Occupational safety and mental stress caused by SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Project No. IPA 177




Assessment of the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the retail, industrial, financial, public transport and public service sectors. Based on this study, strategies could be derived to improve the approach of the accident insurance institutions in future pandemics and to reduce the exposure of employees in such an extreme situation.


The study is divided into two modules.

Module I:
Online survey of occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals in the respective workplaces on the actual realization of the SARS-CoV-2 OSH standards, the prevention measures that have been executed and the possible long-term consequences of the pandemic on pandemic plans and prevention measures in the workplaces.

Module II:
Online survey of employees from the mentioned sectors on the impact of the pandemic on their mental health during the lockdown in spring 2020 and in the current situation until today. This module includes questions on health, occupation, SARS-CoV-2-related prevention measures in the workplace, psychological strain and work-related stress, among others. For this purpose, validated instruments as well as a recently introduced COVID Stress Scale are used to assess fear of COVID-19 hazards and contamination. At the end, there is the opportunity for the employees to agree to be interviewed again at a later date. In this way, long-term effects of the pandemic on mental health can be studied.


Based on this study, strategies could be derived to improve the approach of the accident insurance institutions in comparable situations and to reduce the stress of employees in such an extreme situation. The study has been running since December 7th, 2020 and has been successfully launched. Participation is possible until at least the end of March 2021, an extension until mid-2021 is possible.

Last Update:



Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaft Handel und Warenlogistik (BGHW)
  • VBG (Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft)
  • Berufsgenossenschaft Rohstoffe und chemische Industrie (BG RCI)

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

mental stress factors, work-related health hazards


working environment (load, hazards, exposure, risks), stress, physical strain/stress

Description, key words:

SARS-CoV-2-Pandemic, occupational health and safety standards, mental stress