There is a growing concern in the EU about psychosocial risks (in particular work-related stress and harassment/bullying at work), and the management of psychosocial risks should be included in the organisations' general risk management which is among employers´ responsibilities as stipulated in the EU Framework on health at safety at work (Directive 89/391/EEC), However, according to current knowledge, the implementation of psychosocial risk management in the workplace is deficient.
European surveys, in particular the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER) have seen Germany as ranking low when comparing stress management practices in European establishments. This raises the question of whether this ranking depicts an accurate picture of reality or whether it is due to differences in the understanding of basic concepts, differences in occupational health and safety practices or different framework conditions. Our research project will make a contribution to illuminate and potentially explain the documented European disparities and aims to provide fresh impetus for the management of psychosocial risks in Germany. In addition, it shall add to an exchange of experiences in Europe including benchmarking. For this purpose, a qualitative research design was chosen. Qualitative company case studies involving expert interviews and documentary analysis will be conducted in four countries. Three establishments will be investigated per country. The case studies will focus on the preconditions for successful implementation of psychosocial risk management and on the outcomes that were achieved (analysis of structures, processes and results). The study will draw on the views and judgements of the actors responsible for psychosocial risk management (psr) - in particular as regards the initiation and the implementation of psr in the workplace. When designing and analysing the investigations in the workplace, the relevant political, legal and socio-economic context of the respective countries will be considered. The company case studies in the respective countries will be pooled to a consolidated report. The results of the research project will be integrated into BAuA's long-term research line on psychosocial risks at work.
Unit 3.2 "Mental Workload and Mental Health"