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A+A OSH trade fair and congress discussed management of hazardous substances

On 5 – 8 November, the 36th International Congress for Occupational Safety and Health (A+A) took place in Düsseldorf, Germany. Discussions focused on new products and solutions to work more safely, healthily, efficiently and sustainably.

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The 4-day trade fair and congress provided an opportunity to explore diverse occupational safety and health (OSH) topics including personal protection, with more than 2,100 exhibitors from a total of 63 nations, and over 73,000 trade visitors.

Speakers, among them Christa Sedlatschek, executive director of EU-OSHA and Dietmar Elsler, EU-OSHA, discussed the future of work, and how to implement effective prevention measures in the industry 4.0.

One session was dedicated to hazardous substances, discussing latest technologies to reduce risks as well as the German Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (GefStoffV). Speakers shared good practices and presented ways to identify measures and new technologies best suited to protecting workers in different situations and industries. They also stressed the importance of safely handling dangerous chemicals and highlighted the REACH legislation. In the context of discussing the Vision Zero strategy, raising awareness of the importance of preventing work-related accidents, Tim Tregenza from EU-OSHA explained how to prevent accidents related to dangerous substances. Speakers also discussed the Joint German Occupational Safety and Health Strategy (GDA) and how to safely handle carcinogenic substances. Julia Flintrop from EU-OSHA explained how to implement safety and health strategies in companies, especially in micro and small enterprises.

Several official campaign partners attended the event, among them Dekra, B·A·D GmbH, Deutsche Post DHL and IOSH. The official campaign partners ENETOSH, ENSHPO and ISHCCO were leading network meetings and workshops – ENETOSH on how to educate young people on OSH, ENSHPO on how to link environmental protection and OSH, and ISHCOO on how to train qualified OSH professionals in Europe.

Speakers also demonstrated how to protect workers from a diverse range of risks seen in workplaces around the world, such as muscular sclerosis, optical radiation and noise at work, or psychological risks. They reviewed different measures to ensure healthy and safe workplaces, for example ways to safely handle machines; the implementation of OSH management systems; and the use of personal protection equipment.

More information about the event