SiTra4_0 (BMBF, 2017-2020)


Sustainable Safety Culture as a Transformation Approach for Industry 4.0 in SME

The digitalization challenges the borders between branches and companies, as well as within companies themselves. These borders are replaced by situational relationships that are repealed just as quickly as they have been created.

Unsurprisingly the working world takes on the shape of a network - meaning, primarily, the way people work together and yield common appreciation. The more demanding the tasks the more refined the tools must be in order to handle them.

Innovation can be achieved, as is commonly known, through the improvement of processes – or the way that people cooperate with each other. Humans differ from machines especially because of their supposed weaknesses. Humans are irrational, playful, emotional and unpredictable. This makes us creative and enables us to see things from different perspectives. The more machines exist in a company the more human abilities are sought-after.

A successful implementation of a safety culture 4.0 can only be achieved throughout the general department and hierarchy levels. A safety culture should not only be characterized by a positive return on investment but also express itself in work-related tasks and processes that are safe and conducive to innovation as well as a “Digital Safety Culture”.

Approaches to digitalization in economics focus on technical aspects. SiTra4.0 extends this perspective through the development of a transformation concept for the establishment of a preventive and participative compiled and lived safety culture concept, as a relevant factor of success for the implementation of Industry 4.0 in SME.



  • Westaflexwerk GmbH
  • CBM Gesellschaft für Consulting Business und Management mbH
  • Forschungsinstitut für Rationalisierung e.V. an der RWTH Aachen
  • Chair of Communication Science, Human-Computer Interaction Center, RWTH Aachen University