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close this bookThe Organization of First Aid in the Workplace (ILO, 1999, 70 p.)
close this folderAnnexes
close this folderAnnex I. Examples of first-aid legislation
View the document1. New Zealand
View the document2. United Kingdom
View the document3. Federal Republic of Germany

3. Federal Republic of Germany

Federation of Occupational Insurance Associations
[Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften]

Accident prevention regulations of the occupational insurance associations

First aid (VBG 109) of 1 April 1979


Article 1. These accident prevention regulations apply to first aid and to action to be taken in the event of occupational accidents.


Article 2. 1. For the purpose of these accident prevention regulations, the term “facilities” means all the materials employed in member companies for first aid and for rescue from dangers to life and health.

2. Alarm facilities are communication installations by means of which a call for help can be made.

3. First-aid rooms are rooms in which first aid or initial medical care is given in the event of an accident or sickness occurring in the plant.

4. First-aid material refers to bandaging materials, all miscellaneous auxiliary materials and medical equipment, as well as medicaments used for first aid.

5. Rescue equipment covers all technical equipment for rescuing persons from a danger to life or health, such as fire-smothering blankets, rescue belts, respiratory protective equipment, cutting equipment.

6. Rescue transport equipment covers devices by which it is possible to correctly carry out any necessary transport of persons, such as stretchers, stretcher sledges, rescue nets.

7. First-aid workers are persons who have received training as a first-aid worker in a place recognized by the Berufsgenossenschaften for training in first aid.

8. A plant nursing aid is a person who has received specialist training in nursing aid in a place recognized by the Berufsgenossenschaften.

General obligations of the employer

Article 3. (1) The employer shall ensure:

1. the availability of the facilities necessary for first aid, and in particular alarm devices, first-aid rooms, first-aid material and rescue transport equipment;

2. the availability of the facilities required for rescue from situations endangering life and health, and in particular rescue equipment;

3. the availability of the personnel necessary for the implementation of first aid and for rescuing persons from situations endangering life and health (first-aid workers, plant nursing personnel); and

4. that in the event of an occupational accident, first aid is carried out immediately and that, in particular, any necessary medical treatment is initiated.

(2) The facilities that the employer is required to make available under article 3.(1) above shall be in line with the provisions of the accident prevention regulations and other generally recognized technical, medical and hygienic requirements.

Alarm equipment and measures

Article 4. The employer shall ensure, by means of alarm devices and organizational measures, that it is possible to call and bring in the necessary assistance to the site of an accident without delay, with due regard to the conditions at the premises, such as their extent and structure.

First-aid rooms

Article 5. (1) At least one first-aid room or a comparable facility shall be available if:

1. more than 1,000 insured persons are employed; or

2. a special accident hazard can be envisaged, and more than 100 insured persons are employed.

(2) Where more than 50 insured persons are employed on a building site, there shall be at least one first-aid room or a comparable facility.

(3) The rooms or facilities shall be readily accessible for a stretcher. They shall be equipped with the facilities required for first aid and initial medical care; the rooms and facilities must be of a suitable size.

First-aid material

Article 6. The first-aid material shall be at all times readily accessible and protected against deleterious factors and, in particular, against pollution, humidity and high temperatures; it shall be available in adequate quantities, and supplemented and renewed as necessary.

Rescue equipment

Article 7. To the extent that special knowledge is required for handling the rescue equipment, the employer is required to ensure that specially trained personnel are available.

First-aid workers

Article 8. (1) The employer shall ensure that the following minimum numbers of first-aid workers are available for first aid:

1. one first-aid worker for up to 20 insured persons present;
2. where there are more than 20 insured persons:

(a) in administrative and commercial premises, 5 per cent of them;
(b) in other premises, 10 per cent of them.

In the case of premises under section 2 above, it is possible, in agreement with the Berufsgenossenschaften - taking into account the organization of the in-plant rescue facilities and the hazards encountered - to diverge from the number of first-aid workers indicated.

(2) If, depending on the type of work being done - in particular when handling hazardous substances - it is estimated that special first-aid measures would be required that do not form part of the general training for first-aid workers under article 2, section 7, above, then the employer shall provide the necessary additional first-aid training. This also applies to work on live electrical installations and for other work in which, in the event of an occupational accident, it may be necessary to carry out cardiac and pulmonary resuscitation.

(3) The employer shall be required to ensure that first-aid workers undergo further training at suitable intervals.

Nursing aid

Article 9. The employer shall also ensure that in plants employing more than 500 insured persons, there are plant nursing aids, provided that the type, severity and number of occupational accidents require their action.


Article 10. (1) The employer shall instruct the insured persons on the action to be taken in the event of occupational accidents. The instructions should be repeated at suitable intervals, but at least once per year.

(2) First-aid instructions, recognized by the Berufsgenossenschaften, should be displayed at suitable places depending on the nature of the hazard. The relevant posters should at least contain information about calling for help, first-aid facilities and personnel, physicians and hospitals. This information should be kept up to date. Every bandage box and bandage cupboard should be equipped with first-aid instructions approved by the Berufsgenossenschaften.


Article 11. First-aid facilities and storage areas for first-aid material, rescue equipment and rescue transport devices shall be made clearly and permanently recognizable by a white cross marked on a square or rectangular green background with a white border.

Interruption of work

Article 12. The employer shall ensure that in the event of an accident, the insured casualty interrupts the work at least until first aid is administered.

Medical care and rescue transport

Article 13. (1) Any insured casualty shall be immediately presented to a physician, in cases when the nature and extent of the injury or the health impairment seem to indicate the need for medical care. The patient must be presented to a directing physician if the injury indicates a possibility of unfitness for work. In the event of severe injuries, the victim should be transported to an emergency hospital. If it is apparent that there is only an eye, throat, nose or ear injury, then the insured casualty should be transported to the nearest available physician specializing in the relevant discipline unless such presentation has been made unnecessary by appropriate first aid.

(2) The employer shall ensure the provision of suitable transport to the physician or the hospital.

Recording of first-aid administration

Article 14. The employer shall ensure that each case of first-aid administration be recorded and the record maintained for five years. The record shall contain data on the time, place (part of the enterprise) and the circumstances of the accident or of the injury to health, the type and nature of the injury or the disease, the time, type and nature of the first-aid measures as well as the name of the insured casualty, the witnesses and the persons who provided the first aid.

General obligations of insured persons

Article 15. Insured persons shall support the measures relating to first aid.

Article 16. The insured person shall accept to undergo training as a first-aid worker and to take part in further training at suitable intervals provided he/she has no personal reasons for refusing to do so. After the training, the insured person shall offer to provide first aid.

Reporting obligation

Article 17. The insured person shall be required to report immediately to the appropriate office in the enterprise any injury and any health damage resulting from an occupational accident; should he/she not be in a position to do so, then this obligation to report shall fall on the employee of the enterprise who first learns of the accident.

Violations of the regulations

Article 18. (...)

Transitory and closing provisions

Article 19. (...)