As has become apparent in the course of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, it is necessary to link together infection control, occupational safety and health, and economic activities in such a way that a functioning compromise is reached between their different objectives, guaranteeing employees’ safety and health while ensuring they are able to carry on working. With this aim in view, BAuA wishes to contribute to the further development of occupational safety and health and infection control. It also hopes to bring the results of its work to bear on the EU's new occupational safety and health strategy, which will, among other things, prioritise the "lessons learned" from the pandemic.
The new focus programme on The Infection Control/OSH Interface is not just intended to learn lessons from the current pandemic. Rather, over the medium term it will also develop solutions for the handling of other, new biological agents or mutations of known pathogens that may emerge (e.g. anchoring them in pandemic planning), so that society will be better prepared in future.
The first step taken by BAuA was to initiate several research projects with the aim of rapidly gathering information about organisations' responses to the pandemic and the general work-related health risks connected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thus contributing to the development of efficient options for the action taken by organisations to deal with these challenges. Further research is to identify risk hotspots, evaluate the effectiveness of infection control measures at work, and promote the integration of infection control into workplace occupational safety and health.
BAuA will collaborate with the Robert Koch Institute (Robert Koch-Institut, RKI), the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte, BfArM), the Paul Ehrlich Institute (Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, PEI), and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, BfR), to reflect on the results achieved to date, coordinate research activities, and share experiences of successful communication strategies.
Ongoing research projects