Project "Lernbau" - More Safety and Health in the Building Industry

Nov 15, 2005

The cooperation-project "LernBau" is about safety and health for the workers on building sites. Under the scientific direction of the University of Bremen, the building enterprises, building owners, the labour inspectorate, and the employees liability insurance association for the building industry are trying to develop comprehensive concepts for more safety on the building sites by considering the interests of all project partners. The project from the "Bremer Landesprogramm Arbeit und Technik" is financed and promoted by the European Union and the senator for work, women, health, youth and social action.

Despite new technologies and improvements in the personal protective equipment the workers on the building sites are still exposed to high health risks and potential accidents. Heavy lifting, heat, dust, and the threat of reckless traffic participants, but also increasing stress and time pressure determine the working environment - especially in the building industry. The low-cost-competition starts up a ruinous downward-spiral – not only for the building enterprises but also for the "building culture".

This downward-spiral particularly affects the structures and processes of working. Construction projects are planned to be increasingly shorter and cheaper, and the workers have to handle last-minute changes in shortest construction periods. Because of these economic aspects, issues of the workers’ safety tend to be marginalized or ignored for the sake of low cost production.

The networking of contractors and the cooperating building enterprises should lead to a long-term inclusion of safety and health throughout the whole construction project. Occupational health and safety and health promotion are no longer confined to the building sites and the executive companies but are already a concerted (and economic) action of the contractors and the building enterprises during submission.

The cooperation project "LernBau" is settled in the conflicting field of the different actors, resources, and demands for safety and health. This applied networking project is financed by the European Union and the senator for work, women, health, youth, and social action from January 2005 until 2007.

By means of this project, all networking partners/involved actors develop practicable instruments that allow the establishment of a health-promoting corporate- and network identity, the possibility of knowledge exchange between the project partners, the qualification of all employees and the management of responsibilities and regulations for the knowledge exchange.

Six building enterprises, two contractors, the labour inspectorate and the employees liability insurance association for the building industry are participating in this project. On the one hand, this should heighten the awareness of the management of the contractors and the building enterprises regarding issues of safety and health and on the other hand qualify the workers (in all ranks).

Under the scientific direction and coordination of Dr. Wolfgang Ritter, Professor Rainer Müller (both Zentrum für Sozialpolitik/University of Bremen) and Joachim Larisch (BIPS - Bremer Institut für Präventionsforschung und Sozialmedizin), health and safety should be established by the involved actors as a value-added chain with the aid of an intra-network-learning-method which includes criteria for the implementation of the structures and processes needed.

The aim of this project is the sustainable establishment and mediation of holistic health-and-safety-at-work-concepts as a value-added-chain, which includes applicable communication and learning structures for a "safe and healthy building culture" – from submission to long term maintenance of the building projects, from the constructors to the workers.

Matthäi Bauunternehmen GmbH & Co KG
Winkler KG (GmbH & Co)
August Reiners
Wolfgang Heineking
Stadwerke Bremen (swb)
HanseWasser Bremen GmbH
Bremer Institut für Arbeitsschutz und Gesundheitsförderung
Arbeitsmedizinischer Dienst der Berufsgenossenschaft der Bauwirtschaft
Gewerbeaufsicht des Landes Bremen
University of Bremen; Zentrum für Sozialpolitik und Bremer Institut für Präventionsforschung und Sozialmedizin (BIPS)

For further information:
Universität Bremen
Zentrum für Sozialpolitik
Dr. Wolfgang Ritter
Tel. 0421 218 3159

More News and Articles


Eberhard Scholz, University of Bremen



To website