In Germany, occupational safety and health (OSH) is embodied in and shaped by numerous laws, regulations and ordinances with a view to ensuring the safety and health of workers in the workplace.
In consultation with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), the BAuA participates in the creation of regulations and standards as part of national, European and international committees.
This page provides access to selected English-language legal texts and technicals rules. The key legal texts (acts, ordinances, etc.) relating to occupational safety and health can be found on our German website.
Technical Occupational Safety and Health includes all areas that affect the safety of workers at work. The Safety and Health at Work Act (ArbSchG) regulates the underlying occupational safety and health duties of the employer, the duties and rights of workers, and the monitoring of occupational safety and health in accordance with this Act.
The key piece of legislation governing the safety of devices, products and systems is the Act on Making Products Available on the Market (Product Safety Act, ProdSG), which encompasses a wide range of products. Its scope covers everything from hairdryers, kettles and mini-excavators to respiratory protective devices and complex installations.
The essential features of chemicals testing, evaluation, classification and labelling are defined in the Chemicals Act (ChemG) and set out in concrete terms by ordinances such as the Evidence of Chemicals Testing Ordinance (ChemPrüfV), the Banned Chemicals Ordinance (ChemVerbotsV) and the Hazardous Substances Ordinance (GefStoffV).
The statutory bases for the accident insurance organisations were formerly regulated in the German Social Insurance Code (RVO). Since 1997, they have been governed by Book Seven of the German Social Code (SGB VII), which reinforced the existing system of statutory accident insurance by expanding the prevention mandate of employers’ liability insurance schemes to include protection against work-related health risks.
Social Occupational Safety and Health includes all areas that affect the workplace safety of particularly vulnerable workers.
This section provides information on European legislation that is relevant to occupational safety and health.
The term "occupational diseases" refers to diseases mentioned in Annex 1 that insured persons suffer from due to an activity warranting insurance protection in accordance with section 2, 3 or 6 of Book Seven of the German Social Code (SGB VII). Since 1885, statutory accident prevention has served to protect workers in Germany from work-related risks that are directly related to their insured activity.