The A+A 2015 trade fair and congress cover all aspects of health and safety at work – new record in exhibitors’ numbers

Federal minister Andrea Nahles will be at the opening event

A+A – the number 1 international event for health and safety at work – has now reached its 30th edition in Düsseldorf, featuring a powerful exhibitor base and continuing to head for growth. This year, from 27 to 30 October, A+A 2015 will have more than 1,800 exhibitors. For the first time it will occupy nine exhibition halls (one more than previously), representing 10% growth in booked space.

Occupational health and safety and any measures to maintain people’s working capacity are also productivity boosters, ensuring that a company remains competitive. As the world of labour is changing, these are important issues. Demographic change is leading to an ageing workforce, and we can already see labour shortages in a number of sectors “Because of these challenges, companies have a vested interest in working conditions that not only satisfy existing regulations but are also safe and help the workforce to stay healthy. It is the companies that benefit directly from such investments,” says Messe Düsseldorf MD Joachim Schäfer. He believes that the issues and topics at A+A are becoming more and more relevant.

The main focus of the event will be on the following areas: Personal Protection (e.g. personal protection equipment, corporate fashion and image wear, safe facilities and machinery for the workplace), Occupational Safety (including products, machinery and services for corporate fire and disaster protection) and Corporate Health (including healthy workplace design, ergonomics as well as prevention and therapy models).

“A company is only ever as healthy and efficient as its workforce. Modern managers pay attention to this insight and are increasingly showing an interest in concrete measures regarding corporate health promotion and preventative care. Regardless of whether the strain at work is mental or physical, A+A has a wide-ranging diversity of suitable information – at the trade fair, at the convention and through live presentations,” says Birgit Horn, Director of A+A 2015.

In the special segment Corporate Health in Hall 10, for instance, visitors will find all the products and services with relevance to corporate health management, including nutrition, exercise and drug prevention. Also in Hall 10 and along similar thematic lines, there will be a special area entitled Workplace Design with best-practice solutions in the design of ergonomic working environments. This also covers aspects such as acoustics, air conditioning, workplace ergonomics and product economics. On each day of the trade fair a live programme will be presented on a shared action stage in the two areas of Corporate Health and Workplace Design, featuring brief practical talks, presentations, debates and panel discussions. In addition, the special show Workplace Design will focus on products and ergonomic solutions in the office.

One immediate neighbour will be the Health and Safety Meeting Point as a central port of call for non-commercial exhibitors, such as professional and trade associations, German statutory accident insurers and the International Labour Organisation.

Action-packed live presentations and best-practice cases

Exhibitors in Personal Protection Equipment (including Corporate Fashion) can be found in Halls 3, 4, 5, 7.0, 9, 10 and 11.

Topics and issues of Occupational Safety (including special equipment for fire and disaster protection) will be presented to trade visitors in concentrated form in Halls 6 and 7a.

Live presentations will be given not only in Health at Work / Corporate Health (Hall 10), but there will also be special action platforms in the areas of Personal Protection and Occupational Safety. The presentations will be varied and full of ideas and information with a focus on practical solutions.

They will include, for instance, the well established theme park Occupational Fire and Disaster Protection (in Hall 6, in partnership with the German Association of Plant Fire Services, WFV), the new special show “Safe Rescue Operations from Heights and Depths” (also in Hall 6, in partnership with the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief, THW, and the German Life Saving Organisation, DLRG) and the A+A Fashion Show in Hall 11. On each day of the trade fair leading suppliers will present their latest collections here, particularly in workwear which has a major emphasis on fashion and has come to be known as Corporate Fashion.

However, noteworthy areas will include not only Corporate Fashion, but also the entire area of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), represented by just over 900 exhibitors. Even standard PPE is being designed increasingly with an eye to attractiveness. There is a clear trend towards closer convergence between fashion and functionality in this area. Even protective footwear in the highest protection category is now difficult to distinguish from fashionable trainers in leisurewear – thanks to fashionable colours (from bright blue to neon green), low weight and perfect fit with an emphasis on wearer comfort. The same, incidentally, applies to all other protective clothing. Although protection is a priority, the various fashionable cuts are persuasive and their visual impact no longer distinguishes such clothes from trendy outdoor items.

The partner country: South Korea

The partner country of A+A 2015 will be South Korea – “Not only does the country pursue an ambitious sociopolitical agenda in seeking to implement safe and productive workplaces within its own borders. It is also seen by experts as a pioneer in preventative health and safety precautions and is committed to numerous projects supported by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in other countries within the region, e.g. in Myanmar." With an overall workforce of 24 million and thus potential users of PPE and other occupational health and safety solutions, the South Korean market is also considered to be highly attractive for suppliers.

Extensive and international – the convention programme

Another integral part of A+A, in addition to the trade fair and its theme parks, will be the international A+A Congress. There will be just over 60 series of events, covering health, safety and ergonomics. The international programme (with German/English interpreting) will feature, for instance, occupational diseases, personal protection equipment, green jobs and preventative healthcare, training and qualifications as well as testing and certification.

The main target group of A+A includes experts in occupational health and safety and in safety management, specialist retailers, HR managers, buyers from industry, company doctors, owners of small businesses, staff councils, works councils, firefighters, relief workers and the police force.

A+A started in 1954 as an event for “Occupational Health and Safety + Occupational Healthcare” and is held at two-year intervals. In 2013 it recorded over 63,000 visitors.

This year’s A+A will also feature a major celebrity from Berlin: Ms. Andrea Nahles, the Federal German Employment and Social Affairs Minister, who will be coming to the opening event on 27 October, thus underlining the significance of A+A topics and issues at the highest political level.

A+A 2015 opening hours (27 - 30 October): 9.00 am – 6 pm.