The International Research Chair in Comparative Studies on Occupational Health – CIECST


The International Research Chair in Comparative Studies on Occupational Health (CIECST) provides a framework for research and exchange for researchers and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and influences in occupational health. The key word is “comparison”: comparison of systems, cultures, disciplines, research, and practice. The aim is also to link research to citizens. The CIECST promotes a guideline for ethical awareness in occupational health.

Ethics is a common denominator for the different fields of influence of occupational health at the intersection of public health, environment, economic logics and work organisation. The ultimate goal of the CIECST is to build and transmit knowledge on occupational health in the form of a platform that brings together researchers of different generations, backgrounds and disciplines, as well as research and the stakeholders who are in charge of the decision-making and action processes.

The creation of the CIECST origins in the willingness of bringing together teams from the Bordeaux campus and the New Aquitaine region in France working on occupational health, comparative labour law and the synergy of disciplines within the Centre for Comparative Labour and Social Security Law (COMPTRASEC UMR 5114 CNRS-University of Bordeaux). The creation of the CIECST is also the result of the national and international network that has been developed, of the interactions implemented between research and stakeholders from the economic and social world in order to promote collective and interdisciplinary work on occupational health.

- Main objective

The main objective of the CIECST is to place the issue of occupational health in the context of international comparison and collaboration beyond the events organised for this purpose, which are limited to a very short period of time. To that end, the CIECST provides a framework for research and exchange for researchers and stakeholders from different national, cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. This framework allows to take the time to work together.

An incubator for research projects, publications and international and multidisciplinary expertise. 

Creating a common space for researchers, actors and stakeholders on occupational health issues should foster collaborative projects. 

The hosting of researchers from various disciplines and nationalities is an opportunity to support expertise on specific subjects which will be published on the website in the form of working papers and position papers, but also to make possible a space for exchanges between researchers and stakeholders. These meetings and discussions are likely to encourage comparisons and partnerships for scientific publications (between researchers from different disciplines and/or between researchers from different nationalities), but also for responses to national, European and international calls for research projects.

- The spirit of CIECST

The spirit of CIECST is to create the conditions for high-quality theoretical and practical exchanges on occupational health issues in order to advance research and society on these questions.

Faced with the growing recognition of occupational health issues, various disciplines have taken up the subject (law, occupational psychology, health psychology, ergonomics, occupational medicine, management sciences, information and communication sciences, health, safety and environment, occupational sociology, political sciences, epidemiology, economics, educational sciences, etc.). The current state of research shows multiple scientific productions on the subject, that is leading nowadays to a cross-fertilization of the field, due to the complementarity of the approaches. If interdisciplinarity cannot be decreed, it is on the other hand a consequence in the conduct of the reflections that are carried out, which can lead to original, rich and integrated thinking that would not have been possible with a mono-disciplinary approach and the development of research in silos. The reflections carried out will also be confronted with the work and socio-economic actors invited to debate and exchange with the aim of exchanging perspectives and mutual enrichment.

The consideration of occupational health issues is stimulated by the aim of reaching a global, collective and organisational performance objective which requires content and an enrichment of knowledge to better understand the system in which we evolve. Furthermore, the financial costs associated with this, although underestimated, are significant, both for the economic community and for society. The diversity of the fields and domains concerned, their close interrelationship and the need to establish a dialogue between them are clearly apparent in the area of risk factors (work characteristics) and their repercussions (individual symptoms, organisational dysfunctions). Occupational health and risk prevention policies are becoming indicators of the well-being and effectiveness of social policies operating in a complex environment.

An ethical approach to occupational health justifies the action of actors in the working and socio-economic worlds, but also their commitment at individual and collective levels. Awakening to the issues surrounding ethics leads current and future economic and political stakeholders to better understand the world of work in which they will evolve by giving meaning to their decisions and responsibilities.

Based on the reflections carried out, the objective is to provide the materials necessary for research, for the actors of the world of work, for the legislator and for the competent authorities to improve health at work thanks to a better understanding of the notions and concepts, of the evolution of work and of the stakes. The aim is to broaden the vision, the bases and the boundaries so as to consider a new ethics of prevention, work organisations and economic logics integrating workers’ health in their construction and implementation.

- Exchanging with actors from the socio-economic and working world

The cross-fertilisation of exchanges with actors from the socio-economic and working world is essential in terms of occupational health issues. Exchanges of knowledge, perspectives and types of practices considerably enrich the reflections and research conducted within the CIECST. Actors and stakeholders are thus invited to come and exchange directly with researchers during research visits and at events organised by the Research Chair. This cross-fertilisation is mutually enriching and allows the debates to move forward, to acculturate each other by drawing on other or new perspectives in occupational health and safety in order to enrich practices as well as to bring reality to the research.

- Organisation of events and meetings

Various events, of different dimensions, are organised by the CIECST

  • Annual international conference with publication of the proceedings

An international conference on a topical issue in occupational health and safety is organised each year. Lasting one or two days, the aim is always to encourage cross-fertilisation, meetings and exchanges between scientists, but also with players from the socio-economic and labour world.
Researchers on research stay, researchers from the Bordeaux campus, and invited researchers are invited to participate (interventions and workshops). The debates are conducted in French and English. The aim is also to regularly publish work in the form of articles in scientific journals, collective works, or working and position papers.

  • Research seminars 

The operation of the CIECST is marked by the organisation of research seminars resulting from the associated research projects or at the request of a team member to which guest researchers, young researchers and confirmed researchers from the Research Centres on the Bordeaux campus will be invited (those who are partners in the project and beyond, i.e. all those who are interested in the subject dealt with). Actors and stakeholders who so request may also participate.
The speaker is a scientific personality chosen among the hosted researchers, but also invited from outside depending on the chosen subject and the training needs of the teams involved in the project on the Bordeaux campus. Simultaneous translation can be arranged on request.

  • Public events 

The link with socio-economic and labour actors is essential, but the link with society and its citizens is just as important. For this reason and in order to build this link, Citizens’ Cafés or Public conferences are organised on subjects dealt with by the CIECST. The guest speaker will be a researcher from a research residency and a member of the project’s partner laboratories. Partnerships to organise debates around theatre plays or film festivals are also on the agenda.

Host of the Research Chair

Loïc Lerouge

Research Director at the CNRS

Loïc Lerouge is Research Director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), member of the Centre for Comparative Labour and Social Security Law (COMPTRASEC, UMR 5114 CNRS-Université de Bordeaux), and a specialist in occupational health. He holds a PhD in private law from the University of Nantes (2004) on the subject of “The recognition of a right to the protection of mental health at work” and the “Habilitation to conduct research” from the University of Bordeaux (2014). Author of numerous articles and scientific conferences, his research consists in studying how the law tackles occupational health issues under a comparative approach of legal systems. In order to enrich his research, he organises a dialogue with other disciplines and with stakeholders. His current research is characterised by the objective of a better understanding of the environment in which health and work are embedded, with an emphasis on a holistic and ethical approach to occupational health.


Research Projects Officer

Nushaba Baghirova

Research Engineer

Nushaba Baghirova is a researcher in social sciences and humanities. She manages research projects at the Centre for Comparative Labour and Social Security Law (COMPTRASEC) at the University of Bordeaux. She is in charge of the administrative and financial management as well as scientific and methodological support to the projects developed by the Chair. Ms. Baghirova holds a PhD in History of International Relations from the University of Strasbourg and has taught at French universities such as the University of Haute-Alsace and the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3. She has also been involved in the administrative side of research, first as a support and reception officer for international researchers at the University of Strasbourg’s Research Directorate, then as Jean Monnet Chair project manager at Sciences Po Strasbourg.