KAN Studies

Here you can download all KAN studies as pdf files. All KAN studies published after 23 September 2018 are in an accessible format.

Most of the full text versions are only available in German.

Author: Prof. Dr. Thomas Kantermann, Prof. Dr. Christoph Schierz, Prof. Dr. Volker Harth

About this study The Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardization (KAN) has the mandate of safeguarding German occupational safety and health interests in German, European and international standardization activity, and of assuring the participation of the social partners in standardization. KAN therefore pursues the objective of ensuring that German, European and international standardization gives the best possible consideration to OSH issues. Employers, employees and the state are each represented in KAN by five delegates, and the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) and DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. by one delegate each.

KAN analyses OSH - related issues in standardization activity and identifies scope for improvement. One measure used for this purpose is the commissioning of studies and reports.

Author: Dr. Wolfgang Luther, Dr. Andreas Müller

The study aims to conduct a structured status review of the standardization situation in the field of nanotechnology. The evaluation of the findings focuses on a comparison with national and European rules and regulations and identifies the loopholes. The results are then used as the basis for recommendations to help OSH experts exert a targeted influence on standardization in nanotechnology and prevent standards. About this report that conflict with established rules and regulations. The study concentrates on manufactured nanomaterials.


Following extensive searches, the relevant judgments in a number of sectors of law permit the conclusion that standards and similar documents are used in reason-ings of legal judgments, irrespective of their status, the composition of the committee responsible for them and their formal suitability.

Author: Dr. Hansjürgen Gebhardt, Andreas Schäfer, Christoph Mühlemeyer, Karl-Heinz Lang, Institut für Arbeitsmedizin, Sicherheitstechnik und Ergonomie e.V. (ASER), Wuppertal


Author: Roland Behrens, Christoph Lerez, Dr. Norbert Elkmann, Dr. Katja Jachau, Sarah Schmidt

As current OSH regulations do not allow people in the proximity of automatically controlled robots, such robots can only be used for automated tasks that do not require any human involvement. However, certain tasks, especially on assembly lines, cannot be performed without human assistance, making automation impossible in many cases. New collaborative workspaces for humans and robots will require safe robots whose movements do not pose a direct hazard even if guards are not used. However, since there is still a possibility of direct contact between the robot and the person in such collaborative workspaces, there remains a small risk of collision that is absent when guards are used. Consequently, the biomechanical strains caused by a collision need to be limited to an extent that only permits low, acceptable levels of injury severity.

This study is intended to provide an initial review of the current situation and the need for additional criteria with which to assess mechanical risks. The objective is to classify injury diagnoses and biomechanical injury criteria in injury severity categories.

The findings of this study are to inform subsequent activities, which will serve to provide OSH experts and manufacturers with a pool of data to help them tackle risk assessment problems and ensure consistent decision-making in the area of mechanical risk assessment.

Key aspects: Literature review - Categorisation of "minor" injuries - Structuring of biomechanical thresholds

Author: A. Klußmann, P. Serafin, A. Schäfer

In 2008, KAN published KAN Report 41, “Safety of agricultural machinery”, in which the safety aspects in standards governing agricultural machinery were analysed. The recommendations made in this KAN Report triggered a process of standards review at national level, in the course of which the topic of operating forces was also discussed.

The discussion in the responsible national committee further revealed that there is probably no European or international standard for the measurement of operating forces to which reference could be made in agricultural machinery standards. This assumption is supported by the results of a KAN study into measurement requirements in product standards. In order to ensure in future that all operators
are able to operate machinery, for example by moving a machine component, the values for operating forces stated in standards must be examined in greater detail, and validated.

The preliminary analysis of standards confirmed that:
No methods suitable for the measurement of operating forces on mobile machines are described in German, European and international standards.
In the standards governing agricultural machinery, values of up to 200 N to 250 N are stated throughout as the average force to be exerted over the operation travel and 250 N to 400 N as the maximum force. A reasoned basis for these values is not provided.
No information on the location of the components to be operated is stated in the standards. The assessment of the project partner is that in this form, the values stated in the standards are not justifiable from an OSH perspective.

The values recommended in the study for certain body postures are suitable only as general guideline values for this purpose. Further studies must be conducted in order for robust values to be obtained, since the measurement
of operating forces alone permits only limited conclusions regarding the internal strains in the body arising during the operation.
No requirements are stated in the standards concerning the location of the parts to be operated. These points cannot always be reached by shorter users. Standards should consider that where operation is performed some distance from the body in ergonomically unfavourable positions, considerably lower
forces can be exerted than under optimum ergonomic conditions.
Two methods were subjected to practical trials in order to identify a suitable method for measuring the feasibility of an operation.
One variant involved measurement of the feasibility of an operating force with the aid of test subjects and a hand-held instrument with measurement memory and PC interface.
The second variant involved measurement with the aid of a winch, a force sensor and a goniometer.

Bookmarks in the pdf file link directly to the individual chapters. In the list of bookmarks, all sections available in English and French are highlighted in colour.

Author: C. Scheffler, G. Schüler


In 2009, the Commission for Occupational Health and Safety and Standardization (KAN) published a report entitled "Anthropometric data in standards" (Report 44). It highlighted the significance of body measurements for occupational health and safety and presented a range of recommendations for action. One key recommendation was aimed at the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) and concerned the preparation of a guide to help ensure anthropometric data is used correctly.

As a result, the Steering Committee of DIN's Ergonomics Standards Committee recommended its Working Committee on Anthropometry and Biomechanics to draw up a user guide in the form of a DIN SPEC. The mandate was to explain in easily understandable terminology how to select and use anthropometric data correctly. As the Committee asked KAN for support and as KAN felt this project could be a great help for designers of ergonomic work equipment, the present study was conceived as a means of preparing a draft version of the required guide.









Author: D. Gesmann-Nuissl, J. Ensthaler, R. Edelhäuser

The European Single Market and with it a substantial part of prevention activity are founded upon suitable procedures for the testing, certification and ongoing monitoring of product conformity. A study conducted in 2003 on behalf of KAN (KAN Report 30) has already proposed changes to the German and European systems of accreditation and notification which would greater confidence in them. 

KAN has commissioned a follow-on study analyzing whether the situation has changed since then, particularly with the introduction of the New Legislative Framework. The study analyzed in detail whether conformity assessment bodies are assessed and accredited on the basis of a complete, uniform and cohesive body of regulations and standards. 

As a result of the study, KAN calls for standards to be given a meaningful Annex Z in the course of their adoption as EN standards from which it can be seen to what extent they support the specific, legally binding European requirements. If necessary, this measure must be taken separately for each sector-specific directive. A Consultant should also review the standards for their compliance with the European requirements. If appropriate, the responsible CEN/CLC TC 1 must, in accordance with its mandate, adapt the content of the international standards to the European requirements.

The study has also illustrated that the process and management-related requirements formulated in Article R17 of Decision 768/2008/EC are very vague. The European Commission should in the longer term bring this article into line with current accepted good practice in order for it to meet the standards now generally accepted

Author: G. Weise

Prompted by KAN Report 41, "Safety of agricultural machinery", the "Forestry" Expert Committee of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) requested a similar study from the KAN Secretariat on the safety of forestry machinery.

In the view of the OSH lobby, areas presenting problems exist in the forestry sector. These include the field of vision on forwarders, ladders for access to high equipment, and work platforms.

The study focused upon the standards governing large forestry equipment. This includes self-propelled harvesting machinery, winches and wood chippers.
Harvesting machinery includes harvesters, skidders and forwarders. These machines are used to cut down trees and to transport them away.

Winches used for forestry purposes are primarily skidding winches (mounted at the front/rear of or on a vehicle). Winches are however not used solely for cable skidding; yarders for example are also widely used for the recovery of logs
harvested on slopes by means of chainsaws. For some years now, (traction) winches have also been used to secure self-propelled forestry machinery on inclines.
Besides the harvesting of saw timber, the recovery of biomass for use as a source of energy is growing in importance. For this reason, the standard governing wood chippers was included in this study.

The purpose of the study was to determine whether, and to what extent, certain health and safety requirements of the 2006/42/EC Machinery Directive are supported in the standards governing large forestry equipment.

Author: S. Riedel, S. Adler, F. Gillmeister, S. Köckritz, J. Mussgnug, H. Mutschler, E. Pencz, T. Schenk

The term “measurement uncertainty” is used to describe the quality of measurement results and therefore their reliability. Possible measurement results are subject to variability as a result of random and systematic errors; this variability can be associated with the measured quantity, and is described quantitatively by the measurement uncertainty. In the absence of any indication of the measurement uncertainty, measurement results can be compared neither with each other, nor with reference values such as those specified in a standard or statutory provision. If consideration is not given to the measurement uncertainty, decisions taken on the basis of measurement results may be incorrect, possibly with serious consequences. In the sphere of occupational safety and health and product safety, unsafe products may for example be declared good, thereby possibly leading to hazards. Equally, the sale and use of safe products may be prohibited, leading to litigation. Although the concept of “uncertainty” suggests that of “doubt”, it does in fact lead to greater confidence in the validity of the measurement. The revised Machinery Directive, 2006/42/EC, expressly requires that emission values for noise and vibration be stated together with the associated measurement uncertainty. In the context of the PPE Directive, 89/686/EEC, the stakeholders have long recognized the need for the large number of measurements which are performed to be given greater validity, by ascertainment of the measurement uncertainty. The issue of uncertainty is particularly significant for measurements which are influenced by a large number ofhighly variable boundary conditions.

KANBrief 1/23

Automated driving in industrial and trade environments

  • Automated driving in industrial and trade environments
  • Early information system: timely information is essential
  • Guideline to the selection and use of protective gloves
  • KAN updates its position on fast-track standardization documents
  • Three questions for: Dr Christian Felten, Managing Director of Basi
  • Data on human weight in standards

Download KANBrief 1/23 (pdf)
List of all KANBrief issues 

KAN Study

Non-visual effect of light

Validated OSH-related findings concerning the non-visual effect of light upon human beings - A literature review

The literature review discusses the latest OSH-related findings of scientific studies into the non-visual effects of light. In order for the non-visual effects of light to be considered as broadly as possible, a number of specialist disciplines – chronobiology, occupational medicine and lighting technology – were involved in the KAN Study. The comprehensive assessment from the perspective of lighting technology can be found in the annex. This assessment sets out principles of lighting technology and current knowledge of potential harm to the eyes caused by an excessively intense blue light component.

Download KAN Study 08/2018 (pdf) (german; english summary)
List of all KAN Studies