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Welcome to Nell-Breuning-Haus



The  Logo © NBH Nell-Breuning-Haus is an educational institution sponsored by KAB, CAJ and the Diocese of Aachen with the main focus on "Learning Place Work and Human Dignity". Among other things, various educational and project formats dealing with the improvement of working conditions are developed and implemented under this guiding principle.

In close cooperation with the  Logo © EZA European Centre for Workers' Questions (EZA) and with financial support from the European Union, the Nell-Breuning-Haus organises European conferences with a strong seminar character on the subject of work and health. The conference takes place in Herzogenrath in the city region of Aachen, Germany or in the city of another partner in the field of trade unions or employee organisations in the European Union (and its candidate countries).

Work takes up a large part of a person's lifetime. Health is probably the highest good in his life. In today's work-sharing societies, work (performance) is mainly remunerated by money (consideration). With this exchanged value - which, of course, is only defined as a number on a coin - people shape their lives, secure it and try to master it well and as healthy as possible.

The value of work is increasingly geared to the conditions of supply and demand in the markets for goods, services and jobs. In a globalised and competitive economy, the balance between pay and healthy jobs on the one hand and the need to make profits through cheaper products and services on the other has been in imbalance for many years.

Work consolidation and stagnating wages despite minimum wage laws, precarious and temporary employment relationships, disregard or lack of health protection in the workplace are therefore no longer isolated cases. Just and equal treatment of women and men in the workplace and in society has still not been achieved. The reconciliation of working time, leisure time and family life, the so-called work-leisure-balance, is becoming increasingly difficult for many people to organise. But even good and high incomes do not protect against this lack of compatibility and the ill effects of work.

These facets of work are discussed by trade unions, workers' organisations and other actors from many perspectives and with changing focal points. However, my colleagues and I personally are particularly concerned about psychological risks. Here it is recognized that the mental illnesses constantly rise - and nevertheless a certain helplessness within the range protection and prevention shows up. Studies by the WHO and the European Union emphasise a steady increase in mental illness in recent years. A relationship to work and the workplace is also established. Of course, the reasons cannot be found there alone. However, since work is a central cultural anchor for development and progress in a society, it has a lasting influence on people's lives and coexistence in general.

The level of development of good and healthy jobs varies widely across the countries of the European Union. For example, the countries that have joined the EU in the last 20 years have greater problems with this issue than the long-standing member states. Economic, social, political and legal progress is complicated and often rooted in the history of these countries.
On the other hand, in the long-standing member states of the European Union, the development of new, better health and safety measures is slower than the economic changes, despite high standards. And their control often reaches its limits.


The social partners are also jointly responsible for high occupational health and safety standards. Trade unions, charitable, ecclesiastical organisations and employers' and trade associations sit at the same table. In addition to the statutory provisions, supplementary and reviewing regulations are drawn up for collective bargaining agreements and works agreements. In the interaction between national legislation and European directives, social dialogue can be an important instrument for maintaining health.

Representatives of the social partners from the European Union have their say at the European events organised by the Nell-Breuning-Haus. They are accompanied by scientists, researchers and practitioners from medicine, psychology, sociology, economics, religion, politics, society and culture. The aim is to show the questions of why and how disease-causing factors on the one hand and health-preserving events in the workplace and through work on the other.

The aim is to provide recommendations for action for actors*in the social dialogue and for European policy. The central anchor of work is the health-preserving factor - salutogenesis - and ideas for a good work-leisure-balance in a rapidly changing (working) world with special attention to the digitization of all areas of work and life.

The course and results of the conferences with all presentations, radio features, texts, images, audio, video, sources and further information are also presented on DVD data carriers and will be published on the homepage Logo Work and Health © NBHWork and Health (as of July 2018). The conferences and the homepage are realized with financial support of the European Union.

I would like to conclude my preface with a quotation from Seminar 2017, which has constantly reminded, admonished and motivated me ever since:

"The digitization of the working world is an irreversible process. It would not be an option to demonise him. Rather, it must be designed. Since we are only at the beginning of this development, it is too early for irrefutable answers, but important questions and impulses must be introduced. We Christians are guided by the biblical message of the Kingdom of God and its promise of a life of human dignity, peace, solidarity and justice for all. This vision provides us with the criteria for our critical view of developments." (Dr. Manfred Böhm, Ebermannstadt)

Herzogenrath, August 2018
Rainer Rißmayer
Department Head of Nell Breuning Haus (NBH),
Main organisation of the conference series Work and Health

(Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator)



Learning Place Work and Human Dignity

Wiesenstrasse 17 | D-52134 Herzogenrath


eMail: rainer.rissmayer@nbh.de

Fon: +49 (0) 24 06-9558-18

Fax: +49 (0) 24 06-46 32

Web: www.nbh.kibac.de