Chemicals and Biological Agents

Chemicals and biological agents can pose risks in the workplace. The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz and Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA) coordinates the Germany-wide implementation of the EU’s chemicals regulations and directives on hazardous substances and biological agents in the workplace. We also do research into questions about the safe use of chemicals and biological agents, thus helping to sustainably protect humans and the environment.

Chemist examines sample with a microscope
© Uwe Völkner | Fotoagentur FOX

Our work is dedicated to ensuring chemicals and materials are safe to use.

In an ideal scenario, this can be achieved by good design: a low-dust industrial material is, for example, safer than a material that releases dusts, which then enter employees’ lungs through inhalation. But substituting one substance for another is also helpful if companies replace hazardous chemicals with harmless alternatives. BAuA is home to The Federal Office for Chemicals (Bundesstelle für Chemikalien, BfC). Its duties include the implementation of the European Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and the Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) in Germany. We collaborate on chemical safety with many European organisations, advise policymakers, and provide practical knowledge.

Biological agents include microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that can endanger human health. They pose a risk at work, for example in laboratories, the healthcare sector, or the waste management industry. The pandemic has shwon how many employees can be infected while carrying out activities of all kinds. BAuA is engaged in intensive research into these problems. Our scientists develop methods for the measurement of biological agents, conduct field research, and investigate infection risks. The objective is to enable organisations to assess risks more accurately and implement suitable protective measures.


Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Information Centre
Postbox 17 02 02
D-44061 Dortmund

Phone: +49 231 9071-1971
Fax: +49 231 9071-2070

Contact form

Didn't find the topics you were looking for?