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How companies do psychosocial risk assessment

Project number: F 2358 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) / Kantar Deutschland GmbH Status: Ongoing Project Planned end: 2019-12-31


Both small and large companies are legally obliged to conduct a risk assessment. This must also take account of psychosocial factors. A research project that is to run for three years (2015-2017) will address the question of how companies approach this task in practice.

The project aims to achieve a nuanced description and understanding of the spectrum of approaches to conducting a risk assessment of psychosocial factors and the associated experiences in workplace practice (see BAuA R&D Programme 2014-2017, p. 14). The project will therefore create a qualitative, empirical information base that is to be added by a quantitative survey study in a follow-up project.

In specific, the research project encompasses three sub-projects:

  1. Sub-project F1 will seek to record and describe procedures and experiences relating to the risk assessment of mental load in approximately 50 companies using semi-standardised interviews and document analyses. In particular smaller companies (up to 50 employees), both from the services sector and from production, are to be represented in the sample.
  2. With the aim of developing empirically sound approaches to explaining selected findings from F1, sub-project F2 is to carry out more in-depth qualitative studies on selected questions in a selection of companies from F1.
  3. Finally, sub-project F3 will seek to develop and formulate proposals and recommendations for conducting a quantitative survey study. Depending on the results of F3, it is to be recommended that a survey study be carried out as a follow-up project if appropriate.

Through scientific publications, the results of the project are intended to contribute to the state of research in the topic area. They are also intended to offer an improved basis for deriving recommendations for implementing psychosocial risk assessment in workplace practice. The project's results will allow the BAuA to incorporate empirically sound knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of companies' action into the specialist policy debate surrounding requirements for the psychosocial risk assessment - for example within the framework of the GDA. Furthermore, mutual gains in knowledge and benefit will be sought by linking up the content and organisation of this research project with the BAuA's "Mental health in the world of work" research project.



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