What you should know about the workplace safety directive!

Who is this directive aimed at?

The workplace safety directive is aimed at the employer, and it defines the provision of tools and equipment to employees.

The workplace safety directive came into being in 2002.

Since 1 June 2015 the new version of the workplace safety directive (BetrSichV) has been in force, and this has introduced a few changes.

What requirements arise from this directive?

Here are the most important points of the workplace safety directive:

  • Assessment of hazard
  • Maintenance
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Repairs
  • Change in tools & equipment

Where do the problems lie?

The creation of workplace-related hazard assessments and the regular inspection of them. This means that the process never ends.

The requirement for tooling to meet the current status of technology has far-reaching consequences.

Important innovations

    • Age-appropriate design of tools & equipment
    • Due account being taken of physical hazards
    • Easier in terms of the hazard assessment for ‘simple’ tools and equipment
    • Change in the notification requirements in relation to accidents and cases of damage

The employer is obliged with the selection and procurement of tools and equipment to start with the hazard assessment. The aim of this is to ensure that the tools and equipment used are chosen to assure their safe usage. In this respect, the suitability of tools and equipment for the planned use, the operational sequences and workplace organisation are all focal points.

The presence of the CE mark is not in itself sufficient to enable the tools and equipment to be used. Therefore, the workplace safety directive demands that, for the use of tools and equipment, a hazard assessment must always be carried out.

The inventory keeping for old devices and machines has now been done away with once and for all!

It is essential to retrofit existing items of equipment

All devices / machines must be brought right up to date in technical safety terms

What is considered to be state-of-the-art?

Here, the EU standards have a role to play because they, to a very large extent, reflect the current status of technology. Devices and machines that do not satisfy these current EU standards are therefore defined as unsafe. This means that inventory taking, wherever it actually existed, has now been consigned to the past.

Which standards are important?

Which standards are important for the use of vacuum lifting devices?

To the best of our knowledge, there are two standards applicable to the transport of glass:

EN 13155 is important for all vacuum lifting devices, and it goes by the title of:
Cranes – Safety – Loose lifting equipment

However, anyone who also moves glass panes with the vacuum lifting device should also comply with EN 13035 Parts 1 & 2. Anyone at this point who thinks that EN 13155 does not apply to mobile glass lifters that are not attached loose to a crane hook should take note of this and correct their behaviour accordingly. EN 13035 is also stipulated for devices that move glass using vacuum suction devices governed by EN 13155.

The consequence

All old devices must be retrofitted with appropriate warning equipment in accordance with standard EN 13155 if they are to constitute safe tools and equipment. The vacuum must be monitored and a warning must be issued, even in the event of a power failure. Movements are only permitted using the deadman controllers, and much more also applies here.

Source: VDMA news items, May 2015

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