Healthy Working Environments

Work fields of the iso-Institutes - Current & completed projects

With regards of the profound change in the working environment, the following project deals with the question of how to maintain the health of employees in the long term considering the longer period of time they have to spend in the work life due to the extended retirement age. This question is of a great importance as employees represent both crucial company and social resources and fundamental individuals.

The work in this research area is based on a resource-oriented, salutogenetic understanding of health, according to which health promotion and protection at the working place are not solely limited to the prevention of possible stress and health risk factors but it goes further to the conception and maintenance of health resources at the workplace. Therefore health-promoting work and organisational design as well as new forms of participation are crucial to attain this goals. Workplace prevention is understood as a permanent and company-wide task that must be anchored in the company's strategy and supported by a culture of prevention. Demographic change, the promotion of work ability of older employees, the design of age-appropriate working conditions, the occupation of employees with poor health conditions and their integration into the work process are the heart of this work. The beneficiaries and stakeholders are employers, employees, employee representatives, company specialists and experts on health and safety at work.

Through empirical studies and design-oriented (model) projects, the iso-Institute develops practical instruments and procedures and creates aids for action with which concrete danger and stress areas in companies as well as operational shortcomings can be spotted. Moreover, our institute designs preventive concepts for company health policy.

The iso-Institute has a long tradition in conducting studies for the promotion and maintenance of health in the workplace for instance in the research work carried out in the 1970s as part of the "Humanisation of Working Life" programme. At that time, the focus was primarily on the physical stresses and health risks related to the Taylorism working world, but to date, psycho-social stresses and strains are at the core of the work. This is particularly due to the challenges that the working world has to face nowadays with new forms of work and new demands.

Current Projects

  • Evaluation of the 'Diagnostic Consultation in Nursing Homes through Mobile Geriatric Unit' (DIKOM)

    Project Duration: Dec 1, 2023 – Nov 30, 2026
    Evaluation des „Diagnostik-Konsil im Pflegeheim mittels Mobiler Geriatrie-Unit“ (DIKOM)

    The number of nursing home residents being admitted to hospitals for the assessment of their complaints is high, even though treatment within the nursing home itself could be possible. Hospital stays for this vulnerable group of individuals are particularly prone to complications and are costly. To counteract unnecessary hospital admissions, the project is testing on-site diagnostic assessments through a telemedically connected 'Mobile Geriatric Unit' (MGU). This unit is a vehicle equipped with diagnostic tools aligned with those found in an emergency room.

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  • Competence Centre for Labour Research: Shaping Transformation in the Saar-Pfalz Corridor of the Future - Value-Oriented Working and Learning in the Circular Economy (KOMATRA)

    Project Duration: 2023 – 2027
    Kompetenzzentrum Arbeitsforschung: Transformation im Zukunftskorridor Saar-Pfalz gestalten - Werteorientiertes Arbeiten und Lernen in der Kreislaufwirtschaft (KOMATRA)

    As part of the project, a centre of excellence for labour research is being established together with 14 industrial and research partners from Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate. The project is funded by the BMBF programme "Innovations for tomorrow's production, services and work" as part of the funding measure "Regional competence centres for labour research".

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  • Cross-Sectoral Deployment of Usual Care Workers for Dementia Patients (SEBDem)

    Project Duration: June 1, 2023 – May 31, 2026
    Sektorenübergreifender Einsatz gewohnter Betreuungskräfte für Demenzkranke (SEBDem)

    Dementia patients have a high demand for care, supervision and day structuring. The legislator has reacted to this need in SGB XI with the financing of care services. However, if dementia patients have to undergo a hospital stay and thus come under the legal regulation of SGB V, they cannot currently use care services.

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  • Virtual Working Design in a Structurally Weak Region (ViSAAR)

    Project Duration: May 2021 - July 2024
    Virtuelle Arbeitsgestaltung in einer strukturschwachen Region (ViSAAR)

    The Saarland is particularly affected by structural and demographic changes compared to the rest of Germany. Innovative and sustainable concepts are therefore crucially needed to improve and to increase the competitiveness and the attractiveness of this region as a business location. The focus here lies particularly on digitalisation and virtualisation of the working world as future-oriented structural change requires transferable solutions. To this end, for the individual applications of these new concepts in companies, human-centred and not purely technology-centred scenarios have to be developed and tested for their applicability.

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Completed Projects in Recent Years

  • Arbeiten 4.0 – Chancen und Herausforderungen in Luxemburg

    Laufzeit: Abgeschlossen 12/2017
    Arbeiten 4.0 – Chancen und Herausforderungen in Luxemburg

    Das Projekt „Arbeiten 4.0 – Chancen und Herausforderungen für Luxemburg“ ist eine Folgestudie des im November 2016 veröffentlichten Strategiepapiers „Die dritte industrielle Revolution in Luxemburg“ des US-amerikanischen Ökonomen Jeremy Rifkin und setzt sich mit den sozialen Komponenten des zukünftigen, ressourcenschonenden und digitalisierten Wirtschaftsmodells im Großherzogtum Luxemburg auseinander.

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  • Gute Schichtarbeit in gesunden Organisationen – wissenschaftliche Analysen und betriebliche Gestaltungsstrategien (GuSagO)

    Laufzeit: Abgeschlossen 06/2019
    Gute Schichtarbeit in gesunden Organisationen – wissenschaftliche Analysen und betriebliche Gestaltungsstrategien (GuSagO)

    Das im Rahmen der Initiative Neue Qualität der Arbeit (INQA) geförderte Vorhaben setzt an dem Problem vieler Unternehmen an, eine wachsende Zahl von meist älteren Beschäftigten mit Einschränkungen zur Leistung von Schichtarbeit adäquat einzusetzen. Je mehr Mitarbeiter nicht mehr für Schichtarbeit verfügbar sind, desto schwieriger wird der Ersatz durch (noch) „schichttaugliche“ Mitarbeiter, für die in der Konsequenz die Arbeitszeitbelastungen und gesundheitliche Risiken ansteigen. Hier liegt erheblicher Forschungs- und Gestaltungsbedarf. Der Ansatzpunkt des Projekts besteht darin, in diesem Feld anwendungsorientiertes Wissen zu generieren und zum Gegenstand von personalpolitischen Handlungsansätzen und Gestaltungsstrategien zu machen.

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  • Barrieren und Treiber betrieblicher Inklusion und Prävention im Gesundheitswesen

    Laufzeit: Abgeschlossen 03/2019
    Barrieren und Treiber betrieblicher Inklusion und Prävention im Gesundheitswesen

    Die Arbeitsbelastungen und der Fachkräftemangel im Gesundheitswesen sind hinlänglich bekannt. Dennoch hinken in diesem Bereich die Anstrengungen für Prävention, Inklusion und den Erhalt der Beschäftigungsfähigkeit im Vergleich zu großen Industriebetrieben hinterher. Heute erreicht nur jede zehnte Fachkraft der Gesundheitswirtschaft in ihrem Beruf das Renteneintrittsalter.

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