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Digital Manufacturing and Related Risk

Digital manufacturing is the application of digital technologies to manufacturing, having the right information, at the right place, at the right time.

The goal is to link disparate systems and span processes across all departments and functions within the value chain. By doing so, each stakeholder gains quicker access to more accurate data, allows higher customization of product, producing smaller batch, generate cost savings, workplaces are becoming more ergonomic and health is being promoted. It is not always about product but also services.

Nevertheless, convergence of the information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) is potential increasing the cyber risk, connecting historically isolated production systems with enterprise IT infrastructure. This shift often opens potential vulnerabilities, creating conduits for malware to enter the organization through end user workplace devices e.g.  spear-phishing. One of the biggest risks facing manufacturers today is the potential disruption of production services as a result of a cyber-attack.

This bring new opportunities and challenges for safety and health at work in the world of work, in production and application. Safety in the broadest sense refers to both physical security (safety) and IT or cyber security (security).

The approach of the Section Machine and System Safety is to make available documents with simple solutions and examples to reduce those risks.


"Digitalization is the business process of using digitization everywhere. The result of digitalization could lead to digital transformation."

Each individual element of the system Human - Machine - Environment may be the cause of system failure and thus lead to risks. In Cyber Physical Systems additional risks from digitization must be analysed and assessed.

Digital Transformation

The digital transformation is about rethinking processes and activities in a digital way. It offers opportunities for occupational safety and health to make workplaces even safer but causes also risks. By networking a large number of safety devices, for example, areas can be better monitored and safeguarded. The safe remote control of machines is another example and can also lead to dangerous work processes being carried out safely without causing hazards for people. It is therefore important that occupational safety and health guides digital manufacturing from the very beginning.

In all these considerations, industrial security must be an essential element. Processes that can be changed by unauthorized access would have a negative impact on occupational safety.



  • extend the classical risk assessment including security risks
  • develop practical examples from industry => industry guides for integrating industrial security and occupational safety and health
  • create fact sheets on special topics of industrial security
  • develop training for engineers, employees, prevention and IT-experts


Webinars on "Digital manufacturing - Research results from occupational safety and health"

How can artificial intelligence support the safety inspection of machines? What does the increasing digitalization of human-machine interaction mean for occupational safety? How robust is Industry 4.0 against cyberattacks? These and other questions will be addressed by international experts in a digital lecture series developed by the IFA in cooperation with the Section Machine and System Safety of the International Social Security Association (ISSA).

Every Monday afternoon from April 15, 2024, you can look forward to an exciting hour of lectures and discussions in English. Registration is not necessary, you can simply dial in via the registration link to the WebEx conference. Please note that the starting time varies!

Read more: https://www.dguv.de/ifa/veranstaltungen/vortragsreihe-digital-manufacturing/index-2.jsp


Robustness assessment of deep neural networks
Paul-Martin Fechtner, IFA, Sankt Augustin, Germany

AI for supporting the examination of machines
Oliver Schmitt, BGN, Mannheim, Germany

Risk assessment for workers with CIEDs exposed by electromagnetic fields
Carsten Alteköster, IFA, Sankt Augustin, Germany

Exoskeletons at work – Overview and evaluation for Occupational health and safety
Stephan Huis, BGN, Mannheim, Germany

Ongoing legislation / standardization – security
Andreas Schmid, IFA, Sankt Augustin, Germany


Resilience of industry 4.0 during cyber-attacks: safety application for workers
Roddy Govender, BC Regional Leader of Cyber Defense and Response, KPMG, and
Lisa McGuire, Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC, Chilliwack, Canada


Always with the focus on how safety and health at work is connected to industrial security we plan to discuss relevant issues and give practical examples and advice on the following topics:

The structure for this guide to a safety & security checklist describes measures on 4 different levels:

Partners for any of those tasks are welcome.



Christian Werner
Institute for occupational safety and health of the German Social Accident Insurance
Sankt Augustin, Germany


Members of the Project Group
July 2024

Relaunch of the webseite https://stop-defeating.org: completely revised, further material added

Read more
Digital integration in machines and process industry

July 7th, 2023, Rome

Proceedings of the seminar

Emerging risks in industry 4.0

Innovative approaches for safety and security
Nov. 25th, 2019, Rome

Proceedings of the seminar


  • Fact Sheet No. 4 published: Carry out updates safely: indispensable even in small businesses!
    DE PDF 2nd issue, 03/2023 / EN PDF 1st issue, 07/2022
  • Fact Sheet No. 3: Shut the Door against Cyber Attacks on Small Businesses
    DE PDF 2nd issue, 03/2023 / EN PDF 1st issue, 10/2020
  • Fact Sheet No. 2: Safe Passwords in Small Enterprises
    DE PDF 2nd issue, 03/2023 / EN PDF 1st issue, 07/2022
  • Fact Sheet No. 1: Cyber Security in Small Enterprises
    DE PDF 2nd issue, 03/2023 / EN PDF 1st issue, 09/2019
  • Safety in additive manufacturing. Powder bed fusion/sintering
    EN Summary
    IT PDF
  • Digital transformation of technical systems with explosion risk
    DE PDF / EN PDF (English summary)
  • Digital manufacturing – challenges for occupational safety and health (OSH) due to digital transformation
    EN PDF
  • Occupational safety and health in the new digital world - XXI World Congress on Safety & Health at Work 2017 - Proceedings
    EN PDF
  • Digitisation of Production: General Targets of Cyberattacks and Prevention Strategy
    EN PDF