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Divisions and Laboratories

Studies and research are conducted in 6 divisions and 21 laboratories of the Lorraine Centre in a wide variety of areas covering almost all occupational risks, from toxic risks to physical and psychosocial risks. These activities are conducted by researchers, engineers, physicians, technicians, chemists, toxicologists, ergonomists, etc.

1. Pollutants metrology division

The Pollutants metrology division develops methods for assessing and characterising occupational exposures that take place by inhalation and by contact with the skin. It proposes methods for sampling and analysing gaseous pollutants, particulate semi-volatile aerosols, including nanoparticles, and microbiological aerosols. It identifies the sectors of activity and/or the trades in which it is necessary to take actions for preventing chemical and biological risks. For that purpose it uses for example the data collected in the COLCHIC and SCOLA databases.


  • Organic analytical chemistry
  • Chemical risk characterisation
  • Inorganic analysis and aerosol characterisation 
  • Aerosol metrology

2. Process engineering division

This division seeks, studies and promotes prevention solutions in response to problems of exposure to chemical or biological pollutants, or to heat. It seeks the most appropriate solution by analysing the process causing the occupational exposure problem and by giving priority to emission reduction at source.


  • Temporal and spatial analysis of chemical exposure
  • Aerodynamics engineering
  • Processes and air cleaning treatment

3. Toxicology and biometrology division

This division does applied research in toxicology, in the field of assessment of risks related to exposure to pollutants in the occupational environment. The two focuses for the research work are firstly biological monitoring of exposure and of the consequences of exposure in humans in working situations, and secondly measurement of the toxic effects on experimental systems.


  • Biometrology
  • Atmosphere generation and toxicological analytical chemistry
  • Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis and reprotoxicity 
  • Sensitisation, allergies and clinical biology
  • Cutaneous penetration, kinetics and metabolism
  • Ototoxicity and neurotoxicity

4. Work equipment engineering division

This division develops engineering for preventing the mechanical and physical risks related to work equipment.

Stationary or mobile machinery, plants, vehicles, handheld machinery, tools, etc. all lie within the division’s scope of action, as do safety components, premises (workshops, offices, etc.), and personal and collective protective equipment.

In addition to being a source of accident risks, work equipment can give off noise, vibration, and optical or electromagnetic radiation that can cause occupational diseases. The division aims to improve, if possible as of the design stage, all protective equipment and devices used in working life.


  • Occupational acoustics
  • Electromagnetism – Vibration - Optics
  • Design – Protective Equipment – Human-Machine Interfaces
  • Safety of work equipment and automated systems

5. Working life division

This division conducts scientific activities aimed at improving working conditions by producing and transferring knowledge, approaches, methods, and tools resulting from research, and intended for stakeholders in occupational risk prevention. Focused on analysis of real working life activity and on experimentation that simulates working situations, the division addresses the issues not only by assessing the risks in relation to the physical, physiological, psychosocial, organisational, technological, and demographic aspects, but also by using strategic and managerial risk prevention actions to manage health and safety at work.


  • Ergonomics and psychology applied to prevention
  • Management and organisation for occupational safety and health
  • Physiology - Movement – Work

6. Occupational epidemiology division

This division conducts epidemiological studies aimed at highlighting deteriorations in health due to occupational exposures to substances, working environments, or psychosocial factors. The studies carried out examine respiratory and cardiovascular pathologies, allergies, cancers, musculoskeletal disorders, reproductive disorders, and disorders related to psychosocial factors. The division also conducts studies for assessing the impact of training or of other interventions on risk prevention. The various studies can require appropriate statistical methods to be developed internally.

Last update on 14/03/2017