How the BFU works

Advice Promoting safety in Switzerland

Providing precise and sound advice on accident prevention is a central tenet of the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention BFU. It helps make life safer for all by using a comprehensive range of services to spread prevention knowledge throughout Switzerland.

At a glance

  • There are BFU safety delegates in over 1100 Swiss cities and municipalities.
  • The BFU has a team of specialists to provide advice on complex safety concerns.
  • The advisory services are designed to create a safe infrastructure.
  • Tailored advisory services are available to companies.
  • On behalf of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the BFU is the supervisory body for product safety in the non-occupational sector.

Network of 1200 safety delegates

The BFU unfortunately lacks the resources to offer one-to-one advice to all Swiss residents. This is why it publishes an extensive range of brochures on the bfu.ch website, providing answers to the most frequently asked questions about accident prevention.

In case this information is insufficient, the BFU has developed a unique advisory service in cities and municipalities: the over 1200 safety delegates who are active throughout the country and in all language regions. They are the direct line of contact between the BFU and the general public. Their trained eye can detect, for instance, whether the railings on a newbuild are high enough or whether there are any hidden dangers lurking in a playground.

Fewer accidents through safe systems

The BFU advisory services go even further – at the Berne headquarters, an interdisciplinary team of architects, engineers and other specialists deal with the more complex safety issues. Creating a safe infrastructure is the principal aim of their prevention work.

They support authorities on safety in traffic engineering, for instance. The chief aim here is to construct and design roads in Switzerland in such as way that they are self-explaining and forgive potential errors made by road users.

Operators of sports facilities can also take advantage of the advisory service – for instance when designing and operating a new mountain bike trail with safety in mind. The BFU also advises on safety in construction for public and private buildings.

Fewer workplace absences

The BFU takes its advisory services into the workplace by visiting companies and businesses throughout the country. Today, more employees suffer accidents in their leisure time than at work. In response, the BFU has compiled a tailored prevention information pack for businesses, with courses, presentations on specific topics and hand-out resources.

Fewer casualties through safe products

Safety first applies to products too. This is why the BFU works closely with standard-issuing bodies on all aspects of prevention. The bfu.ch website has useful tips on what to look out for when purchasing everyday products. On behalf of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the BFU acts as the supervisory body for product safety in the non-occupational sector. To this end, it carries out random checks on items such as charcoal barbecues, inflatable boats or mountaineering crampons.