Numerous studies at KIT prove that high frequency mechanical impact (HFMI) treatment is an efficient method for increasing the fatigue strength of welded steel structures. Within different research projects it was found that HFMI-methods can be used successfully for new and existing structures in order to extend the fatigue life. This paper gives an overview of the current status of existing steel bridges in Germany regarding aspects like bridge age distributions and traffic loads. Based on that overview welded joints susceptible to fatigue failure are identified. Using component-like small scale specimens, HFMI-methods were investigated within the objective of implementing an effective application for new and existing structures. Applying the fatigue test data observed, existing design proposals are evaluated and design recommendations for HFMI-treated joints are given. As a result of the research work, a transfer into practice has been realized and different applications are illustrated using the example of bridge constructions made of steel.