DGUV Regel 109-605e - Metals heat treatment sector (DGUV Regel 109-605)

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Abschnitt 2.1, 2 Principles of occupational safety and healt...
Abschnitt 2.1
Metals heat treatment sector (DGUV Regel 109-605)
Titel: Metals heat treatment sector (DGUV Regel 109-605)
Normgeber: Bund
Amtliche Abkürzung: DGUV Regel 109-605
Gliederungs-Nr.: [keine Angabe]
Normtyp: Satzung

Abschnitt 2.1 – 2 Principles of occupational safety and health
2.1 Principles applicable to all sectors

Whether by the provision of supervision through OSH professionals and company physicians, the delivery of instruction and performance of risk assessments, or the assurance of first aid: any employer taking the safety and health of his or her employees into account - systematically, in all processes, and with the employees' participation - creates a sound basis for well organized occupational safety and health.

string Statutory references
  • ArbSchG, German Safety and Health at Work Act

  • ASiG, German Occupational Safety Act

  • ArbStättV, German Ordinance on Workplaces

  • BetrSichV, German Ordinance on industrial Safety and Health

  • GefStoffV, German Ordinance on hazardous Substances

  • PSA-BV, German Ordinance on the Use of Personal Protective Equipment

  • ArbMedVV, Ordinance on Preventive Occupational Health Care

  • DGUV Regulation 1, Principles of Prevention

  • DGUV Regulation 2, occupational physicians and OSH professionals

  • TRBS 1201, Testing of work equipment and equipment requiring supervision

  • TRBS 1203 technical rules governing competent persons

  • ASR V3 a.2 technical rules for workplaces governing barrier-free design of workplaces

  • ASR A1.3 governing safety and health signage

  • ASR A2.2 governing fire prevention measures

  • ASR A2.3 governing escape routes and emergency exits, escape and rescue plans

  • ASR A4.3 governing first-aid areas, equipment and facilities


string Further information
  • DGUV Information 204-022 governing first aid in companies

  • DGUV Information 205-023 governing fire safety assistants

  • DGUV Information 250-010 governing aptitude tests in plant practice

As an employer in Germany, you bear responsibility under the Safety and Healt at Work Act for the safety and health of your company’s employees. There are numerous other good reasons however for devoting attention to occupational safety and health in your business. Employees who work in a safe and healthy environment are for example not only less frequently ill, but also work with greater commitment and motivation. Investments in occupational safety and health have also been shown to yield a financial return for companies.

The German Social Accident Insurance supports you in implementing occupational safety and health in your company. The first step is to implement basic prevention measures. These are described on the following pages. They constitute a sound foundation for well-organized occupational safety and health and set the course for further important prevention measures in your company.

string Responsibility and assignment of tasks

Responsibility for your employees’ safety and health lies with you, the employer. You must therefore organize work in your company in such a way that hazards to life and health are avoided wherever possible and the stress upon your employees does not exceed the limits of their personal performance.

You may assign this task in writing to other reliable and skilled persons within your company; you are however obliged to check regularly that these persons are performing their duties satisfactorily. If necessary, set out measures for improvement. Following an occupational accident or the incidence of an occupational disease, in particular, the causes must be determined and the occupational safety and health measures adapted.

string Supervision by occupational physicians and OSH professionals

You are supported in the creation of safe and healthy workplaces by the OSH professionals and occupational physicians, and by your accident insurance institution. DGUV Regulation 2 sets out the scope of supervision by OSH professionals and occupational physicians that you are required to implement.

string Safety delegates

Should your company employ over 20 people, you must also appoint safety delegates. Safety delegates are employees of your company who support you in improving occupational safety and health in your company. They volunteer for this task and complete it parallel to their main functions within the company. Their function involves, for example, ensuring that safeguards and protective equipment are in place, and drawing their colleagues’ attention to behaviour that is dangerous or presents a health risk. In the process, they provide you with reliable information on how you can improve occupational safety and health.

string Skills in occupational safety and health

For occupational safety and health measures to be effective, sound knowledge is required. Ensure therefore that all persons in your company who are entrusted with OSH tasks are adequately skilled. Provide these individuals with the opportunity to attend initial and further training measures. The German Social Accident Insurance Institutions and their umbrella association, the DGUV, provide a wide range of suitable seminars and initial and further training courses.

string Assessment and documentation of work conditions (risk assessment)

In order for people to be protected against hazards to safety and health at the workplace, the hazards actually arising must be identified. One of the most important tasks of occupational safety is therefore assessment of the working conditions, or "risk assessment". The purpose of a risk assessment is to determine possible hazards to the safety and health of your employees at each workplace within your company, and to set out measures for eliminating these hazards. At the same time, assess both the physical and mental stresses upon your employees. Observe statutory constraints and prohibitions upon employment, such as those applicable to young people and pregnant and nursing women, particularly with regard to heavy physical work and work involving hazardous substances. Hazards must in the first instance be eliminated or reduced at source. Where this is not (entirely) possible, you must take protective measures in accordance with the T-O-P principle. This means that you must first determine and implement technical (T), then organizational (O), and only then personal (P) measures. By documenting the risk assessment you have performed, you not only meet your statutory obligation to do so, but also create an overview of occupational safety and health measures taken in your company. This enables developments to be understood and the efficacy of measures to be demonstrated.

string Occupational medical measures

Occupational medical prevention activity is an indispensable component of occupational safety and health within your company. It includes involving the occupational physician in the risk assessment, general consulting on occupational medicine, and the conducting of preventive occupational medical care including the provision of occupational medical advice to employees on a one-to-one basis. Should preventive medical care reveal a need for specific measures to be taken in the interests of occupational safety and health, you must initiate these measures for the employees concerned.

string Instruction

Your employees are able to work safely and without risk to their health only when they are familiar with the hazards at their workplaces, their duties with regard to occupational safety and health, the measures to be taken and the company rules. These rules include company procedures. It is therefore important that your employees receive instruction, ideally directly at their workplaces. You may provide instruction yourself, or assign the task to a reliable and skilled person. Should you employ personnel from temporary employment agencies, you must provide them with the same instruction you provide to your own staff. The occupational physician and/or OSH professional can support you in this task. Instruction must be provided at least once a year, and must be documented. Young people must receive instruction at intervals of six months. You must also ensure that your employees receive instruction:

  • before beginning a task,

  • when they are assigned to a different task,

  • in the event of changes in their area of activity and changes in the working processes.

string Dangerous work

Some tasks in your company are particularly dangerous for your employees. Where this is the case, ensure that responsibility for supervision lies with a reliable person who is familiar with the work. Should a person be tasked with performing dangerous work alone, you are obliged to put suitable technical or organizational protective measures in place, such as patrols by a second person, systems for reporting by telephone/radio alarm at agreed times, or personal alarm systems. Your responsible accident insurance institution will be pleased to advise you.

string Access to rules and regulations

Make all relevant state rules and regulations and DGUV accident prevention regulations available at a suitable location to all persons in your company. By doing so, you not only ensure that your employees are informed of the necessary prevention measures, but also demonstrate that you take occupational safety and health seriously. Your accident insurance institution is available to answer any questions you may have concerning the rules and regulations.

string Personal protective equipment

If hazards to your employees cannot be ruled out by means of technical and organizational measures, you as their employer are obliged to provide them free of charge with personal protective equipment (PPE). Ensure when purchasing the PPE that it bears the CE mark. What forms of PPE are suitable for what particular working conditions and employees is determined by the risk assessment. You are required to consult the employees before making the PPE available.

For the objective of protection to be attained, employees must use the PPE in accordance with the instructions for its use and in observance of the limits to the duration of its wear and use; they must check the proper condition of the PPE regularly; and they must report any observed defects in it immediately. Employees must be instructed in correct use of the PPE. By organizing measures for maintenance, repair and replacement and by correct storage, you ensure that the personal protective equipment remains functional and in a hygienically flawless condition throughout its service life.

Where PPE is used in your company for protection against potentially fatal hazards or risks of permanent harm to health (e.g. PPE against falls from a height, respiratory protection), further measures must be observed. Instruction in correct use of the PPE concerned must for example include practical drills. Further measures may include the planning and proper performance of rescue measures, inspection of the equipment by a skilled person, and the production of special operating procedures.

You can use signs indicating mandatory health and safety measures to inform your employees of the workplaces at which PPE must be used.

string Fire safety and emergency measures

You and your employees must be able to act quickly and purposefully in the event of an emergency. Organization of company fire safety and preparation for other emergency measures, such as orderly evacuation of your workplace, therefore also form part of the safety and health of workers at work. For this reason, train as many employees as possible as fire safety assistants.

A recommended figure is at least five percent of your workforce. Appointment of an employee as a fire safety officer is also advisable. This pays off in the event of an emergency. In order for fires to be fought effectively when they arise, you must install suitable fire extinguishing equipment on your premises such as portable fire extinguishers, and familiarize all employees with its use by providing regular instruction.

string First aid

Organization of first aid in your company is one of your basic duties. "First aid" covers all measures required in the event of accidents, acute illnesses, poisoning and other emergencies before the arrival of the emergency services or a doctor. Examples of these measures are: safeguarding the accident location, taking accident victims out of acute danger, alerting emergency services, taking immediate lifesaving measures, and providing support for affected individuals. The basic requirement for first-aid materials is covered by the "small" and "large" first-aid boxes to DIN 13157 and DIN 13169 respectively. Hazards specific to the company may necessitate supplementary materials.

Your company must have a sufficient number of first-aiders. The required number depends upon the number of employees in your company. Any employee may assume this task. A requirement is successful completion of further training in first-aid and regular refresher courses every two years. The course fees are paid by the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions. You must also ensure that sufficient first-aiders are also present during shifts and holiday periods.

string How many first-aiders?  
1.When between 2 and 20 insured individuals are presentOne first-aider
2.When over 20 insured individuals are present 
 a)In administration and trade businesses5 %
 b)In other businesses10 %

string Regular checks of work equipment

Damaged work equipment may cause accidents. The work equipment used in your company must therefore be inspected regularly, and depending upon the type, also tested. Before an item of work equipment is used, it must be inspected visually and checked, if necessary by a function check, for evident faults that can be determined swiftly in this way. Besides these checks, you must ensure that regular tests are performed at appropriate intervals. How these checks and tests are to be performed, by whom and at what intervals is described in the TRBS 1201 and TRBS 1203 technical rules (refer to the information box, "Statutory references"). In a company working only a single shift, a test interval of one year has proved effective for many items of work equipment. The results of the tests must be retained at least until the following test.

string Planning and procurement

Considering the topic of safety and health in all company processes from the outset is a strategy that pays off. Giving consideration to your employees’ safety and health even as you are planning workplaces and installations and when procuring work equipment and materials saves you from having to make improvements, which may be expensive, at a later stage.

string Accessibility

Design your company’s work rooms such that they are accessible to disabled persons. Accessibility benefits not only your employees with disabilities, but the entire workforce. Adequately wide walking areas, sanitary fittings, light switches and handles that are within easy reach, and non-slip floor coverings for example can reduce the risk of accidents and considerably reduce stress and strain.

string Workplace health

Health is the most important precondition for your employees to remain fit for and capable of work through to the statutory retirement age. Measures taken at an early stage to reduce work-related physical and mental stresses have a double dividend - for the employees themselves, and for the company. These measures include the design of safe and healthy workplaces, and corporate integration management. The enhancing of health-conscious behaviour among your employees and the creation of working conditions conducive to good health also have a positive impact. Consider that your employees themselves often know best what affects them adversely at work. For this reason, involve them when considering measures for improvement. This also motivates them.

string External companies, suppliers, and assignment of your employees to work at the sites of other companies

Do personnel from external companies and suppliers access your company premises? This could also be a source of hazard. Make the necessary arrangements and ensure that these persons are also familiar with and observe your company’s workplace safety measures.

Should you or your employees work at the premises of other companies, the same applies in reverse: agree aspects of occupational safety and health with the companies on whose sites your employees are working.

string Integration of employees with temporary work contracts

The OSH requirements in your company apply to all employees, including those working there only temporarily, such as temping and work experience personnel. Ensure that these persons are also covered by your workplace safety and health measures.

string General information
  • Database of regulations, rules, and informative publications of the German Social Accident Insurance:

    string www.dguv.de/publikationen

  • DGUV Prevention Competence Network:

    string www.dguv.de (Webcode: e603971)

  • Biological and hazardous substances database of the German Social Accident Insurance (GESTIS):

    string dguv.de (Webcode: e20570)

  • Safety and Health at Work Ordinances:

    string www.gesetze-im-internet.de

  • Technical rules pursuant to the Safety and Health at Work Ordinances:

    string www.baua.de