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
The Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft (GfA) supports and fosters the topic of Human Factors and Ergonomics in Germany. It addresses various topics for a healthy, safe and efficient live- and working environment by means of interdisciplinary research and design. Thomas Alexander presented the main activities during the council meeting. Prof. Oliver Sträter (University Kassel) followed Prof. Klaus Bengler (Technical University Munich) as president of the GfA. Further members (Vize-Presidentes) of the board are Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Schmauder (University Dresden) and Prof. Uta Wilkens (Ruhr University Bochum). Chief exekutive officer is Prof. Dr. Rolf Ellegast (IFA St. Augustin). In 2021, the society organized the 67th annual spring congress as virtual event in Bochum, Germany, with nearly 400 attendees and presentations across the diverse domains of AI and KI. The society organized a smaller autumn conference in Friedrichshafen, 23-24 Sept. 2021, and the spring congress in Magdeburg, 02-04.03.2022. In addition, members of the society were involved in many other events about the future of work and safety. For young scientists GfA offers annually two workshops. 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 Humanrobot 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.