The Corona Pandemic is a major challenge for companies for more than a year. In order to continue business and reduce the risk of an infection from SARS-CoV-2, companies had to take extensive occupational safety and health (OSH) measures as well as infection protection measures.
In April 2020, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), together with social partners, the federal OSH authorities and the statutory accident insurance, published the SARS-CoV-2 occupational health and safety standard as a minimum requirement in OHS. In August 2020, this standard has been underpinned by the SARS-CoV-2 OSH rule, compiled by OSH committees at the BMAS under the coordination of Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. As a result, technical, organizational and personnel measures specify the “AHA+L” principle for OSH. In addition, the individual federal states have regulations in place with varying requirements, and a range of institution have published regulations, guidelines and additional informations.
This report provides insights into how comprehensible, practical and effective these regulations and recommendations were for companies, focusing on the period from the beginning of the pandemic in Europe to the end of the survey in November 2020. It also provides information on which OSH and infection protection measures have been implemented. The aim was to identify good practice in order to derive evidence based recommendations for action and to be able to improve the SARS-CoV-2 regulation if necessary.
The project results were based on a large, non-representative online survey of OSH experts (n = 724) and telephone interviews (n = 43). The results were discussed in more detail in four focus groups.
The findings evince, that the companies implemented a large number of measures of the SARS-CoV-2 occupational health and safety standard and typically took a greater bundle of measures. However, for some areas of measures, like psychological stress, there is a need for catching up.
Correlations of the level of knowledge of the persons entrusted with the derivation and implementation of the measures and their effectivity revealed important approaches for the promotion of the implementation of measures, e. g. to ensure the participation of managers and employees. The findings also show conducive and inhibiting factors in dealing with the corona pandemic and which examples of good practice can be used for recommendations for action plans.
Please download the complete report "Evaluation of occupational health and safety measures during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic" (in German only).
C. Eickholt, R. Trimpop, A. Winkelmann, M. Templer, W. Hamacher, L. Schmitz:
Evaluation von SARS-CoV-2 Arbeits- und Infektionsschutzmaßnahmen: Befragung von Arbeitsschutzexpertinnen und -experten.
1. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2021. pages 213, Project number: F 2513, PDF file, DOI: 10.21934/baua:bericht20210722