MTM – Work design productive and safe

Digitally Networked Full Body Suit Was the Number One Attraction

Smart.Human.Standards. This was the motto used by Deutsche MTM-Vereinigung e. V. (German MTM Association) at this year’s A+A, the largest international trade fair for security and health and safety at work, to present digital technologies for all-round work design – with a special focus on people. Dr. Thomas Finsterbusch, Head of the MTM Academy and A+A Project Manager, reached an entirely positive conclusion about the event.

With more than 67,000 trade visitors overall, attendance at the trade fair was once again very high – what was the interest like in the MTM booth?
Greater than ever before. We received enquiries even before the event and even our “regulars” were very interested in the issue of “Smart.Human.Standards.” and the associated products, e.g. the full body suit, MTM-HWD® and EAWS. Working with the Federal Association for Occupational Safety and Health (Basi), with which we cooperate closely, we organized visits from specialist groups, e.g. works councils. This also gave rise to many good discussions about the subject of “Smart.Human.Standards.” and designing productive and healthy work. We were particularly delighted to be able to welcome many international visitors on our booth – e.g. from Poland, Italy, Spain, China, Mexico, Peru and even Australia.

Which of the digital technologies presented on the booth with regard to designing work were particularly well received?
The networked full body suit used to log transaction data was definitely the number one attraction – we can use it to immediately make an assessment of the ergonomic workload. Our new product, MTM-HWD®, which is derived from Human Work Design, was also a topic that attracted special interest; it can be simultaneously used to design work processes that satisfy both ergonomic and productive requirements. The MTM-HWD process building block system is a milestone in the age of digitalization and modern work design. Both products – the full body suit and MTM-HWD® – guarantee transparency and enable a high degree of employee involvement. This topic is particularly exercising the minds of works councils. Including the employees in matters related to work design is far easier when using this kind of suit – which they can wear themselves – than by an abstract presentation of data. However, the availability of MTM training courses, particularly on the issue of EAWS (Ergonomic Assessment Worksheet), using MTM in practice and the latest MTM software solutions, also attracted great interest.

In addition to lectures on the “Workplace Design and Corporate Health” trade fair stage, there were also round table discussions on “Assessing Risks in the Overall Corporate Context” and particularly the issue of work planning; you worked on this. What exactly did it involve?
This primarily focused on the issue of how the assessment of risks can be anchored in corporations to an even better degree and how its impact can be improved with regard to designing healthy work. One area concentrated on the interdisciplinary cooperation of the players involved in the planning and designing of work processes. They include, for example, specialists for health and safety at work, company physicians, process planners, employees and managers. MTM can play a leading role here as a process language. No other method is able to provide such a precise description in terms of the new design and redesign of work processes. This description already forms the basis for performance indicators on productivity and health and safety at work. 

The next A+A will be held in 2019. Will MTM be attending again?
If I have anything to do with it, yes! The feedback from the visitors and partners showed that the forward-looking, all-round and employee-focused approach to designing human work is very important, particularly in the light of digitalization and the process of demographic change. In this sense, our topics and products should definitely be part of a leading trade fair like the A+A.