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Research on corona in the world of work

It has been possible for various findings to be reached about the occupational safety and health (OSH) and infection control measures taken by organisations during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA) has specifically investigated the implementation of such measures in workplaces. The results are brought together in this section.

BAuA has conducted a range of projects monitoring OSH and infection control activities during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Overall, it is apparent not only that most organisations have taken comprehensive OSH and infection control measures, but in particular that the collaboration seen between all the actors on the ground has done a great deal to help society cope with the challenges thrown up by the pandemic. Apart from this, the results point to job-specific differences in infection risk and the implementation of protective measures.

 The experience acquired can help ensure OSH approaches continue to be effective in a changing world of work and organisations are prepared for future crises. The evolution of working life is to be analysed, as well as the medium and long-term impacts of the pandemic. Research is also to be carried out into the changes that have been initiated in order to derive further recommendations for approaches to work design. BAuA is collaborating closely with partners in the academic community and OSH practitioners to address these questions.

 The experience of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic should in particular be drawn on to further develop workplace OSH interventions. For instance, lessons learned from BAuA’s research fed into the position paper recently published by the Council of the Working World (Rat der Arbeitswelt). This position paper, which was prepared jointly by the Institute for Employment Research (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, IAB) and BAuA, highlights current challenges and formulates design recommendations for workplaces as social loci in the period after the pandemic.

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