In-plant employee safety primarily depends on the availability of appropriate work equipment (e.g. tools, machines or systems) and the proper use thereof in accordance with the German Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV). The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) participates in the drawing up of technical industrial safety and health rules by the State Committee on Industrial Safety and Health, and insists on the utmost in safety standards. In addition, the German social accident insurance institutions for both trade and industry and the public sector support and advise companies on the selection and use of suitable work equipment.
Machines represent an important subgroup within working equipment. In Europe, machines are required to fulfil both formal and essential safety and health requirements set out in the EC Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. The directive defines the legal parameters which are to be adhered to by machine manufacturers and importers when first placing machines on the market in the European Economic Area.
The guide to the application of the above-mentioned Machinery Directive drawn up by the European Commission and its member states incorporates many observations made by the DGUV’s expert committees. Only available online, the guide provides explanations of the terms and requirements included in the Directive, and is intended to ensure the consistent interpretation and application thereof. It targets all groups obliged to apply the EC Machinery Directive, which range from manufacturers, importers and distributors to Notified Bodies, standardizers and regulatory authorities. The Commission points out that only the text of the Directive itself is legally binding.
The guide is available in English on the European Commission website.
Dr Stefan Vorderstraße
Safety and Health Department
Rules and Regulations