In June 2016, the Department of Occupational Medicine and Health Protection at BASF received the honorary award from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Arbeits- und Umweltmedizin (German Society of Occupational and Environmental Medicine – DGAUM). In presenting the award, DGAUM acknowledged 150 years of successful work in science and practice. Since 2012, the honorary award has been presented to persons or institutions for their special accomplishments in occupational and environmental medicine. DGAUM President, Prof. Dr. med. Hans Drexler, presented the award to the head of BASF's occupational medicine, Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Lang.
“The Occupational Medicine and Health Protection Department at BASF SE, which is also a teaching clinic for the University of Mainz School of Medicine, has used tremendous dedication to make a significant contribution to the further development of occupational medicine and the health of all employees over the past 150 years,” declares Professor Drexler in his laudatory speech. He adds that the department has enriched occupational medicine through a wide variety of scientific analyses and publications. “BASF occupational medicine focuses on a wide variety of topics with considerable excellence in their scientific work, as well as their operational practice: These range from occupational medical prevention and advice to health promotion and acute medical care to epidemiology and biological monitoring,” says Drexler. He adds, “BASF occupational medicine serves as a role model for occupational medical facilities in large-scale industry and for the occupational medical care for employees in small and medium-sized businesses.”
The History of Occupational Medicine at BASF Begins 150 Years Ago with Dr. Carl Knaps
The success story of the Occupational Medicine and Health Protection Department at BASF in Ludwigshafen begins in 1866, one year after the founding of BASF. At that time, the 43-year-old physician, Dr. Carl Knaps from Ludwigshafen was the first company physician at the “Badische Anilin- & Sodafabrik” and the first factory physician in the chemical industry in Germany. He represents the start of occupational medicine at BASF 150 years ago.
Today, the Occupational Medicine and Health Protection Department at BASF has the global responsibility for health-related issues within the company – with 150 employees, including 27 physicians in Ludwigshafen. The department and colleagues from all regions form a worldwide doctors' network.
The company's health promotion and prevention, the worldwide collaboration and current challenges, such as demographic change, are at the center of activities for BASF occupational physicians in 2016.