A+A 2017 Preview: It’s the Individual That Counts
Increased Complexities at Work Environments
From 17 to 20 October everything in Düsseldorf will revolve around a safe, secure and healthy workplace. Trade visitors from all over the world will be meeting at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre for A+A, comprising both an international trade fair and a convention. A+A 2017 can already warrant at this stage that it will offer the full range of the latest global trends and products in industrial safety, health promotion in the workplace and safety management at work. Around 1,900 exhibitors will be at this leading trade fair, and registrations have been received from all continents.
A lot has happened since the very first A+A, then called Trade Fair for Industrial Safety and Occupational Healthcare: 25 years ago the European Union introduced its first framework directive on industrial safety. Since then the EU has continually played a pioneering role with its high standards in protecting employees from health and safety hazards.
Since 2008 the number of fatal occupational accidents has dropped by nearly one quarter. At the same time, there has been a 10-per-cent reduction in the number of employees in the EU with at least one work-related health problem or with a problem that has been aggravated by their work situation.
Nevertheless, there are still major challenges. The European Commission has recently committed itself to implementing further key measures. Their purpose is to adapt EU law and employment protection legislation to suit changing employment patterns and developments within society.
Most companies – and indeed throughout Europe – have long been taking positive action on the understanding that preventative healthcare and health-promoting working conditions do not just cost money, but also save considerable amounts of cash which might be spent on accidents and illness-related absences.
This year, A+A will feature the entire bandwidth of products and services in personal protection and in the realisation of safe and healthy working routines. Manufacturers will give convincing demonstrations of their innovative strength, including, among other things, corporate fashion, ergonomic office furniture, protective equipment, fire protection and emergency management and corporate environmental protection.
Running in parallel with the A+A trade fair, the 35th International Congress on Industrial Safety and Healthcare will provide comprehensive information on today’s topics and challenges in the industry.
As before, it will be organised by the German Federal Association for Occupational Safety and Health (Basi), whose thematic planning is moving ahead at full speed, after receiving numerous ideas and suggestions from the industry. Again, the convention will feature over 50 series of talks, and more than 300 speakers will address current issues and outline potential solutions.
Health & Safety Meeting Point
The Health & Safety Meeting Point in Hall 10 is a special show created by the German Federal Association for Occupational Safety and Health (Basi) and its national and international partners. A wide range of promotional support organisations in health and safety will be represented here, i.e. employers’ liability insurance associations, trade unions, employers’ organisations, ministries, government institutions, professional and trade associations, universities and other institutions. For visitors the Meeting Point is the competence centre on all issues of occupational health and safety.
Safety & Security Trend Forum
The Safety & Security Trend Forum in Hall 11 will feature simple, readily comprehensible talks on six focal areas, giving insights into recent developments. The following key areas are currently planned:
- Avoidance of airborne dust
- Explosion safety
- Safe handling and storage of hazardous materials
- Fire protection and emergency management
- Fall protection
- Fire Protection and Emergency Management
The theme park entitled Fire Protection and Emergency Management in Hall 6 will feature informative presentations and live demonstrations, showing what action can be taken to prevent accidents and large-scale disasters and how to conduct rescue operations. The German Association of Plant Fire Services (WFVD) will provide information on corporate security and fire protection, especially on
- rescue operations in a pit,
- rescue operations in a container,
- rescue operations/evacuations on a platform and
- rescue operations on scaffolding
One topic will be the definition of roles in preventative care, intervention and interface discussions within a company.
A+A Fashion Shows
Working clothes and PPE are important ways to protect wearers from accidents – but only if they are genuinely used. Wearing comfort and attractive design considerably increase acceptance among users. PPE manufacturers are therefore increasingly keen to focus on aspects of fashion. Presentations at the daily A+A Fashion Shows in Hall 11 will be both lively and appealing, showing the diversity and fashionable character of contemporary working clothes and PPE. High-quality design and safety have long ceased to be incompatible, a development which is clearly borne out by smart solutions and new materials.
Workplace Design & Corporate Health
The stage programme Workplace Design & Corporate Health in Hall 10 will concentrate on the ergonomic design of workplaces and routines in the office as well as on workplace health promotion. The main focus will be on conveying good practice, covering the criteria of people-friendly workplace design, human-to-machine interfaces, preventative healthcare and safety, demographics and cost-effectiveness. Topical issues discussed on this platform will include, for instance, age-appropriate workplace design, lighting, air conditioning and acoustics. On this stage presentations will be welcome not only from non-commercial institutions and organisations, but also from exhibitors. All talks will be given simultaneous interpreting.
Safe Rescue Operations from Heights and Depths
How are rescue operations conducted in extreme situations? This will be demonstrated in Hall 6 by our cooperation partners, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and the German Life Saving Organisation (DLRG) at a special show entitled Safe Rescue Operations from Heights and Depths. Using a diving pool and a roofed-over climbing wall, the demonstrations will feature rescue operations of accident victims in extreme situations, both above and under water. The focus will be on methods and procedures in rescue operations as well as on the occupational safety of helpers and appropriate personal protection equipment (e.g. fall protection).
Partner Country: UK
The A+A 2017 support program also includes activities run by this year’s partner country, the UK, with the aim of encouraging German-British dialogue on industrial safety. The various events will be attended by representatives of important industry associations, institutions and politics. The trade fair, the special shows, the presentations at the convention and the ILO Conference will all involve participation of the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), an independent expert committee which advises the UK government. The HSE acts in the public interest, aiming to minimise fatal accidents and serious work-related diseases in the UK workplace.
Traditionally, the number of exhibitors from the UK has always been the biggest at A+A: 85 UK exhibitors came in 2015, presenting their innovative products and services within a space of over 3,700 square metres.