Success factors for the Zero Accident Vision in German companies

Project No. IFA 5130


completed 11/2015


A "Zero Accident Vision" (ZAV) is being pursued internationally and at national level by a number of OSH organizations and companies as a strategy for preventing all serious accidents. In recent years, the number of accidents has dropped considerably. The literature suggests that implementation of a ZAV can further support this trend. Practical observations and experience concerning the successful implementation of a ZAV are as yet rare, however. To date, no systematic and empirical study has been performed of the factors beneficial or detrimental to a ZAV serving as an extended perspective of accident prevention. In order to improve this current situation and in response to an initiative by the Partnership of European Research in Occupational Safety and Health (PEROSH), the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) sponsored a joint project at European level (see DGUV FF-FP0352). The Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA) supported this project by conducting studies in Germany.


Through its activities and methods, the IFA is supporting the central and systematic approach of the generic joint project. Surveys were performed in seven European countries (BE, DK, FI, GB, GE, NL, PL) in 27 companies that had already committed themselves to a ZAV. For all countries, a combination of methods was developed centrally and translated into the national languages. The studies in Germany were organized by the IFA in three companies and supported by their OSH departments. The combination of methods included a written questionnaire for all workplaces by means of which potential influencing factors and factors for success were recorded. In each company, the management, works council and parties responsible for OSH were interviewed. The results were analysed, and activities for ZAV discussed. The companies in Germany discussed the study and its activities in a workshop. The results were analysed by the IFA for the companies individually and collectively in Germany and forwarded to the companies together with results of the European joint project.


The joint project identified factors for success for implementation of a ZAV and good practice in this context in companies. A high to very high prevalence of elements of a ZAV was observed in the companies in Germany. The companies' own commitment to ZAV, which is fostered by activities for the communication of safety, a safety culture and safety-related training, was found to be particularly significant. Results for the joint initiative at European level have been compiled in a project report. Suggestions for companies of varying size and in different sectors are formulated based upon: factors for success, good practice, success stories, challenges associated with the successful implementation of a ZAV, networks for practical discussion of a ZAV in companies, the PEROSH-ZAV questionnaire, and information on the introduction, implementation and consolidation of a ZAV.


  • Nickel, P. (2016). Empirische Analysen aus Unternehmen in Deutschland zu einer europäischen Studie zur Zero Accident Vision. Vortrag zum 62. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft "Arbeit in komplexen Sys-temen. Digital, vernetzt, human?!", 02.-04.03.2016, Aachen.
  • Nickel, P. (2016). Europäische Studie zur Zero Accident Vision mit Untersuchungen aus Deutschland. Vortrag zum 19. Workshop Psychologie der Arbeitssicherheit und Gesundheit "Dialog statt Monolog" (FV PASiG,, Bergische Universität Wuppertal), 18.-20.05.2016, Wuppertal.
  • Nickel, P. (2016). Stand und Zwischenergebnisse zum internationalen Projekt: Erfolgsfaktoren zur ZAV-Umsetzung. Vortrag zum Jahrestreffen 2016 "Unternehmensnetzwerk Zero Accident Vision", 27.04.2016, Robert Bosch GmbH, Homburg/Saar.
  • Nickel, P. (2016). Forschungsprojekt zur Umsetzung der Zero Accident Vision. Vortrag auf dem 2. DGUV Forum Kampagne, 13.-14.04.2016, Ramada Hotel, Hofheim am Taunus.

Last Update:

18 Apr 2019


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA)
  • TNO, Safe & Healthy Business

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:



accident prevention, prevention, evaluation

Description, key words:

accident prevention, Zero Accident Vision (ZAV), success factors, evaluation, safety culture, learning