provisions of the DGUV regulation 2 applicable to his company, the entrepreneur must appoint specialists for occupational safety who support him in the implementation of occupational safety measures. The safety specialists must have extensive technical safety knowledge. The professional associations offer the necessary training and further education. There are employed and external safety specialists as well as inter-company safety-related services. The number of hours a safety officer can work is specified in the BG regulations. The necessary quality of support is guaranteed for safety-related services that have the certificate of the Society for Quality in Occupational Safety (GQA).

Security officer
Safety officers are employees who volunteer to support the company in improving safety and health at work. They ensure that protective devices and equipment are in place and advise colleagues of behavior that is unsafe or unhealthy. The safety officer is not a supervisor, but has an advisory role. The training and further education of the safety officers is offered by the professional associations and accident insurance companies.

If your company has more than 20 employees, you must appoint at least one safety officer. If your employees are exposed to a higher risk of accidents, it is advisable to appoint the safety officer for fewer than 20 employees. The nomination should be made in writing and in consultation with the works council / staff council. You should also involve the occupational safety specialist and your direct superior. In the DGUV rule "Principles of Prevention" (100-001) you will find a sample form for appointing a safety officer, as well as practical information on safety and health at work in your company.

Health and Safety Committee
Companies with more than 20 employees set up an occupational health and safety committee, which exchanges information on health and safety problems, and defines and coordinates measures. The occupational safety committee usually consists of: employers or company executives, two works council members, safety specialist, company doctor, safety officer.