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Guidelines Risk Assessments Source: GDA

Guidelines on Risk Assessments and Documentation

Risk assessments are an essential foundation for corporate occupational health and safety practice. Accordingly, risk assessments are a key element of the consultations and supervision provided by inspectors with the Federal States (Länder) and accident insurance institutions.

Since as early as 1996, sections 5 and 6 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act [Arbeitsschutzgesetz, ArbSchG] have called for the conduct of risk assessments, the derivation of suitable measures and the documentation thereof. Occupational health and safety regulations have put risk assessment requirements in concrete, thematic terms (e.g. in the Workplaces Ordinance and the Operational Safety Ordinance). Should specific hazards occur due to hazardous substances or noise, for example, inspectors must observe measures specified in the Hazardous Substances Ordinance and/or the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance on Noise and Vibrations when conducting risk assessments.

The occupational health and safety authorities of the Länder and the accident insurance institutions have coordinated the conduct of risk assessments; corresponding guidelines define the inspectors’ approach, thus ensuring a transparent process.

In its meeting on 22 May 2017, the National Occupational Safety and Health Conference [Nationale Arbeitsschutzkonferenz, NAK] approved the applicable, redacted second version of the Guidelines on Risk Assessments and Documentation. The annex to these guidelines provides flexible methods of documentation that can be used by small and micro-businesses. When supervising the latter, inspectors will focus more on the use of aids provided by accident insurance institutions or competent federal occupational health and safety authorities as alternative means of documentation.

Besides the Guidelines on Risk Assessments and Documentation, the institutions involved in the GDA have agreed quality principles for creating risk assessment aids in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

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