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Legal bases

The most important document in European legislation on the risk assessment is the Framework Directive 89/391. This Framework Directive contains "general principles concerning the prevention of occupational risks…as well as general guidelines for the implementation of the said principles" (Art. 1.2.). With respect to all aspects connected with work it assigns to employers the responsibility for the safety and health of workers, the risk assessment being a major aspect of compulsory occupational safety and health.

In Germany the Occupational Safety and Health Act is the statutory basis for the risk assessment.

Your obligation to conduct a risk assessment under the Occupational Safety and Health Act is specified more concretely in numerous other legal instruments governing occupational safety and health. You will find an extract here:


Regulations of the Berufsgenossenschaften (institutions for statutory accident insurance and prevention)

The legal basis for all preventive measures of the industrial Berufsgenossenschaften is provided by the Berufsgenossenschaft rules and regulations (BGVR). Here you will find all regulations (BGV), rules (BGR) and information (BGI) of the Berufsgenossenschaften.

The corresponding legal basis of the public accident insurance institutions is provided by the safety and health protection regulations "Regelwerk Sicherheit und Gesundheitsschutz". Here you will find all regulations (GUV-V), rules (GUV-R) and information (GUV-I).

Technical regulations relating to the occupational safety and health ordinances

Details of legal references to the individual risk factors can be found under our heading Expert Knowledge, under the respective subheading Risk Factor / Regulations, Regulations, Literature.

1) The old Workplaces Directives (Arbeitsstätten-Richtlinien) continue to apply, but not more than six years after the ordinance comes into force (by August 2010), and they will in this period be superseded in non-mandatory sequence by the Workshop Regulations (Arbeitstättenregeln - ASR). Until then the old Workshop Directives can be referred to for orientation purposes to specify more concretely the general protection goals of the ordinance. Owing to the modified structure of the ordinance, however, there is no longer a direct relation between article and the old Workshop Directive. The references given in the individual Workshop Directives relate exclusively to the old Workplaces Ordinance. References to standards given therein reflect the status at the time of their publication.

There are at present still a total of 30 old Workshop Directives which can be referred to for orientation purposes. Major areas include, for example, the design of floors, doors, transport routes, equipment with fire extinguishers and facilities for First Aid, as well as the establishment of sanitary rooms and rooms for breaks. Requirements for lighting, ventilation and room temperature are also given. The social needs on construction sites are dealt with in provisions concerning daytime accommodation, washing facilities and toilets.

Under our heading "How should I proceed?" you will find how you should conduct your risk assessment specifically in your company.

Should you not yet be convinced of the benefit of a risk assessment, read our contributions under the heading "Why should I conduct a risk assessment?"

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