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Directive for health and safety requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work

General, area of applicability, start of the validity

Among other things, the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health regulates the required measures for and with the operation of systems that require monitoring. This is understood to also mean (in terms of the ordinance), for example, pressure equipment such as diaphragm pressure expansion vessels as well as heat exchangers. The manufacture and marketing of such equipment is already harmonized and regulated in Europe since 1997 in the Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC and has been used accordingly since then. Reflex supplies the market with equipment that has been constructed, inspected, and CE-labeled according to this directive.

The well-known pressure vessel ordinance (DruckbehV) and steam boiler ordinance (DampfkV) were available up to now as basis for monitoring the operation of systems. However, they were not in harmony with the directive 97/23/EC. Surprising to many, on January 1, 2003, the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV) came into force, which was European harmonized and applicable as national German law. This suspended or replaced (among others) the steam boiler and pressure vessel ordinances. The basis of the BetrSichV German Product and Equipment Safety Act (GPSG) and thus the Occupational Health and Safety Code.


(in the period of application up until December 31, 2004)

Those who knew the DruckbehV well will not superficially notice any large difference to the BetrSichV in reference to the diaphragm pressure expansion vessels requiring monitoring. However, diaphragm pressure expansion vessels in heating systems with STB setting temperatures up to 120°C did have a general special status in the DruckbehV.

Recurring inspections and their deadlines were able to be determined by the operators themselves. This regulation was dropped after the commencement of the BetrSichV on January 1, 2003 and was applicable at most only for "small" diaphragm pressure expansion vessels. Commissioning and recurring inspections in heating systems had to also be performed by the approved monitoring points (ZÜS, until further notice of the TÜV) in consideration of the maximum deadlines for a host of diaphragm pressure expansion vessels. However, as of January 1, 2005 there are simplified rules which are strongly adapted to the earlier procedures through the DruckbehV.

(in the period of application as of January 1, 2005)

Since the BetrSichV means an enormous tightening of the DruckbehV for diaphragm pressure expansion vessels and heating systems and in no case should have been the objective of the BetrSichV, a modified ordinance in this point came into force at the beginning of the year.

The following now applies:

Indirectly heated heat exchangers and expansion vessels in heating and cooling systems with water temperatures of a maximum of 120 C can be inspected before commissioning and recurrently by a qualified person (bP). The inspections are to be arranged by the operator.

(Note: Cooling systems are now expressly included in this special observation compared with the DruckbehV.)

Diaphragm pressure expansion vessels in water supply systems are not affected by this simplification.

The classification and assignment of the corresponding requirements occurs in dependence on the product from container volumes [l] and the maximum possible system pressure [bar] (often the safety valve activation pressure).

Reflex information material

BetrSichV Classification and Inspection Deadlines (valid as of January 1, 2005)

Excerpt from the Reflex brochure on planning, calculation, and fitting

TRBS 1203 to the qualified person

Detailed requirements about qualified persons according to the BetrSichV, (defined by the Commission for Industrial Safety).