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Abschnitt 7 BGI/GUV-I 506 E, VII. A look back - where we hav...
Abschnitt 7 BGI/GUV-I 506 E
In good hands. Your Statutory Accident Insurance Functions, services and organization (BGI/GUV-I 506 E)
Titel: In good hands. Your Statutory Accident Insurance Functions, services and organization (BGI/GUV-I 506 E)
Normgeber: Bund
Amtliche Abkürzung: BGI/GUV-I 506 E
Gliederungs-Nr.: [keine Angabe]
Normtyp: Satzung

Abschnitt 7 BGI/GUV-I 506 E – VII. A look back - where we have come from

Unlikely though it may sound, the statutory accident insurance system is one of the oldest branches of the German social insurance system. Like many social achievements, it too was the work of the former German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

At the end of the 19th century, Bismarck ordered that a comprehensive body of social legislation be created. In the industrial society which was developing apace, blue-collar and white-collar workers alike were to be insured against sickness, old age and occupational accidents.

The resulting comprehensive new body of social insurance was copied around the globe. The Accident Insurance Code adopted on 6 July 1884 was a cornerstone of this system. This legislation was the first of its kind worldwide, and marked a sea change: previously, employees had had to claim compensation for an occupational accident or disease directly from their employer - often a hopeless undertaking, since fault on the part of the employer had to be proved. Since this historic change, it has been possible in the event an occupational accident or disease to make a claim to the statutory occupational accident insurance institutions, who absolve the individual employer of liability. This mechanism is also in the interest of industrial peace.

From the outset, the prevention of accidents was a function of the statutory accident insurance institutions. Preventive measures and rehabilitation could thus be combined effectively. This combination was and remains a key condition for the success of the accident insurance system.

In 1971, school and nursery-school children and students were also brought under the protection of the statutory accident insurance system. In 1995, they were followed - in conjunction with the newly introduced nursing care insurance - by statutory accident insurance for domestic carers, and in 1997 by children in crches and after-school care centres.

In 1996, the provisions of the German Social Insurance Code governing accident insurance were replaced by Volume VII of the new German Social Code (SGB VII). The Social Code brought the functions of the statutory accident insurance institutions up to date and placed them on a new legal footing.