GERMANY: Revision of the regulations on work equipment

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On 27 August 2014, the government adopted the draft revision of the regulations on safety at work (Betriebssicherheitsverordnung), in force since 2002.

The revision has two main objectives:

Improving the safety of workers using work equipment
The regulations include new technical provisions and pay special attention to certain subjects related to the use of work equipment: maintenance, specific operating conditions, malfunctions and handling operations. The text also stipulates specific prevention requirements related to workers’ age and the work organization. These concerns are in line with the government’s objective of improving the employability of older workers.

Simplifying the regulations
In order to improve application of the regulations by companies, and especially by SMEs/VSEs, the legislator decided to:

  • eliminate redundant regulations, especially on the prevention of explosions and checking work equipment;
  • adapt the new text to other regulations, in particular the new law on product safety which applies to placing work equipment on the market.

The new regulations are expected to come into force in early 2015.

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