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Division 3 Work and Health

Division 3 "Work and Health" deals with the interaction between physical, psychosocial, structural and organisational work demands and the employees' load, stress, health and work ability throughout their working life. The complex changes in work are associated with new load constellations that have not yet been adequately investigated. The aim is to identify new psychosocial health risks as well as resources to promote health and workability. Additional goals are further methodological developments in the areas of evidence-based occupational medicine and statistical methods as well as research into workplace interventions.

The contextual foci for the work of Division 3 lie in the two fields of action "Adapting working conditions to the needs of humans" and "Avoidance of work-related diseases - promotion of health and workability" of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) as defined in its research and development programme and its working programme for the years 2014 - 2017.

Field of Action: "Adapting working conditions to the needs of humans"

With regard to this field of action, research focuses on the topic of "Mental workload: stressors and resources" where questions in relation to work intensity and recovery as well as psychosocial risk assessment are addressed. Furthermore, in the topic area "Physical load, physical agents and working environment", work continues on the further development of methods for physical risk assessment - the "key indicator methods".

Field of Action: "Avoidance of work-related diseases - promotion of health and workability"

This field of action is covered by research and development activities of Division 3. Here, three lines of research are pursued:

Firstly, extensive research work is underway on the aetiology as well as the prevention of both cardiovascular diseases and musculoskeletal disorders. Various research approaches are used; this includes the incorporation of the health-data archive "Wismut".

Furthermore, the division carries out research on the topic of "Work, mental health and cognitive performance", which includes the investigation of the relation between work and mental health and of the development of cognitive performance, especially taking work-related resources into account.

A third focus addresses the topic area of "Corporate integration management", which is researched both in conjunction with "return-to-work research" and with regard to "vulnerable groups".

In addition to the two fields of action from the 2014 - 2017 research and development programme, Division 3 has leading tasks in the BAuA project "Mental health in the working world - determining the current state of scientific evidence".

To ensure the quality of results in occupational health research, Division 3 promotes the development of methods for evidence-based research in occupational health and further methodical developments of applicable statistical methods.

In addition to this, division 3 provides a transfer of scientific knowledge to the organisational and supra-organisational practical level and ensures an exchange of methods and contents regarding the topic "interventions".

The division manages the Committee for Occupational Medicine (AfAMed) at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and contributes with its scientific expertise to the work of the subcommittees. Furthermore, Division 3 provides both expert and management assistance to the Medical Expert Council for Occupational Diseases (ÄSVB) of the BMAS.

The division is an active participant in the cooperative project "Dimensional comparability of physical working conditions as covered in European monitoring questionnaires" of the European network of national OSH research institutes PEROSH (Partnership for European Research in Occupational Safety and Health).


PD Dr Luis Carlos Escobar Pinzon

Head of Division 3 Work and Health

apl. Prof. Dr Martin Schütte

Scientific Director Division 3 Work and Health

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