It is the world’s biggest and most important event when it comes to safety and health at work. This was impressively underscored by A+A 2019 together with the concurrently held International Congress for Occupational Safety and Occupational Medicine from 5 to 8 November. Registering 2,121 exhibitors from a total of 63 nations, occupying more than 78,000 square metres in ten exhibition halls for the first time, and over 73,000 trade visitors of whom one in two came from abroad, the world’s No. 1 trade fair safe and healthy working obtained record results in all disciplines.
Success Factor Sustainability: the Basis for Good Work
Sustainability also proved a driver for the themes covered at A+A; and not only as part of new events at the trade fair and the Congress on such themes as “Sustainable Textile Manufacturing” or “Fairness in Global Supply Chains”, which will be expanded further in future. Harnessing the need for a holistic prevention culture A+A was characterised by the current top issue sustainability, as this forms the basis for healthy and safe working. “I was impressed how our motto “People Matter” really came to life in practice at A+A over the past four days,” delights Wolfram Diener, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, at the end of the leading international trade fair for safety, security and health at work. “Those seeking solutions for the current and imminent changes in our working world – be this through digitalisation or demographic change – will be hard pushed to find them anywhere else but in Düsseldorf.”
And this is what it looks like: the Future of Work
In fact, the ranges presented by exhibitors and the extensive line-up of side events with seven Special Shows and expert conferences covered all aspects of a holistic prevention culture – from corporate health management through personal protection to workplace design. Not to be missed were innovations for the digitalisation of the working world, all the more as the industry makes ever more consistent use of the new technical possibilities. On display were digital exhibits, especially along the Highlight Route on the Future of Work and in the new START-UP Zone. These included concepts for practical uses of collaborating robotics (Cobots) or exo-skeletons but also smart solutions for personal protection such as special Apps for hazardous substance management, interactive workwear and Virtual Reality training applications, to name but a few.
Broad International Reach reflects Global Need for Good Work
Healthy employees are a global target – this was underlined by the stable percentage of international visitors who travelled to A+A from 137 countries this year. Similarly, the equally high share of international exhibitors mirrored the global interest taken in safety and health at the workplace from 5 to 8 November. No wonder, some 70% of the 2,121 A+A exhibitors – from start-up to global players – came from abroad: from Australia, China, Russia through Thailand and India to all over Europe and South Africa not forgetting Brazil and the USA.
Personal Protective Equipment continues Booming
One segment that benefits from the globally rising awareness for all themes revolving around OSH, is the field of Personal Protective Equipment – the traditionally biggest area at A+A with over 1,100 exhibitors this year. According to a current study on the German PPE market carried out by market research company macrom, the volume of the German PPE market rose from EUR 1.92 billion in 2016 to EUR 2.23 billion in 2018. “The PPE market continues to profit from companies’ rising preparedness to better protect and educate their employees,” says Birgit Horn, Director of A+A 2019, commenting on the multi-faceted ranges of protective equipment and protective wear offered at A+A, which again reflected the innovative power of this sector. “Accordingly, PPE manufacturers and suppliers increasingly pitch themselves as strategic consulting partners with holistic solutions.” Other factors favouring PPE sales are the rising numbers of older workers, for whom the market offers more and more solutions, the implementation of modern assistance systems in production, the growing interest taken in social and ecological manufacturing conditions as well as the development of disposal concepts for protective gear.
Visitors from all over the World flocked to the A+A Congress
With some 5,200 visitors the 36th Congress for Occupational Safety and Occupational Medicine posted a positive increase in attendance. As a key impulse for the sector it has traditionally been organised by Basi, the German Federal Association of Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit e.V.). “We are delighted at the increasing exchange with international visitors from Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh, but also from Eastern Europe. We discussed globally applying OSH rules with them,” says Bruno Zwingmann, Managing Director of Basi. The events at the CCD Congress Center Düsseldorf were well attended from day one – for example, when such topics as a new procedure for measuring strains on the musculoskeletal system were addressed; or current technology developments that assist people with impairments in their working life; or when the famous fashion designer Guido Maria Kretschmer shared his experiences in work design in the panel discussion on “Good Work Worldwide”. To conclude the motto read: clear the stage for OSH students and the first Prevention Slam by Basi entitled: “Good Work for me means…”
For current information on A+A 2019 and the International Congress go to: www.AplusA.de.
The next A+A will be held from 26 to 29 October 2021.