Include Workplace Regulations Early in Construction

Legal opinion on the interaction of workplace law and building law

When taking over production or office buildings, new problems suddenly arise
because plans do not meet the requirements of the Workplace Ordinance. The
builders had relied on the planning permission process. In politics and
practice then often contradictory requirements of building law and workplace
law is discussed. In order to clarify the relationships between these areas of
law, the Federal Ministry of Labor (BMAS) commissioned the Federal Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) to identify and evaluate interfaces
between the two regulatory areas. The now published "Legal Report on the
Interplay of Workplace Law and Building Regulations Law" shows that both areas
of law work together and, in principle, do not need to be aligned.

While the workplace law is based on European Community law, building law is the
responsibility of the federal states. In politics and practice, there are
always discussions about contradictions between the two areas of law. In
consultation with the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs , the BAuA
commissioned a legal opinion, which was published at the Center for Social
Research Halle e. V. at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg under the
leadership of Prof. Dr. med. Wolfhard Kohte was created.

The report makes it clear that the contradictions between workplace law and
building law that have been raised in discussions do not exist. Rather, the
fields of law "occupational safety with workplace law" and "building law"
complement each other. Among other things, there are recourse to
concretizations in each other area of law. For example, occupational safety and
health law refers to building regulations with regard to stability and
structural fire protection. However, individual collisions exist at subordinate
level of regulation. However, these could be clarified step by step.

The report also considers frequently mentioned solutions that could improve the
implementation of the regulations. Here, the report comes to the conclusion
that it is not the framework, ie a uniform building law, or the order of
priority of further implementation in the foreground. Rather, the interaction
of occupational safety and building law should be envisaged. Priority is given
to the regulation, which leads to a higher level of protection for employees.

The report shows that, overall, there are no significant problems at the
formal-legal level, but in particular information deficits, misunderstandings
and implementation problems in concrete application in the planning of
workplaces. Therefore, the requirements of the Workplace Ordinance should be
included at an early stage in the planning and possibly also in the building
permit procedure. In addition, the information for the practice can be improved
so that those concerned can fully grasp and take into account the complex
contents of the two areas of law.

AplusA-online.de - Source: BAUA: Federal Institution of Occupational Health and Safety