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Company doctor

Company medical care

The employer has a so-called duty of care, i.e. he must design workplaces in such a way that health hazards to employees are avoided. He is supported in this task by the occupational safety specialist and the company doctor. Company medical care is regulated on the one hand by the Occupational Safety Act (ASiG) and on the other hand by the BG regulation for company doctors (BGV A 7) and the accident prevention regulation (DGUV V2). Company doctors can be employed as employees in the company or can be appointed as freelance company doctors.

What does a company doctor do?

A company doctor is supposed to support a company in occupational safety and accident prevention in all occupational health issues. He or she examines the extent to which workplaces are set up according to occupational medicine and occupational science aspects, carries out risk assessments and advises companies on the procurement of work equipment and materials. Advising the employer on the organisation of first aid and occupational health check-ups are also part of the company doctor's remit.

Can a company doctor refuse to purchase an ergonomic chair, such as the Aeris Swopper, in the company?

No. Because the employer alone decides on the procurement of work equipment. When making the decision, the employer consults with all the bodies responsible for the health of the employees, such as the human resources manager, the safety engineer, the health manager and the company doctor. However, the employer has the final say.

As a rule, company doctors endorse the use of the Aeris Swopper because it has been scientifically proven several times over that it allows for a particularly large amount of natural movement when sitting (more than twice as much as conventional office chairs). Thanks to its patented 3D technology it adapts to the individual movement pattern of the person. And that is good for most people. Especially for those who have already damaged their backs sitting in conventional chairs.

In a few cases, however, the use of the Aeris Swopper is not supported by company doctors. The reason for this is that DIN EN 1335 recommends a backrest. Some company doctors therefore fear that the Aeris Swopper does not fulfil the requirements of occupational health and safety law or accident insurance law.

But the fact is: DIN 1335 only represents a minimum requirement that must be met to protect employees. However, the individual situation of each employee must be taken into account. An employee who suffers back pain when sitting on a conventional office chair according to DIN 1335, but whose health improves when sitting on the Aeris Swopper, will not be forced by a responsible employer and company doctor to sit on his DIN-compliant office chair.

The health and long-term performance of employees should ultimately be the decisive criterion for the selection/use of an office chair.

A backrest can also be retrofitted to the Aeris Swopper if required. In addition, the Aeris Swopper is TÜV and GS approved, may be used at any workplace and offers full insurance cover. So as soon as the employer has decided that the Aeris Swopper makes sense for the individual employee, this is also binding for the employers' liability insurance association and the trade supervisory board. And the company doctor must also accept the decision.

And in the version Aeris Swopper with backrest and spring leg type Low (Swopper Work), the Aeris Swopper also complies with DIN EN 1335 for Office work chairs.

Individual references

My back book, Prof. Dr. Dietrich Grönemeyer, Verlag Zabert Sandmann, 2004