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(Effective) occupational safety and health structures in the digital world. Analysis of the current situation and forecast options

Project number: F 2411 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) / Dortmunder Forschungsbüro für Arbeit, Prävention und Politik, Witten Status: Completed Project


The traditional structure of the workplace dissolves at an accelerating rate going along with increasing digitalisation. New forms of work and organisations are ever leading to changes of work demands. This in turn causes a shifting understanding of OSH roles and of new requirements as regards OSH structures and processes.

Against this background the following questions emerge: Do the existing institutional OSH structures determined by occupational safety experts, company doctors and the supervision structures on the state and BG level still meet the employees' OSH needs - or do they require major revision and reforms? What skills, tools and strategies do the OSH-actors need and in how far does their perspective need adaptation with respect to digitisation?

In our project, we will explore these questions comprehensively applying methods of qualitative social research. The range of models for dealing with digitised forms of work in organisational practice and in the cooperation of inter-company OSH stakeholders will be fully described from the perspectives of intra- and inter-workplace OSH experts, employers and employees. On this basis, hypotheses will be derived as to the factors promoting and impeding interventions in the context of digitised forms of work. These hypotheses will possibly be tested in an applied follow-up project. In the follow-up project the central question will be how successful cooperation between all relevant stakeholders might be organised. It will be tested, how OSH can be organised using participatory techniques that enable space for negotiation processes applying modern concepts for the humane organisation of work.

Group 1.4 has a research focus on promoting and impeding factors for occupational safety interventions, based on the core question how and why organisational contexts influence the effects of such interventions. The project at hand is part of a project bundle concerning the implementation status and the effects of OSH structures and strategies (see F 2342, F 2388, Wirkungsforschung in the context of the GDA evaluation).


Unit 1.5 "OSH Structures and Strategies, General Office of the National OSH Conference"

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