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Psychosocial Safety Climate (PSC) - Advancement and validation of a tool to assess preparedness to protect workers' psychological health at the organisational level.
A BAuA contribution as WHO-CC

Project number: F 2401 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) / GESIS Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften Status: Completed Project


Psychosocial Safety Climate (PSC) is an innovative concept for the study of workplace stress. It was developed in Australia and reflects managers’ commitment to action that promotes their employees’ mental health. An organisation’s PSC is assessed with a questionnaire, which covers essential factors for the successful prevention of workplace stress. Until now, there has been no validated German version of the questionnaire available that took sufficient account of Germany’s linguistic and cultural environment or its background of occupational safety and health (OSH) policy.

Consequently, this project investigated whether the PSC questionnaire - developed in Australia - could also be applied in Germany. For this purpose, the questionnaire was first translated into German in consultation with OSH experts. Subsequently, in-depth interviews with employees were carried out. These interviews were used to explore whether the questions could be understood and are also interpreted as intended within the PSC framework. This process saw some parts of the original questionnaire adapted to make them more comprehensible to German-speaking employees.

A sample of almost 1,800 employees was then surveyed to investigate whether the German version of the questionnaire created in this way delivers results in Germany comparable to those reached with the English version in Australia. The findings show that the adapted PSC tool could be reliably used in Germany. It is conceivable for the questionnaire to be deployed for the regular observation of working conditions at the sectoral or federal state level, or as a component of the psychosocial risk assessment that organisations have to carry out. The number of enquiries from academics and practitioners indicates there is already a great deal of interest in using the PSC approach in Germany.

This project was conducted by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) in its capacity as one of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centres (CCs) for Occupational Health, and has enabled Germany to join international research in this field. At the same time, the project’s results will be important in stimulating future research on PSC in Germany.



Division 3 "Work and Health"

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