2 2 Publisher: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Editors: Wolfgang Dicke, Dr. Ulrich Zumdick Concept and text: KonText Oster&Fiedler, Hattingen Responsible for translation: Heyden-Rynsch, Dortmund Design: GUD Helmut Schmidt, Braunschweig Illustrations: FOX-Fotoagentur, Uwe Völkner, Lindlar; Hermann Stamm, Weimar (page 8); Image source (cover and page 17/18); Volkswagen (page 34/35) Production: Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Verlag für Neue Wissenschaft GmbH, Bremerhaven Reproduction even extracts only with the prior consent of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Dortmund, November 2003 ISBN:
3 3 Editorial Subject: Quality work Quality testing, quality assurance, quality management, quality marking, quality difference without a doubt quality is one of the most popular words in our present economic vocabulary. And that has a simple reason: In a time of global goods exchange, every buyer would prefer to buy quality work for his money, just as always. But the village has now become global and the market players are rarely known personally. So how do you know that the quality is right? You trust a brand or at least a quality marking and hope that the quality assurance is right. But what happens if quality differences arise? Then the marketplace is global enough to find real quality work elsewhere. What is the connection between quality work and the quality of work? This is one of the questions which INQA examines. For not only the result the quality work counts, the way it is achieved is also crucial. For the human resources are not readily available in spite of millions of unemployed. There are still bottlenecks as regards qualified skilled workers. Anyone who needs quality workers for his company and who doesn t need them? anyone who has perhaps invested a lot of money in vocational and further training knows how difficult it is to find replacements. And the prospects of finding qualified, motivated and healthy employees are certainly not becoming rosier as the population decreases and the average age increases. Therefore, in addition to many other factors, human resources must be handled with care in factories so that quality work can still be produced in the future, too. For illness, invalidity and early retirement owing to inadequate working conditions not only cause a lot of trouble for those affected, they also damage the enterprises who lose important potential in this way. And they also burden our social security systems. So anyone who demands quality work must look after the quality of the work. In the interview (page 4) with INQA Managing Director Dr. Rainer Thiehoff it becomes clear why Germany needs a new quality of work. INQA, the action group New quality of work, was expressly not created on the premise of providing a finished draft of a new and better world of work. Rather a dialogue should be started on how we imagine work at the start of the new millennium. This issue contains information on the INQA key topics as well as an insight into the status quo of previous INQA projects. INQA aims to make a contribution towards creating more and better jobs and has therefore adopted the ambitious target which the European Union formulated at the Conference of the European Council in Lisbon in March The new Community strategy for safety and health at work for the period 2002 to 2006 passed by the European Commission shows the way to achieve this objective. Here the focus is no longer only on the prevention of occupational accidents and occupational diseases but rather the strategy pursues a comprehensive concept of wellbeing at work which takes into account the changes in the world of work, the wishes and needs of the working population as well as the occurrence of new risks, in particular those of a psychosocial nature. The basic idea is that only healthy employees who feel happy at work are motivated and efficient and can accept and overcome the wealth of challenges to the modern world of work. As part of these European endeavours, the German government is making its national contribution with the action group New quality of work. INQA was not established to produce new theories and more stringent laws but to find pragmatic solutions for the enterprises which help in everyday working life. This is based on the firm conviction that, in the final analysis, quality pays off for all those concerned. In this connection we hope that INQA will develop into a quality brand for a world of work in which the challenges of our global economy have been accepted without neglecting the needs of the people in the enterprises.
5 Contents 3 Editorial 6 Interview with Dr. Rainer Thiehoff: How do we want to work tomorrow? 9 The network is the computer How INQA works 10 Questions to the initiators 12 Implementation project AF 2010: Building on motivation and qualifications 15 INQA is here! 16 Focus on life-long learning Learning from the nursery school to retirement 22 Action group Pro-Aged : Mastering the future with experience! 24 Action group New quality of office work : Strong alliance against poor office equipment 26 Built-in safety: Constant working with chemical products 29 INQA projects presented in brief 30 Best Practice: Organising health 32 INQA focuses on stress: Putting adrenaline in its place 38 INQA projects presented in brief: Everything under control! 39 Best Practice: New software facilitates occupational safety and health management in small and medium-sized enterprises 41 Topic Mobbing : Talk to each other instead of about each other! 44 Best Practice: Health is more than the absence of illness! 46 How can I participate in INQA? 5
6 6 Interview with Dr. Rainer Thiehoff How do we want to Employers, trade unions, Berufsgenossenschaften (BGs German institutions for statutory accident insurance and prevention), health insurance funds and the German Laender have come together in the action group New quality of work at the instigation of the Federal Minister of Economics and Labour. INQA has been managed by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) since We talked to Dr. Rainer Thiehoff, INQA managing director, about the question as to why Germany needs a debate on the work of tomorrow and what role INQA can play. INQA Dr. Thiehoff, Action group New Quality of Work sounds as if there was something wrong with the old quality. Have we a quality problem with work? Thiehoff I wouldn t put it like that. New quality of work is intentionally slightly ambivalent as regards the phrase itself. It doesn t mean that poor work is produced in Germany but that owing to the far-reaching economic and technical upheavals over the last 15 years our work has changed in many respects in terms of quality. Nowadays, a high degree of adaptability is demanded from the employees. From working hours through the continuous further training and qualification process to the reconciliation of family and job. This new quality in the sense of the nature of work is already a fact in many sectors. Quality of work in the sense of manufacturing highquality products and providing high-quality services is absolutely essential in view of global competition. To achieve this quality, however, we need healthy, motivated and highly qualified employees. So you can see, the term quality has different meanings here. INQA Do technology and organisation in our economy have a much higher significance than the workers? Thiehoff I don t think so. Many companies have now recognised: Without the people and their skills they will scarcely manage to survive in international competition. An exporting nation like Germany competes on the world market not only with the lowest costs but also the best product ideas. And who else should develop these ideas and implement them at a high quality level than the people in the companies? But that only works if we succeed in supporting the human potential with a humane and personalitypromoting design of work. For only healthy employees ensure commercially healthy enterprises. They are the most important assets of the companies. INQA You mentioned a humane and personality-promoting world of work. What can an action group like INQA do for this? Thiehoff I think, we can do a lot. For example, by showing that there is not a contradiction between positive, health and personality-promoting jobs, on the one hand, and the necessity to survive against competition. The aim of INQA is to start a public debate on the question How do we want to work tomorrow? To this end, all social groups are invited to think, act and shape as well. This initially means examining the current situation, formulating wishes, finding practical solutions and also implementing them. The debate sharpens the public s awareness of these topics but also serves as a guide for all those involved for their future action. Naturally INQA is not merely a discussion group but has a strong link to practice. In selected branches and enterprises, concepts are being developed for a new quality of work which every cooperation partner implements on his own responsibility. Numerous projects are already under way, others are in the selection phase. INQA Why the classification into individual branches? Doesn t the view of the whole picture become lost? Thiehoff Individual branches, for example, the construction industry, have to overcome very specific challenges which also demand very specific solution strategies. It is therefore perfectly justified for INQA to focus on these sectors. In reply to your second question: In addition to these branch-related projects many multi-sector activities to design work are being started up, presented and communicated. For this purpose, procedures, tools and examples of good practice are collected, processed and disseminated to small and medium-sized enterprises to suit these target groups. We are relying on the fact that the many stones which have been thrown into the water will form ever larger circles. INQA Isn t that all unnecessary ballast in the present economic situation? Thiehoff On the contrary. INQA sees itself as a fitness programme for the economy. If we succeed in creating a world of work for people in which they feel at home, which does not damage their health, which boosts their creativity and strengthens their motivation, that will certainly also be reflected in numerous factors such as a decline in the sickness rate or an increase in value-added. It is these very ideas that must take on a concrete form and be implemented in practice. And that s where INQA makes an important contribution with its projects. Quality of work promotes innovation and therefore contributes towards the modernisation of our economy. INQA Who has the most benefit from INQA, the employees or the enterprises? Thiehoff Let s take a subject such as the demographic development. At a time when the average age of the population is increasing, older people must remain longer in their jobs than is the case today because we depend on them. Two things are needed for this: Firstly, life-long learning. Formerly, the technical innovation cycles were so long that companies could remain up to date, so to speak, through the normal staff turnover and if they also offered some further training. In the computer age this can no longer be maintained. Workers remain longer in gainful employment and have to keep pace with progress. However, the second point is that we can only achieve the goal of longer working lives if the people actually remain capable of working and reach retirement age in a
7 7 work tomorrow? healthy condition. And in reply to your question, that benefits the workers, society and the enterprises. The situation with the reconciliation of family and work is similar. Irreconciliation means: One parent must remain at home, his/her potential cannot be used. Or childcare is organised so badly that employment and children can only be reconciled at the expense of health or performance. If we achieve better solutions here, manage to create a balance between work and the other parts of our lives, all those involved will benefit. INQA Does the new occupational safety and health only deal with the soft topics such as wellbeing at the workplace, the promotion of creativity, reconciliation of family and job? Thiehoff Certainly not. INQA pursues a clear sociopolitical target and that means: relieving the social security systems through fewer on-the-job accidents, occupational diseases and work-related illnesses. This aim can only be achieved through active and systematic prevention, that is classic occupational safety and health if you like. However, we must naturally keep our eyes on new problem areas and ask: How can prevention function in the modern world of work? And the so-called soft topics, such as mental strains or mobbing, can entail serious consequences for those affected and the enterprises. To this extent it s absolutely essential to deal with the so-called soft topics. INQA With classic occupational safety and health we always immediately think of yellow signs with black writing and exclamation marks. What new approaches is INQA pursuing? Thiehoff Naturally we cannot achieve safety and health at work without laws, ordinances and regulations. However, the problem of occupational safety and health is not that there are too few of them but that they do not always work as they are supposed to. The modern approach of INQA is to say that personal responsibility and self-determination have to be strengthened. Enterprises are increasingly recognising that a high quality standard in working conditions, in vocational and further training and in the promotion of modern company organisation etc. pay off through better products and motivated employees. At the same time, ever more workers are recognising that maintaining health also depends on themselves: From sensible nutrition through sports activities, observing the safety regulations at the workplace down to the simple question How do I adjust my office chair correctly?.
9 9 The network is the computer How INQA works How do you organise an action group today in which so many institutions and enterprises are involved? Naturally as a network. From the times of the Internet hype it is known: The network is the computer, which means: A comprehensive pool of knowledge which one single organisation could never establish so quickly and thoroughly is only created by networking many participants. And that s exactly what INQA is relying on. The action group brings together the German government, the German Laender, social insurance funds, trade unions and management and an increasing number of enterprises. The partners meet at regular intervals and agree on further procedure, the fields of action and the strategic alignment of the action group. In their work two expert bodies, the working group Stress and the co-operation group Workplace health promotion, provide advice to the action group in its work. However, the work of INQA is also supported by numerous enterprises which, as project partners, introduce new ideas and show with their examples of best practice that safe and healthy workplaces can certainly be competitive, in many cases even help to gain the edge over the competition. Thanks to the large number of those participating from all sectors of politics and industry, one first target has been achieved which the initiators of INQA had in their sights: To stimulate a broad public debate on the new quality of work. In addition to the many INQA projects which have provided food for discussion, the professionals, above all, were addressed through special events and congresses. Future workshops on various subjects formed one interesting methodical variation to create future visions in the discussion and at the same time promote cooperative working and holistic thinking. Those affected and those interested are given the chance not only to talk about relevant problems but also to propose solutions and in this way develop mosaic stones of a philosophy for tomorrow s world of work. During the workshop process everyone is encouraged to introduce their criticism, ideas, fantasies and wishes. With the exhibition project Vision 21 at the DASA the debate on the question How do we want to work tomorrow? was introduced to the broad public. It was shown on 18 fictitious people from different occupations that creativity and knowledge will also play an important role in the future world of work. In order to promote and exploit these human skills, however, the human needs at the workplace must be taken into consideration. With this aim in mind the exhibition showed a number of trend-setting design solutions.
10 10 Questions to the initiators New quality of work A Community task The INQA initiators see the further promotion of the new quality of work as an important trend-setting task. Here the interests of the people in positive, health and personality-promoting working conditions are to be linked with the need for competitive workplaces. This challenge can only be mastered if trades unions and management, politicians, Berufsgenossenschaften, health insurance funds, occupational safety and health authorities of the Laender, science and, last but not least, employees and enterprises work together. The group of initiators shows: INQA is understood in society as a task which has to be tackled together. Why does Germany need an action group for a new quality of work? Why is the Federal Association of the AOK The Health Fund involved in INQA? What is the incentive to become involved with the subject Quality of work? What is the connection between new quality of work and the demographic development? State Secretary Rudolf Anzinger, Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour Dr. Gudrun Eberle, AOK-Bundesverband Detlef Hollmann, Bertelsmann Foundation Dr. Ursula Zahn-Elliot, Federal Ministry for Education and Research Safe and healthy working conditions are in the interest of the workers as well as in the interest of the enterprises for their most important capital is the workforce. We therefore need workplaces which maintain and promote health and qualifications and therefore people s ability to work. The action group New quality of work is an important forum to advance the public debate on the working conditions of the future. Without the contribution of trade unions and management and other socially relevant groupings a viable and humane design of the world of work is inconceivable. For this reason, the aim of INQA is also to attain a new quality of co-operation of all players. Our common goal must be to create more viable workplaces for the future with highly motivated and efficient workers. Many enterprises have recognised: Commitment to more health lowers sickness rates and staff turnover, increases staff satisfaction and therefore results in more productivity and competitiveness. With its service Healthy Enterprises the AOK supports enterprises in identifying and eliminating work-related health risks and establishing a successful company health management system. This wide-ranging commitment to more health in enterprises is also reflected in the AOK s participation in the action group New quality of work. The economy and world of work offer a broad field for controversial discussions and scientific debates. Europeanisation and globalisation are not merely slogans, their effects can be experienced every day in enterprises. The experience with the new world of work is ambivalent in many cases: higher work rate, stress, uncertainty, on the other hand more personal responsibility, self-determination and involvement. Today, work fulfils the desire of many people that their work makes sense and plays a dominant role in the personal development of each individual and, last but not least, work also still serves to safeguard one s existence. INQA offers a platform for the public debate on the change in the world of work. The action group offers practical ideas for the future design of work and it is characterised by the interaction of many players. It therefore provides a basis for common solutions to the social and economic challenges of our country. The demographic development will, in the medium and long term lead to a major change in the age structures in our society. From the year 2010 onwards the number of workers as a whole will fall. The enterprises must now deal with the fact that they will have to solve their future problems with older employees. Although the problem is known, it is repeatedly discovered that the consequences of this slow change are still not sufficiently obvious to those responsible in the enterprises or are not viewed as a problem for their own company. All players are requested to put together an effective bundle of measures. On the one hand, the aim is to secure employment possibilities for older people and to open up new perspectives. On the other hand, we must already ensure today that ageing does not entail any disadvantage. To put it in a nutshell: We need an education, labour and employment policy geared to the entire working biography. It must be designed as preventive, that means the occurrence of shortcomings and employment problems typical of age
11 11 Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin HVBG Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften Why does the German economy need a new quality of work? What understanding of safety and health at work does INQA represent? What does well-being at work mean in our world of work today? Eugen Müller, Confederation of the German Employers Associations Dr. Gottfried Richenhagen, action group Gesünder Arbeiten e.v. Dr. Erika Mezger, Hans-Böckler Foundation must be averted. Practicable solutions and models for dealing with the challenges of the demographic change were worked out in particular as part of the demographic action group sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research. The task is now to make these results accessible to an even broader circle of users. The contents and structures of work are not static but are in a continuous process of development. This also applies to the quality of work. The global markets demand explicitly and continuously high standards of quality for products and services with ever shorter innovation cycles and availabilities. The changed economic conditions are a challenge and an opportunity at the same time. In order to satisfy the high requirements, motivated employees who work on their own responsibility with a high level of efficiency and creativity and a high quality of communication and co-operation are needed. The economic significance of the factor people is being increasingly recognised. This is in line with the objective of occupational safety and health to design work safely, healthily and humanely and opens up for modern occupational safety and health a sort of economic corridor for its integration into the economic and technical/organisational decisions of enterprises. This is a positive factor both for the working conditions of the employees and for the competitiveness of the economy. Well-being at work is both physical as well as mental and social well-being. It is more than the absence of work accidents or occupational diseases. Today we must also take into account mental factors such as stress and mobbing when we talk about wellbeing at work. The action group New quality of work aims to anchor a modern, new and holistic understanding of safety and health at work in the public s eye and implement it in the enterprises. Well-being means work and organisation which have a motivating effect, which offer a feeling of success and social recognition and permit co-operation in an atmosphere of trust. In all probability they will also contribute to a high level of well-being of the employees. Although work is only one aspect of life, it is a particularly important one with substantial side effects on other areas. A holistic understanding of health requires a holistic conception of people as well as a holistic view of the living conditions of the employees.
12 12 Implementation project AF2010 Building on motivation and qualifications Building work remains hands-on work even in the 21st century. The fact that lots of things work in a different way on a building site than in a factory or office is, however, no reason to dispense with modern concepts to improve the work organisation and working conditions. The mediumsized construction company Frauenrath in Heinsberg near Aachen demonstrates that the establishment of a discussion culture and the implementation of concrete improvements are also necessary in the craft sector in order to avoid dissatisfaction among employees and customers. Flexibility is part and parcel of the job on the building site. For the employees the work locations change just as quickly as their colleagues. A building site is constantly altering its appearance. And the weather also makes sure that the workplace looks different every day. What sounds to the layman like a lot of variety in fact creates major problems. The construction industry has long since been one of the problem children for occupational safety and health professionals. Here every year over two and a half times as many employees suffer an accident as the average in the whole of the industries & craft sector. The risk of having a fatal accident is twice as high. The difficult work under unfavourable conditions does the rest: The construction industry is also well ahead as far as early retirement is concerned. And that has direct consequences for companies. In spite of high unemployment and a lack of apprenticeships, the German Laender in the west cannot manage to fill all the apprenticeships available. It is the qualified employees, of all people, who frequently change to other branches. There was therefore good reason to implement a project on the development and testing of a practicable model on occupational safety and health promotion in the construction industry. It was quickly shown that Frauenrath proved to be a particularly openminded, innovative company as a project partner. The Frauenrath managing director Gereon Frauenrath stated, and not without pride: First of all this subject is not new territory for us. We have always known that the greatest assets of our company are our highly motivated and qualified employees. Vocational and further training our training rate among apprentices has been over 10% for decades improvements in the working conditions through the integration of the latest technical equipment, occupational safety and health as well as looking after our colleagues in extreme situations are part of everyday working life for us. Improving the work organisation and working conditions, promoting staff participation and staff competence these were the expectations the company placed on the project AF 2010 as it was soon called internally. The start was made by determining a site in the company. Analysis teams were set up, workshops held. A total of 50 employees tackled the matter above all from the practical side: Where is the problem in communications, what information flows have to be improved, where are there main load situations, where are the optimisation possibilities? One analysis team occupational
14 14 safety and health conducted a questionnaire campaign on the assessment of risk at the same time. The result of the initial evaluation: Many problems can be eliminated immediately and without any great effort. Others require more intensive examination, above all when it s a question of education and further training. However, it was also shown that not only construction and other qualifications are needed to solve the practical problems on the building site. Discussions on the best solutions can very quickly get out of hand and fizzle out without any results if they are not managed with the specific objective in mind. This requires clever moderation. And that has to be learned. Not a problem at Frauenrath: Moderators for the solution teams were sent for several days to a training course. Positive sideeffect: The people trained in this way can also intervene in the future in conflicts on the building site, structure problems, show possible solutions and negotiate. The results of the workshops and analyses were, in turn, all of a practical nature. For example, in future there will be a weekly meeting on Frauenrath building sites between foremen and workers at which all problems which have arisen can be discussed. There will be an annual staff appraisal meeting between each employee and his superior. This eye-to-eye talk will serve to agree on targets as well as to explain promotion and development possibilities for the employee. And there will be a short safety talk prior to the establishment of a building site or before work commences at which the possible hazards will be discussed. Naturally, the programme also includes further training in relation to health and safety at work. The aim is to maintain health in spite of the difficult environment on the building site. A health working group is therefore to develop a strategy for active health promotion. In addition to all the concrete results, one thing was also shown in the surveys at Frauenrath: The soft factors such as working atmosphere, reliability, collegiality, respect, consideration and loyalty were regarded as important by many employees: important for their own satisfaction, their wellbeing, motivation, health. Many of these wishes can be attained through clever leadership. Activities The project participants and partners in the project AF 2010, Vision-Innovation-Motivation for a future world of work/ Development and testing of a practicable model for occupational safety and health promotion are: A. Frauenrath Bauunternehmen GmbH, Heinsberg; Berufsförderungswerk Deutsches Baugewerbe e.v., Dortmund; Training establishment of the German Trades Union Federation, Düsseldorf; Institute for Work and Construction Science (IfA), Leonberg; AOK Rhineland/BFG Institut Cologne, Institut für Betriebliche Gesundheitsförderung GmbH; Project Office for Construction Research, Dortmund; State Office for Occupational Safety and Health Aachen; Berufsgenossenschaft in the civil engineering sector, Wuppertal; trades union for the construction/agriculture/environment sector, Frankfurt/Main Contacts: Gereon Frauenrath, managing director; Gabriele Bautz, human resources manager; Rudi Clemens, chairman of the works council More information and addresses at:
15 15 INQA is here! Progress is being made with INQA! Since the start of the action group New quality of work, INQA has become synonymous with a humane, healthy and competitive world of work of tomorrow. In all parts of Germany people are attending information events, projects are being developed, discussed and implemented. Here is a brief summary so that you do not lose the overview owing to the host of activities: INQA reaches people! This year and last year an estimated one million people were addressed directly at numerous events, fairs and exhibition activities. Particular highlights were the congress New quality of work, the DASA alternating exhibition Vision 21 How do we want to work tomorrow?, the presentations at the Hanover Fair 02/03 as well as the Youth Congress 2002, which was held under the title Visions become reality Training, Job, Opportunities, at the DASA. Thanks to these events a large number of enterprises, workers, youth and interested people are now familiar with the aims of INQA and are taking part in the debate prompted by INQA on a new quality of work. INQA makes the future desirable! More than 200 people, mainly decision-makers from over 80 enterprises and organisations, visited the future workshops organised by INQA and dealt with the question in detail How do we want to work tomorrow?. And the snowball keeps rolling: Numerous new events have already been initiated from the circle of participants here the future is simply not taking place, it is being made! INQA is online! Information on events, projects, results and lots more are available simply and easily on the INQA website ( More than 6,000 visitors are using the range on offer every month and the trend is increasing rapidly! INQA is spreading its wings! In schools, in public, in the awareness of people! More than 100,000 flyers have already been distributed to people at a host of different occasions, these are generally multipliers who disseminate the information about the tasks and objectives of INQA. And because today s youth are the workers of tomorrow, INQA also goes to schools. In the meantime, all the schools in Germany have been provided with educational material on the subject of New quality of work! INQA promotes implementation projects! A total of 14 implementation projects from the focal areas construction industry, lifelong learning and stress have so far been promoted by INQA, numerous other projects are in the preselection stage or are to commence shortly. The task here is to try out and implement positive design solutions and organisational forms as models in conjunction with co-operation partners. The results will be disseminated through INQA and ensure a new quality in many enterprises in the future! INQA is looking for good examples and talking about them! INQA does not want to re-invent the world of work in many companies there are already examples of good practice which nobody knows about. The column From practice for practice on the INQA homepage throws light on the matter! As a platform to present such examples, it serves to transfer knowledge between the enterprises. INQA stimulates! Many partners/initiators of the INQA projects have prepared and provided material and assistance for interested enterprises, organisations, etc. above and beyond their participation in the projects. For example, the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has developed a toolbox with which mental strains can be detected in the enterprise and evaluated. More than 20,000 clicks to the relevant website underline the interest of the enterprises in such tools.
16 16 Focus on life-long learning Learning from the nursery school to retirement Nowadays, nothing is as dependable as change. The intervals in technical progress are becoming ever shorter, new technologies are changing the world of work, making old professions disappear and creating new ones. Against this backdrop, occupational safety and health must also adopt new approaches. Analogous to the assumption that in future training at the start of working life will no longer be adequate for your entire life, the oneoff safety instruction or the spontaneous health tip will not take you all that far. What is in demand are concepts which integrate the subject of safety and health into the various sectors of life. The concept life-long learning can do that. The problem of keeping pace with technical and social developments is not as new as it often appears nowadays. Goethe had his Eduard in the Wahlverwandtschaften (1809) sigh: It is bad enough that one now can learn nothing more for one s entire life. Our ancestors kept to the instruction which they received in their youth; but we must now relearn every five years if we don t want to go out of fashion completely. Not all that much has changed since then, although Goethe certainly did not have vocational training in mind. Today, estimates assume that, during the course of their working life, workers will have to relearn their jobs six times. And regardless of how quickly and how much we learn, the gap between what we can know and what we actually know is becoming greater every day. At present, human knowledge is doubling every 40 months, in some technology branches even every six months. The courage to fill the gap is almost becoming a necessary professional qualification That means life-long learning The rapid change in the world of work confronts workers every day with new and previously unknown requirements. Knowledge and know-how from yesterday only help to a limited extent to effectively solve the present and future tasks. What is necessary is to adapt the competencies of people to suit the technical and social change of the world of work. For only those who master the situation can design, develop his/her Limited and personality and grasp the modern world of work as a challenge instead of excessive stress. This becomes possible through the concept of life-long learning (LLL). Here, learning is understood as a seamless continuum which stretches from the nursery school to retirement. Or as the EU Commission defines it: "LLL is understood as learning throughout your entire life which serves to improve knowledge, quality and competencies and takes place as part of a personal, civil, social and employment-related perspective." LLL pursues the objective of equipping people with the basic tools which permit active and responsible participation in modern societies. The focus is particularly on the soft skills, e.g. problem-solving thinking, the ability to work in a team and self-management skills, a command of learning techniques, learning self-motivation methods etc. The concept expressly comprises not only the learning of skills necessary for a job but also the acquisition of knowledge and abilities which permit self-realisation and serve to develop personality. Such a concept can scarcely be institutionalised learning must be replaced by holistic qualification models which include people's entire living environment. reconciled with the traditional education system. Therefore, LLL eliminates the traditional separation of the phases school, vocational training and working life and views all sectors of life leisure time, family, work etc. as potential learning sites which must be exploited. To this extent LLL is the common roof under which all teaching and all learning is to take place. Against this background the aim is to find approaches which do not limit learning to a certain place and a certain time but view it as an integral part of human life. This will only succeed if all the players involved in the educational process state, Laender, trades unions and management, educational and vocational training facilities put forward their ideas and proposals. Life-long learning also with safety and health The changes described above cannot leave the sector of safety and health untouched. In order to attain the objectives pursued by INQA the humanisation of working life, increase in workers employability and improvement in economic efficiency, the subject of safety and health must no longer be a marginal topic in the world of work but incorporated into the various life and
18 18 learning phases. A development must be promoted which extends the previous focus of safety and health at the workplace to safety and health in all fields of life. The objective is to conduct a constant examination, stimulated by concrete campaigns, of these subjects throughout people s entire development and education phase, i.e. from the nursery school through secondary school to vocational training and beyond. In this way, a health competence is to be created which makes safe and healthy behaviour a matter of course everywhere, your whole life long! To this end holistic qualification models which include the entire living environment of people must replace limited and institutionalised learning. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the activities of the various players in the field of safety and health must be pooled and brought together. INQA offers the appropriate platform for this. Since 2002, INQA has been promoting implementation projects in which a variety of partners cooperate, develop solution models for practice, target their implementation, in order to then communicate the results through INQA to everyone else. The subject life-long learning is a key issue in the field of safety and health, some projects have already started or have been completed, initial results are available. The Safe Four Experience safety and health in nursery school! You cannot be sensitised early enough to safety and health that is at least the conviction of the initiators of the project Start in the nursery school nationwide implementation of the life-long learning concept. For if you deal with the subject of safety and health in a playful manner at a very early age, safe and healthy behaviour as an adult is then a matter of course! And the whole story has an intended side-effect : Once young people are sensitised,
19 19 the behaviour of their parents is also evaluated more critically and commented on appropriately. If Daddy then starts using his drilling machine without putting on his goggles first, there will be a discussion a discussion which is fully desired by the project sponsor. For, in addition to sensitising the younger generation, the project is also to help take the subject of safety and health into families. As part of this project, play and learning materials with appropriate contents to suit the relevant ages have been designed as a medium for implementing the subject of safety and health. The basis for this were play and learning materials which were already developed in 1999 in a project promoted by the EU especially for children of a pre-school age and have been tried out in nursery and other schools. The key point in this material was the comic figures of the Safe Family which, once suitably modified, also formed the design basis for the games of the INQA project. The games boxes, which were used at the four project locations Essen, Dresden, Hamburg and Schwerin, contained a painting and activity book a puzzle the card game Max+/ Alex the board game OK the play card for a so-called PPE clock a Memo safe game based on the classic Memory game. At each of the four locations, the project activities started with opening events which provided information about INQA, the action group Life-long learning, the concept of life-long learning as well as the project itself. The response from the press, radio and television was tremendous, also from the old and young visitors. Implementation in the nursery schools then followed in three stages, the material was initially presented to the teachers and nursery school directors. Then the actual clientele was able to take a look at the games and check them for their fun factor. How large or small this was, was determined in a third step the teachers were asked in writing about their experience and impressions. The results showed: The confrontation with the subject safety and health using the medium of games sensitised the children to possible risks and increased their knowledge of the possibilities of personal protection. And the second aim of the project participation of the families was also achieved. Not least of all because the games were attractive, exciting and interesting, the children liked to take them home with them to continue to play there in the family circle. As a result, the future tasks are self-evident: on the one hand, the aim is to disseminate the concept and include other nursery schools, on the other hand, follow-up projects could be aimed at broadening the clientele by developing a concept for schools of higher education on the basis of the Safe Family. Event days for more health The event days project had a completely different target group in mind, although, here too, the concept of life-long learning was the starting point. In this case apprentices in the construction industry were addressed who like many other youth do not like dealing with the subject of safety and health. After all, they are young and healthy, age and illness seem to be far away. How quickly that can change, however, is experienced by younger employees in the construction industry unfortunately all too often. Here, the accident rate is still more than double that in the whole of the industries and craft sector. This is not due to a lack of knowledge, laws and ordinances but rather in their implementation in practice, not least of all in training. Although the directive on vocational training in the construction industry views the subject of safety and health as an elementary component which is continuously integrated in the training to become a skilled construction worker, every second teacher and apprentice considers the contents imparted at the vocational training college on the subject of occupational safety and health as inadequate. This may also be due to the fact that for young people who tend to be practically orientated the only theoretical studying of such exciting subjects as, for example, the Building Sites Ordinance is perhaps not the right way to acquire knowledge. This at least is the opinion of the initiators of the INQA project Event days for occupational safety and health at centres/colleges of vocational training for the construction industry in Berlin and Brandenburg of the Gemeinschaft Jugend, Erholung und Weiterbildung e.v. (GJEW). Together with numerous project partners (see below), a concept was therefore developed which translates what is learned theoretically into experience-oriented action. To this end, the project partners developed a wide variety of action fields, e.g. an obstacle course or stations such as back awareness and safety is teamwork. The aim of these fields of action is to put laws, regulations, everyday and local conditions into an experience and action-oriented context which permits young people to grasp the ideas in both senses of the word. To obtain a lasting effect, the event days were integrated into a preparation and follow-up phase. And so the apprentices were also given the opportunity to get to know players in occupational safety and health on site, obtain information and get questions answered directly. How successful the event days were with a view to improving the health competence of all participants will be shown in the evaluation planned at the end of the project. If this implementation project becomes a success, and there is every indication of this, the establishment of a vocational training competence centre for safety and health would be desirable. This could be set up with fixed stations and looked after by the various players. The extension of the programme to include subjects such as first aid, first-aid training, hazardous substances, etc. is also feasible. Rehabilitation instead of illness But not only children and young people, but also, and in particular, workers who have been in their job for a long time, were and are the focal point of the practical projects of INQA on life-long learning. After all, learning means more than just acquiring knowledge to overcome current requirements in working life but it is also necessary to maintain health and well-being in the longterm. In particular against the background of the demographic development and the resultant workforces which are older on average, the long-term safeguarding of the employability of people is one of the priority Co-operation partners of this project were: Berufsgenosschaft in the building trade in the Rhineland und in Westphalia Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour Action group Gesünder Arbeiten e.v. (GIGA) Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Central Federation of the Industrial Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG) Federation of accident insurance funds (BUK) Campaign The safe house (Deutsches Kuratorium für Sicherheit in Heim und Freizeit e.v.) RWE Net AG These companies/institutions have joined together to form the action group Life-long learning which promotes the aims of life-long learning through projects and other activities.
20 20 Co-operation partners of this project were: Guild health insurance funds (IKK) Brandenburg and Berlin BG in the quarrying industry, Hanover Occupational health service (AMD), Cottbus and Berlin-Weißensee Sport Youth Berlin/VSJ Trades union for the construction/ agriculture/ environment sector (IG BAU) Berlin and Südbrandenburg COMBISAFE Sicherheitssysteme, Berlin BG in the quarrying industry (St BG) BORNACK-Sicherheitstechnik Vocational Training Centre, Cottbus I, Sielower Str. 10, Cottbus OSZ Bautechnik II Gustav- Adolf-Str. 66, Berlin workers who are already injured, is an ergonomically oriented rehabilitation programme which was developed in co-operation with various players from the fields of occupational medicine and work science. The programme, which took place in the winter break at an especially established exercise building site, involved a three-week stay in the rheumatism clinic in Bad Bramobjectives of INQA. If this objective is to be attained, life-long learning and the design of work suitable for ageing workforces must become standard practice everywhere. If this succeeds, all those involved will benefit: The workers reach retirement age in a healthy condition, the enterprises can use the knowledge and experience of their workers for a long period. At present, some occupations are very far away from this. One example is the construction worker: Here, the high physical strain results in back and joint disorders. The consequences are high sickness rates and, in the worst cases, early invalidity. The INQA project RehaBau (rehabilitation in the construction industry) tried to counteract this. The key point of the project, which is aimed at
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