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WHO-CC - WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health

As "WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health", the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health supports the World Health Organization (WHO) in improving safety and health at work.

In various resolutions, programs and action plans, WHO has set the goal of ensuring the health and well-being of workers worldwide. WHO aims to achieve these goals through various means, such as

  • prevention of occupational risks
  • protection and strengthening of health at work,
  • improving working conditions,
  • coordinating occupational health with public health

The WHO Collaborating Centres for Occupational Health, which share the same commitment to improving occupational health worldwide, support WHO with their expertise.

What is the World Health Organization?

The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Geneva. It was founded on 7 April 1948 and currently has 194 member states (as of February 2022). As the coordinating organization of the United Nations for international public health, its goal is "the best possible health for all". WHO's main task is to combat diseases, with a special focus on infectious diseases, and to promote public health across the world. To this end, it develops guidelines, standards and methods in various health-related areas. WHO currently employs more than 7000 people worldwide in 149 country offices, 6 regional offices and its headquarters in Geneva.

What are the WHO Collaborating Centres?

WHO Collaborating Centres (WHO-CC) are institutions, such as research institutes or university institutes, appointed by the Director-General to support WHO in achieving its objectives. Currently, there are more than 800 WHO Collaborating Centres in more than 80 WHO member states.
WHO designates institutions as WHO-CC for a period of up to four years. They carry out specific activities at the request of WHO. These include, for example, research activities, transfer services, campaigns, joint events or the preparation of guidelines. These activities are agreed upon in a work plan. WHO maintains close contact with the WHO-CCs and supports them in implementing the activities. The WHO decides on a redesignation as WHO-CC depending on the fulfillment of the work plan.

In the field of occupational health, there are currently 30 WHO-CCs (as of February 2022), seven of which are located in Europe. In Germany, BAuA is the only WHO-CC in this area. Since 1992, representatives of these institutions have met regularly at intervals of two to three years. The last meeting was held in Dublin, Ireland, in April 2018. The next meeting is planned for 2023 in Dortmund, Germany.

In addition to the WHO-CCs, important partners of the WHO in the field of occupational health are

  • the International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • the International Commission of Occupational Health (ICOH),
  • the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) and
  • the International Ergonomics Association (IEA).

BAuA's Contribution as WHO-CC

BAuA's predecessor, the Central Institute for Occupational Medicine (ZAM) in the GDR, was already a WHO-CC, designated in January 1976 for the first time. In December 2021, WHO redesignated BAuA as WHO-CC for another 4 years. It cooperates with other WHO-CCs worldwide and fulfills its commitment according to the 2021-2025 work plan with the following activities

  • Develop a guide on decent work organization in healthcare facilities.
  • Develop factsheets on Return to Work after mental disorders
  • Prepare an interactive tool for the risk assessment of physical workload
  • Support collaboration among WHO CCs for OSH in the European region

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