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Focus Programme: Occupational Safety & Health in the Digital World of Work

Chances and risks of digitalisation for a human-centred work design

Artificial intelligence, big data, mobile work, industry 4.0 - the world of work is undergoing a change towards digitalisation. With its interdisciplinary focus programme, BAuA is contributing to a human-centred design which addresses these changes.

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Digitalisation is no new phenomena: for several decades, digitalisation has been shaping our increasingly connected world and is affecting more and more areas of life. In recent years, however, technological change has disrupted the world of work to such an extent that a significant change in work itself is becoming evident. On the one hand, this concerns specific technologies, such as robots which work together with humans, artificial intelligence (AI) and the use of complex mass data (Big Data). On the other hand, the new technologies also favour developments such as flexibility, mobility and permanent availability - with consequences for the physical and mental health of employees.

In an overarching research focus, BAuA is contributing actively to the key questions that surround the configuration of future working environments. The human-centred design of work is consistently taken into account: the risks for employees as well as new scope for action are both considered equally. The additional requirements resulting from digitalisation for occupational health and safety within companies, but also across companies, will also be analysed.

Aims of the focus programme:

  • Initiation of an in-depth scientific and political discourse on safety and health in the digital world of work
  • Systematic consolidation of the existing research results
  • Development of a cross-departmental and cross action field programme for the future research of BAuA

The focus programme consists of three components:

  1. Systematic data monitoring of technological change and its impact on working conditions (Monitoring the digital world of work)
  2. Task-specific analysis of the effects of digital change and the development of human-centred guiding principles for working in a digital world of work
    (Tasks in times of digital change)
  3. Systematisation of (new) requirements for technical and organisational occupational safety (OSH systems in the digital world of work)

Publications

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Monitoring the digital world of work

The public debate on the consequences of digitalisation for safety and health at work reveals various aspirations and fears. Our research has the objective of providing facts to make the discourse on the topic more objective.

Find out more : Monitoring the digital world of work …

Tasks in times of digital change

Is digitalisation rendering human beings dispensable at work? This seems unlikely; but the tasks performed by people will change.

Find out more : Tasks in times of digital change …

OSH systems in the digital world of work

Digitalisation poses a challenge for occupational safety and health (OSH): location- and time-flexible working is making working processes more opaque. Work processes are increasingly determined by digital technologies, making occupational safety and health more dynamic and complex.

Find out more : OSH systems in the digital world of work …

Publications

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