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Work Design in the Workplace

Research into humane work design

Workplace conditions are changing rapidly. New technologies and forms of work are being introduced, in some cases before any research is carried out into their possible impact on humans.

Man at an assembly work station © Uwe Völkner, Fotoagentur FOX

At the same time, known hazards at companies are often not addressed in the way theoretically permitted by current scientific knowledge and technology.

The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) aims to make substantial contributions to humane work design in the workplace. To this end, BAuA addresses topics whose relevance for safety and health at work has not been investigated in sufficient depth.
Examples include technologies, mental workload and biological and chemical hazards. BAuA conducts practice- and implementation-oriented activities, with a focus on the physiological and physical factors of work, as well as the working environment.

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Managing coronavirus in the workplace

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to pose challenges to workplaces and employees as regional and workplace infection outbreaks remain possible, requiring measures to prevent and contain workplace infection outbreaks. Here you will find BAuA's bundled information related to COVID19.

Find out more : Managing coronavirus in the workplace …

New Technologies and Forms of Work

Technical innovations and increasing digitalisation have an impact on every aspect of work: such as tasks and activities, equipment and interfaces, organisation and the working environment. Further research is needed in this area to ensure the design of healthy workplaces.

Find out more : New Technologies and Forms of Work …

Hazardous Substances

Hazardous substances are substances or mixtures that are potentially hazardous or harmful to humans or the environment. The aim of the tasks and measures realised by BAuA is to ensure the safe handling of chemicals and materials.

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Biological Agents

In Germany, over 5 million workers could potentially come into contact with biological agents in their workplaces. This can lead to the development of infections, allergies or toxic reactions.

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Employers are required to ensure that workplaces do not pose any risk to employed persons. BAuA's research makes an important contribution to determining these requirements and making them applicable at the practical level.

Find out more : Workplaces …

Physical Agents and Working Environment

Physical agents, such as noise or radiation, continue to represent significant occupational stress factors alongside badly designed aspects of the working environment, such as poor lighting or unfavourable climatic conditions in the workplace.

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Physical Workload

Physical workloads, for example due to unfavourable postures or heavy lifting and carrying, continue to present a health risk for workers. In order to assess this risk, BAuA is working to refine the key indicator methods.

Find out more : Physical Workload …

Working Time

The organisation of working time is one of the key questions in occupational safety and health. In the context of a changing working environment, enterprises and workers face new challenges as a result of the flexibilisation of working hours.

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Mental Workload

Nowadays, there is a lot of discussion regarding increasing mental load in the working environment. However, mental load is not automatically harmful, nor should it be equated with mental illness.

Find out more : Mental Workload …

Risk Assessment

The risk assessment is the key element of occupational safety and health (OSH). It provides a basis for the systematic and effective management of health and safety. Our English website on risk assessment is intended to serve as an introduction and overview. It also explains the structure of BAuA's information services on risk assessment. The full range of information is only available on our German website

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BAuA promotes the targeted transfer of good occupational safety and health practice to selected industries with a view to enabling businesses to make practical use of reliable design knowledge. These transfer activities centre around the care sector and the construction industry.

Find out more : Sectors …

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