Dietmar Reinert, new Director of the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance
The Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA) has bidden farewell to its Director, Professor Dr Helmut Blome. His successor is the current Deputy Director, Professor Dr Dietmar Reinert. Dr Reinert’s Deputy will be Dr Rolf Ellegast.
“Helmut Blome was unrivalled in representing the area of hazardous substances in OSH on behalf of the German Social Accident Insurance and all the accident insurance institutions, at both national and international level,” said Dr Hans-Joachim Wolff, Chair of the Governing Committee of the DGUV, in his farewell address. Wolff drew particular attention to Blome’s astute perspective and his ability to find compromises acceptable to all parties, even in difficult cases.
Helmut Blome had headed the IFA, a research institute of the DGUV, since 2008. A doctor of chemistry, he began his career in 1975 as head of the mineralogical department at the silicosis research institute of the accident insurance institution responsible at the time for the mining industry, in Bochum. In 1981, he moved to the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the DGUV, at that time still the BIA, to assume the function of Head of Unit. He quickly became known there as an expert in hazardous substances. This position was followed by that of Head of Division Hazardous Substances: handling and protective measures. Finally, in 1993, he entered the ranks of the institute’s management, firstly as Deputy Director of the institute, then as its Director.
During his period of office, Helmut Blome set the main course for the status of the German Social Accident Insurance in the area of hazardous substances, not least in the important area of nanomaterials: the IFA now enjoys a leading position in European research in this field, and is substantially involved in defining national regulations for worker protection. A further example are the numerous sampling and measurement instruments and methods which were developed under his supervision and which are now recognized throughout the world.
Professor Dr Dietmar Reinert has been associated with the institute since 1988. In his role as Head of Unit, he was initially concerned with safe electronic controls on machinery. He subsequently assumed the function of Head of Division and Central Division, in which he brought new management methods such as the balanced score card into practical application for the institute. Since 2008 and in his capacity as Deputy Director of the institute, he has been responsible for the progress made in establishing a risk observatory for the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions. A doctor of physics, Reinert has in addition been professor of reliable and safe system design since 2003 at the Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. He has also been active for many years at European and international level. Since 2013, he has been Vice-President of the PEROSH Group, a European research association of OSH institutes.
Dr. Rolf Ellegast assumed his first position at the IFA in 1998. He received his doctorate as a member of the scientific staff in the Ergonomics Unit with development of the CUELA system for the measurement of spinal strain. In 1999, he became Head of Unit. From 2005 onwards, he was also Deputy Head of Division, Ergonomics, Physical environmental factors. The institute’s new Deputy Director has been teaching the subject of labour science and ergonomics at the University of Bonn since 2000. In 2011, he also began teaching the subject of measurement and sensor technology in ergonomics at the University of Remage.