Altendorf wins coveted German Occupational Safety Award 2021

November 9, 2021

With HAND GUARD, Altendorf has succeeded in providing the leading international innovation for circular saw safety systems. The safety system for this product category is a milestone in occupational user safety. It prevents injuries caused by workplace accidents and has been awarded the renowned German Occupational Safety Award 2021 in the ‘Operational’ category.

Karl-Friedrich Schröder (Head of Research and Development), Julia Pohle (R&D Development Manager) with presentor Anne Lanz (State Secretary at the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration)

Minden, 27/10/21 971,547 occupational accidents took place in Germany in 2019. 16% of them alone occurred in the metal and wood processing industry. In turn, 1% of these accidents involved circular saws. Alternatively put, this equates to one accident per day involving a circular saw – the costs for workplace accidents and medical treatments are high and can be detrimental to customer orders.

This was reason enough for Altendorf, as the creator of the circular saw “system Altendorf”, to develop more innovative and reliable safety systems and revolutionise them with HAND GUARD.

The globally unique, patented HAND GUARD early warning system is fitted with two camera systems. This optical system is the only one of its kind on the market and is an industry breakthrough in terms of technical safety using artificial intelligence (AI) for hand detection.

HAND GUARD recognises potential risks based on special AI hand detection software long before an accident can occur. In the event of an acute threat to fingers or hands, the saw blade quickly retracts within a quarter of a second underneath the workbench. In doing so, HAND GUARD offers maximum protection for users prior to a tangible risk or even injury.

Award for the development team

“After more than three years of research and development work, we are extremely proud and delighted to be awarded such a groundbreaking prize. For us, HAND GUARD plays a key part in significantly improving safety at work for our customers and is testament to the work we do,” reports Karl-Friedrich Schröder, Head of Research and Development at Altendorf.

The Joint German Occupational Safety and Health Strategy (GDA) created the prize. In the GDA, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Commission for Occupational Safety and Health of the Länder Authorities and the German Social Accident Insurance combine their activities with regard to occupational safety. Together, the partners develop workplace safety goals based on occupational requirements.

176 competitors in the running for the German Occupational Safety Award 2021

“Part of this success story is down to our innovative and successful collaboration with the professional association for wood and metal (BGHM) and the Institute for Occupational Health and Safety,” says Karl-Friedrich Schröder. Altendorf was able to proudly come out on top in a field of 176 applicants.

The prize was awarded on 26 October as part of a hybrid prize ceremony at the International Congress on Occupational Health and Safety (A+A) in Düsseldorf. The award was accepted by Karl-Friedrich Schröder and Julia Pohle, Manager of Research and Development on behalf of the entire project team and was awarded by Anne Janz, State Secretary at the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration. “The Altendorf company has represented technological progress since its formation. We are thrilled that both our customers and the expert panel appreciate the great innovative capacity of HAND GUARD,” explains Julia Pohle.

Global market leader from Minden

Altendorf Group GmbH based in Minden/Westphalia is a global market leader in the production of circular saws for small-scale wood, metal and plastic manufacturing. The engineering company Hebrock has been part of the Altendorf Group since 2018. The company group has expanded its products with high-quality Hebrock edgebanding machinery and has secured its unique position as a competent trade partner for the future. Alterndorf was founded in 1906 and is a strong, globally renowned brand. Its must successful product is the F 45 circular saw, also known as “The Altendorf”, and is an international synonym for the circular saw product category. The Altendorf Group has subsidiaries in Australia, China, India and the USA. The company operates production facilities in Hüllhorst and Minden, Germany, and in Qinhuangdao, China. Altendorf employs more than 360 staff worldwide.