Messe Duesseldorf
worlds largest EHS trade show

A+A 2017: People Matter

Oct. 12, 2017
EHS Today heads to A+A 2017 next week to find out what’s hot and what’s not at one of the world’s largest trade fairs for safety, security and health at work.

Every 15 seconds a worker dies as a result of occupational diseases or accidents, according to estimates from the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The theme of this year’s A+A 2017 – the world’s leading Trade Fair for Safety, Security and Health at Work – and the 35th International Congress for Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine, held in Düsseldorf from Oct. 17 – 20, is “People Matter.” Some 1,900 companies from 63 nations will be exhibiting at A+A 2017 Trade Fair for Safety, Security and Health at Work.

The world of work is changing and increasingly calls for adjustments to occupational safety and health efforts. Higher and increasing workloads and a growing number of jobs requiring multi-tasking are all consequences of digitalization – and are driving change in the world of work and impacting nearly all workplaces. Demographic change also brings new challenges and opportunities.

“Accordingly, all measures undertaken to preserve the ability to work are just as important as safety and security itself at the workplace because they improve people’s lives by also protecting them against health and safety risks at their workplaces. At the same time, these measures increase productivity and, hence, the competitiveness of companies,” commented Joachim Schäfer, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf.

A+A 2017 and the 35th International Congress for Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine provide a complete overview of the latest trends and products worldwide in the areas of occupational safety, corporate health promotion and security management at companies.

Held concurrently with the A+A trade fair, the 35th International Congress for Occupational Safety and Occupational Medicine will provide comprehensive information on the current issues and challenges facing the sector. The congress has been organized by Basi – the German Federal Association for Occupational Safety and Health – since the early 1950s. More than 50 presentations will be held in conjunction with ILO, and will address topics such as “Violence and Psychosocial Risks at Work,” “Safety and Health in Global Supply Chains,” and “Capture and Use of Data on Safety and Health – How Companies and Employees can Benefit.” 

A+A 2017’s 1,900 exhibitors will occupy over 753,500 square feet in nine exhibition halls where they will showcase their latest products and services for personal protection and the implementation of health-maintaining, safe operations. Exhibits range from corporate fashion and ergonomic office furniture, personal protective equipment and fire protection and emergency management to corporate environmental protection measures.

The special focus of A+A 2017 will be “Future of Work.” Across all halls, 12 exhibitors such as BORNACK, Honeywell, Uvex and IFA, the Institute for Occupational Safety of German Statutory Accident Insurance, will showcase Industrial Internet of Things solutions to workplace issues, such as “smart PPE,” “digitalization of work” and “digital applications and solutions.” These range from smart respiratory and skin protection programs to back-saving exoskeletons and medical wearables as well as intelligent fleet management, data glasses and sensor-controlled fall protection.

“Employees are faced with ever more complex challenges that call for a higher degree of flexibility and mobility – and with more monitoring and control,” says Birgit Horn, director A+A. According to the German survey, “German Trade Union Congress Index for Decent Work 2016,” 82 percent of employees are influenced by digitalization processes in their work – 60 percent of them to a high or very high degree.

Partner Country Great Britain

A+A 2017 also will feature activities related to partner country Great Britain. The activities are aimed at establishing an Anglo-German OSH dialogue involving important industry associations, institutions and political protagonists. Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), an independent body of experts advising the British government, will play a part in the trade fair and the special shows [...]as well as deliver talks at the Congress and the ILO Conference. The HSE acts in the public interest with the aim of minimizing fatal accidents at work and serious work-related diseases in the British working environment.

The partner country was chosen by the advisory board for the event as early as at A+A 2015, i.e. well ahead of the Brexit referendum, but in view of the altered conditions, cross-border exchange of experience is becoming even more important. The current political situation also raises many questions for the suppliers of protective items and safety equipment.

Special Topics and Events

Fire Prevention – Connected data will be indispensable for fire prevention and protection – from drawing up hazard prevention plans for response preparation and the simulation of relief operations for training purposes to actual rescue operations on site. This is why one of the stops on the A+A Highlight Route is the established Theme Park Industrial Fire Protection and Emergency Management in Hall 6, where, for example, digital fire extinguishers will be presented for training purposes.

Presentations and live demonstrations will show the measures and concepts that can help prevent accidents, large-scale incidents and the need for rescue operations. The Düsseldorf fire brigade academy will demonstrate live on the outdoor area how firemen are trained in realistic settings. A+A 2017 also will feature innovations in the field of protective gear for firefighters.

A+A Live – Experience safe and healthy work by using and viewing state-of-the-art products and processes that will be shared under the heading “A+A live” at forums, theme parks and special shows. One highlight is the special show, Safe Rescue from Highs and Lows, organized by the THW in cooperation with the DLRG in Hall 6.

Meeting Point – In Hall 10, trade visitors will find the Meeting Point Safety and Health as a center of expertise for questions related to safety and health at work. The neighboring stage program Workplace Design & Corporate Health focuses on the ergonomic design of workplaces and processes in offices as well as corporate health promotion.

Trend Forum Safety & Security – In Hall 11, at the Trend Forum Safety & Security, simple and easy-to-grasp talks on “Explosion Protection,” “Safe Handling and Storage of Hazardous Substances,” “Industrial Fire Protection and Emergency Management” and “Fall Protection” will provide insights into current developments.

A+A Fashion Shows – Also located in Hall 11, the dynamic, re-vamped, A+A Fashion Shows – staged several times a day – will show how fashionable and diverse modern workwear and protective clothing is and will prove that top design and safety no longer are a contradiction in terms.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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