Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident insurance)
The Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident insurance (IFA) is an institute of the German statutory accident insurers for the industrial and the public sector.
The IFA supports the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions and their organisations particularly in solving scientific and technical problems relating to safety and health protection at work; the IFA does so by means of:
- research, development and investigations
- testing of products and material samples
- workplace measurements and advice
- participation in standardisation and regulation setting bodies
- technical information and expertise
In addition, the IFA works on behalf of manufacturers and companies within the framework of:
- product testing and certification
- certification of quality management systems
IFA cooperates closely with other research institutions and universities, both on a national and on an international level. As concerns issues of product safety, IFA is also in close contact with industry: It is a nationally and European notified test and certification body under the terms of the European Directives for Personal Protective Equipment and Machinery. Besides that, it helps manufacturers to develop and optimize safe products for the world market.
Participation in standardisation and regulation-setting bodies is also part of IFA’s tasks. The majority of research issues stem from practice and deal with OSH problems encountered at company-level. IFA’s working results therefore have to be extremely field-oriented. Consequently, little basic research is done by IFA. At the same time, there is a close connection and exchange of information between research and other fields of activity relevant to prevention such as to further synergies and keep up-to-date in the state of the art of prevention. In addition to scientific research reports, IFA produces a variety of practical aids, among them several databases on hazardous substances.