(St. Gallen / St. Augustin). The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) has recently launched the Nano-Platform “Safe handling of Nanomaterials”. The Innovation Society, a St. Gallen-based Swiss start-up, has developed the platform, which is the world’s first interactive nano-platform on occupational health and safety. The custom-built “Nanorama” E-Learning modules are based on IT-tools which were developed by the Innovation Society and which can be harnessed for other educational and training purposes. Currently, the platform is only available in German.

The Nano-Platform, accessible at http://nano.dguv.de, offers up-to-date information on occupational health and safety and novel, interactive E-Learning-Tools, so-called “Nanoramas”. The Nano-Platform is the first interactive platform addressing issues regarding nano-specific occupational health and safety. It aims to enhance knowledge not only among prevention professionals but also among employees without pertinent knowledge on nanotechnologies. The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) assumes a worldwide pioneering role, being the first social accident insurance offering a comprehensive and interactive educational tool on safe handling of nanomaterials. The Nano-Platform was developed by The Innovation Society, St. Gallen.

Nanotechnologies play an ever-increasing role in the global economy. In numerous industrial sectors the use of nanomaterials is expanding at a rapid pace. “The Nano-Platform enables us to sensitise employees and prevention professionals to occupational nano-risks and impart knowledge on appropriate protective measures”, says Christian Schumacher, expert on hazardous substances at the DGUV’s Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IFA) in St. Augustin.

In order to train staff, three “Nanorama”-modules will be made available on the platform. “Nanoramas”, a lexical blend of “Nano” and “Panorama”, are new E-Learning tools in which the user enters a virtual space and moves around in it. By completing the “Nanoramas”, users learn which nanomaterials and nano-products are used in their respective trade. On the other hand, the “Nanoramas” allow users to assess the occupational exposure to nanomaterials and to identify necessary protective measures when handling said materials.

“Nanorama Construction” – first module available online now

The “Nanorama Construction” is the first module available on the platform at http://nano.dguv.de/nanorama/bgbau/. The “Nanorama Construction” offers in-depth insights into the use and applications of nanomaterials in the construction industry. It was developed in close cooperation with the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the building trade (BG BAU). In just a few months’ time, the “Nanorama Construction” will be joined by the “Nanorama Chemistry” and the “Nanorama Wood and Metal”, which will present the safe handling of nanomaterials in a chemical laboratory and an automotive workshop, respectively. Thanks to its modular design, the platform can be expanded with “Nanorama”-modules on any given sector or trade.

Relevant information and news

Apart from the “Nanorama”-modules, the platform also provides comprehensive information on the basics of nanotechnologies, occupational safety as well as trade-specific information. The news section features the latest news and relevant information on nanotechnologies and occupational health and safety. The platform’s contents are constantly updated and adapted to the latest scientific knowledge. All contents are available free of charge.

DGUV in a nutshell

In 2012, the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) insured over 76.2 million people in 3.9 million companies and educational institutions against work-related, commuting and school accidents and against occupational diseases.

Source: The Innovation Society, Ltd.