What is a reconstructed operating instruction

Expertise in a nutshell.

© sifa-news.de

Operational safety | 12.11.2013

Operating instructions inform employees about workplace-related and activity-related hazards and help to drastically reduce the risk of accidents. You make one with it important building block for successful occupational health and safety in the company. But do you know how operating instructions are properly structured, who has to create them and what are the legal bases?


What are operating instructions?
Well-trained employees are the basis of successful occupational health and safety in the company. Because who knows where the dangers lurk, also knows how to prevent accidents. The operating instructions effectively support the prevention of occupational accidents and make the content conveyed in the instruction available to the employees again in compact form directly at the workplace.

  • They make workers special hazards attentive to their work or at their workplace, provide information about the necessary Protective measures and behaviour rules and give specific instructions for that Conduct in case of danger, to First aid and disposal of hazardous waste.
  • They contain binding orders and behaviour rules in writing.
  • Among other things, the employer has the Mandatory, to draw up operating instructions, provided that other measures cannot be used to exclude work-related hazards for employees.
  • The employees are in turn obliged to comply with these guidelines to be implemented in a binding manner.

Operating instructions can generally or very special be held. Either they can then be used in almost all areas and fields of activity in the company or they relate to e.g. B. on detailed behavior during an activity, when handling a machine, certain hazardous substances, biological pathogens or personal protective equipment.


Legal basis

The entrepreneur is legally responsible for Provision or for Notice of operating instructions Committed. The corresponding regulations can be found:

  • In Section 9 of the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (work equipment),
  • § 14 Ordinance on Hazardous Substances,
  • § 3 PPE Usage Ordinance,
  • § 12 Biological Agents Ordinance
  • and in Section 12 of the Genetic Engineering Safety Ordinance.


Who is responsible for the creation?
Since the Entrepreneur is the one who is liable if there are accidents due to missing or inadequate operating instructions, he is also responsible for creating them. However, he has the option of assigning this task to appropriately suitable employees (e.g. specialist for occupational safety) delegate. The company doctor can also help with the preparation.

Important: Even if the entrepreneur delegates the creation of the operating instructions, the liability remains with him!

Tips for creating

  • Make sure that you only convey the most necessary information on the operating instructions and that you formulate it in a concise and understandable manner.
  • The scope should not exceed two A4 pages.
  • The operating instructions should always be available directly at the workplace.
  • In terms of content, operating instructions should be roughly divided into the following sub-items (example for a machine):
    • Name of the device or machine
    • Area of ​​application / activity
    • Dangers for humans and the envirnoment:
    • Address not only obvious hazards, but also damage that can occur with long-term use.
    • Protective measures and rules of conduct:

The protective measures are divided into technical (e.g. use of protective covers), organizational (e.g. ban on eating, smoking or drinking) and personal (e.g. use of suitable PPE).

What do employees have to do when a piece of equipment is no longer safe or if it detects faults in the device.

    • What to do in the event of an accident, first aid

Measures that can be done on site, e.g. B. securing the scene of the accident and calling the emergency doctor.

    • If necessary, maintenance


In addition, for better recognition colored frames can be used. There are no fixed rules for this, but in practice the following colors are used:

Hazardous substances: orange
Machines and work equipment: blue
Genetic engineering plants: yellow
Biological agents: green

How do you create your operating instructions?
Do you already have a collection of documents that you can only adapt and expand if necessary, or do you have to compile every operating instruction from scratch?

Tip: in ours Practice aid database you will find the right operating instructions for almost every purpose.


rd / Lower Saxony Ministry of Culture


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