Initial results of the DEKRA Occupational Safety Report 2018/2019

Employers fail to acknowledge work-related stress

Oct 19, 2018

The majority of medium-sized companies in Germany ignore the legal regulations on stress and burnout prevention. The psychological risk assessment required by the German occupational health and safety regulation to prevent stress-related illnesses and breakdowns is carried out only in about four out of ten companies (41 percent). This is the initial result from the DEKRA Occupational Safety Report 2018/2019 that will be published at the end of 2018.

  • Approximately 60 percent of SMEs ignore the legal regulations
  • Modern solutions sought for pathogenic stress
  • DEKRA at the “Arbeitsschutz Aktuell” Safety Trade Fair in Stuttgart
For the study, DEKRA commissioned the forsa Institute to survey a total of 300 randomly selected decision-makers in human resources or occupational safety of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs with 10 to under 500 employees). An essential subject of the representative study is the risk assessment that constitutes the central element of German occupational safety and health legislation.
Since 2013, the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to assess the psychological risks of employees in the workplace systematically. If necessary, the employer must take action against pathogenic stress in the workplace. Private and work-related psychological stress contributes significantly to burnout or musculoskeletal disorders and thus to absenteeism and poor quality.
“The results of the survey show that even after five years, many SMEs still do not know how to handle the issue,” says Dr. Karin Müller, Head of People & Health at DEKRA. “There are solutions for carrying out the psychological risk assessment according to the law and effectively. Procedures are required to show how the workforce is really doing and which stress actually causes illness.”
Absenteeism due to psychological stress is increasing nationwide. According to the Absenteeism Report by the AOK health insurance company for 2018, the frequency of sick leave due to mental illness increased by 67.5 percent between 2007 and 2017. In addition, these illnesses result in particularly long absences. With an average of 26 sick days per medical authorization, in 2017 these absences lasted more than twice as long as an average sick leave.
DEKRA will be presenting a comprehensive portfolio of solutions for occupational safety, occupational health management, and occupational health care at the “Arbeitsschutz Aktuell” trade fair in Stuttgart from October 23 to 25, 2018. Hall 1, Stand I1.065