Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft e.V. (GfA)
The GfA connects all German-speaking ergonomists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland and other countries. GfA sees itself as a research-society where science, practice and social developments are considered in an integrated manner. It provides scientifically sound studies to foster and steer the development of working-life and societal-life. The various stakeholders and organizations relevant to ergonomics are represented on the board of the society, so that work design can be successfully implemented.
Established: 16 October 1953
Approximate number of members: 516
Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft e.V.
Alte Heerstraße 111
53757 Sankt Augustin
Telefon: 0049 (0) 30 1300-13003
Overview of GfA activities
- The Spring-Congress is the major annual event and has about 400 participants. It gives the overall overview of the current status of ergonomics.
- The Autumn-Conference has about 120 Participants and provides a detailed view on a particular theme of interest in the community.
- Workshops on certain ergonomic topics are offered and a specific junior program for young members is established via the GfA-next network twice a year. Previous programs under this initiative included the following: Digital methods in education and training, Sociology of work New Work / hybrid societies, Digital human models, Cognitive Neuro-ergonomics / Psycho-ergonomics and Human-robot interaction.
Networking and collaborative initiatives include:
o GfA is a member of the Centre for Registration of European Ergonomists (CREE) which grants professional certification.
o GfA coordinates with other human-related societies in German-speaking countries and forms an overarching working-association with the PASIG (Psychology of Occupational Safety and Health), the DGPs (German Society for Psychology), and the DGAH (German Society for Occupational Hygiene). This working-association coordinates important topics for humane work design throughout Germany
Status of Human Factors/ Ergonomics (HFE) in the countries where the society is located
Virtually all practitioners and decision-makers who work on ergonomic topics in the German-speaking countries are organized via the GfA. The implementation of scientific findings into occupational practice via the society is correspondingly broad. Ergonomic topics cover the entire socio-technical system ranging from mental and physical stress in all possible forms of work, including topics such as home office and work-life balance in the context of the pandemic up to classic topics of work design in assembly and production such as muscular strain.
With its expertise, GfA supports the implementation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in Germany and, in addition, supports the establishment of ergonomic standards in supplier organizations on the global market through the European supply chain law and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The current challenges seen are to establish the approach of a humane work design consistently throughout all facets of human work. It is key for this to see work science proactively rather than reactively incorporated into the work design processes. In order to enhance health, safety and well-being for people proactively, the appropriate education with regard to ergonomic topics during the qualification processes is seen as a key success factor. Another vital topic is the connection of occupational science topics with the sustainability goals, pointing out that ergonomics will be a key enabler for achieving sustainability goals.
Upcoming GfA events
- Coming autumn 2022 – Digital Human Modelling and occupational safety – Leipzig: https://www.gesellschaft-fuer-arbeitswissenschaft.de/veranstaltungen_herbstkonferenzen-gesellschaft-fuer-arbeitswissenschaft-gfa.htm#anker_0
- Coming spring 2023 – Sustainability and Ergonomics – Hannover: https://www.gesellschaft-fuer-arbeitswissenschaft.de/