Since the outbreak of the corona pandemic, we have observed new interest in the topic of occupational safety and health. The subject is not only the focus of the upcoming A+A Congress 2021. Safe and healthy work has also become a core issue during combating of the corona pandemic.
In conjunction with all responsible institutions, the German government has acted quickly and decisively. With the occupational safety and health standard and the SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety rule, we moved quickly to lay down binding workplace provisions concerning this infectious disease. In particular however, the high number of corona cases in the meat-processing industry revealed a need for us to do more in order for occupational safety and health to be effective. With the drafting of new legislation for enforcing occupational safety and health, we are laying down the foundation for greater responsibility on the part of companies, setting out standards harmonized throughout Germany for the inspection work of the state authorities‘ labour inspectorates, and substantially increasing the number of companies that we inspect. The focus will lie upon companies presenting a particularly high potential hazard.
In addition, the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will in future have powers to impose particular occupational safety and health requirements temporarily, including in unusual crisis situations like those of the current pandemic.