Work equipment

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Apprentice at a workbench (1952): The workbench and its immediate surroundings are the workplace , the workbench and the file are the work equipment , the piece of metal to be filed is the work object

Working means are in the organization theory the one object carrier for the performance of a task in the production process the available tools .


Responsible persons can be workers or machines . As a rule, a worker needs work equipment for the process of transforming a work object into an end product or service in order to produce a work product ready for the market . This transformation or processing process is called work performance . Machines, too, often need work equipment in order to be able to carry out a work process. A work task contains specifications with regard to the object to be processed, the work equipment, the workplace , the working hours and, last but not least, with regard to the activities to be performed. DIN EN ISO 6385: 2004-05 defines work equipment as " tools , including hardware and software , machines, vehicles , Equipment, furniture , facilities and other (system) components used in the work system ”.

In performing his work, the employee does not become the owner of the work equipment, but rather the property servant in accordance with Section 855 of the German Civil Code (BGB) .


Work equipment includes all types of operating and business equipment such as office machines , office supplies , office furniture , machines , technical systems , tools or telecommunications systems . These tools are made up of several functional units that interact with one another . For example, in the automotive industry, the welding device is a tool for workers, while the welding robot works without tools and is not considered to be a tool itself. In administration , office workers need, among other things, a desk , office supplies and usually a computer as work equipment for their work .

In Section 305a StGB , the destruction of certain work equipment has been made a criminal offense since January 1987 . This includes, in particular, technical equipment used by the police , the armed forces , the fire brigade , disaster control or rescue services .

Use of official work equipment for private purposes

The use of official work equipment for private purposes relates in particular to computers , printers , fax machines , cell phones , internet use at work , social media or telephone . Work equipment is made available to the employee exclusively for business purposes (e.g. for business calls on the telephone / cell phone), so that their private use is not permitted. With their private use of provides employees during working hours not his employment contract owed work performance , in violation of its obligation to work . When using the Internet privately during working hours, the employee fundamentally violates his main duty to perform, especially when there is excessive Internet use at work. This results in a reduction in the effective working hours and work performance, which are nevertheless fully remunerated by the employer.

The employer can allow the employee for private use in three ways:

Above all, the permission will limit the time of use, the content and the scope of use. To this end, he can restrict the employee's use - for example for important or urgent private matters - to work breaks or limit the duration of use per month. If there are no regulations on the private use of work equipment or if existing rules are disregarded, the employee's behavior is contrary to the contract, which can result in disciplinary consequences ( official reprimand , fines , warnings or even termination ).

Work equipment according to the Industrial Safety Ordinance (BetrSichV)

The aim of the BetrSichV is to ensure the safety and protection of the health of employees when using work equipment ( occupational health and safety ) according to Section 1, Paragraph 1 of the BetrSichV . It defines work equipment in Section 2, Paragraph 1 of the BetrSichV as “tools, devices, machines or systems that are used for work, as well as systems that require monitoring”. Activities with work equipment include, in particular, assembling and installing, operating, switching on or off or setting, using, operating, maintaining, cleaning, testing, converting, testing, dismantling, transporting and monitoring. The employer has to § 3 para. 1 Self-assessment prior to use of work equipment to assess the hazards occurring (risk assessment) and necessary it and appropriate protective measures derive.

These work equipment such as scaffolding , formwork , etc. must be assembled according to the type statics , which are part of the standard assembly instructions of the manufacturer, or by means of a strength and stability calculation if the type statics are to be deviated from. In addition, the work equipment may only be used under the supervision of a qualified person and in some cases with technically suitable employees, e.g. B. the scaffolding, are assembled. Work equipment, the safety of which depends on assembly conditions, is work equipment which, through unsuitable assembly of individual parts, can endanger the life and health of employees. In the documentary risk assessment according to § 3 BetrSichV it must be determined whether it is such a work equipment if it is not mentioned as such in the industrial safety regulation or in the assembly instructions of the manufacturer.

Work equipment, the safety of which depends on assembly conditions, must be checked by the qualified person (TRBS 1203) before use by employees. The purpose of the test is to convince yourself of the proper assembly and the safe function of this work equipment. The test must be documented.

In the case of work equipment, the safety of which depends on assembly conditions, a separate, unproven construction method is not provided and is a criminal offense according to Section 23 (1) BetrSichV.

The professional requirements of a qualified person are regulated in the "Technical Rules for Operational Safety", TRBS 1203.

Business administration

In 1957, the business economist Erich Gutenberg summarized work equipment and some of the work items - energy and other auxiliary material - to the elementary factor operating resources: “Operating resources also include those“ auxiliary materials ”and“ operating materials ”that are necessary to make the company work to obtain". Since then include all work equipment for production factor equipment . For him, among other things, the choice of tools and work equipment was essential for maintaining the work cycle . Erich Kosiol pointed out in 1962 that the position as an organizational unit for the fulfillment of its job function is related to a single human worker who can be equipped with one or more material aids (work equipment).

Work equipment involves so-called potential factors , i.e. production factors that can be used continuously (with a certain amount of wear and tear ) for production . It is crucial for the property as a work equipment that it functions as a commodity and does not go into the products to be created as a consumable . Repetition factors , on the other hand, are incorporated into the product and are not work equipment, but are raw , auxiliary or operating materials ( materials ).

Tax law

Under tax law , certain professional groups can deduct the expenses for work equipment as expenses from income tax . Nevertheless, the term work equipment is not precisely defined in tax law. In the broadest sense, it is understood to mean aids that are required in the course of completing a professional activity. According to the example list in Section 9 (1) No. 6 EStG, this includes work clothing or tools. Specialized literature is also one of the tax-approved work equipment.

The legislator differentiates between the monetary expenditure for the provision of work equipment for employees as advertising costs and for the self-employed as business expenses .

Work equipment at Marx

According to Karl Marx, the work equipment is the third element that characterizes the production process and makes it possible in addition to the work of the person and the work object . Accordingly, work equipment is a collective term for all instrumental and material components that the working person needs and uses to plan, prepare and carry out the production process. He uses their mechanical, physical and chemical properties in order to “let them act” appropriately on the work items. According to Marx, the means of work is “a thing or a complex of things which the worker pushes between himself and the object of work and which serve him as a director of his activity on this object”.

Together with the objects of work, the means of work form the means of production . In order to begin the production process, the third element, labor, must unite with the means of production .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Joseföffelholz, Review of Business Administration , 1966, p. 250
  2. Christina Meyn / Gerd Peter / Uwe Dechmann / Arno Georg / Olaf Katenkamp (eds.), Work situation analysis , volume 2, 2011, p. 111
  3. German Institute for Standardization e. V. (Ed.), DIN EN ISO 6385 , principles of ergonomics for the design of work systems , Berlin (Beuth), 2004. p. 5
  4. Christin Rothe, Arbeitsschutz von AZ , 2009, p. 52
  5. ^ Stefan Kramer, Internet use as a reason for termination , in: NZA 2004, 457, 459
  6. Anja Mengel, Old labor law realities in dealing with the new virtual world , in: NZA 2005, 752, 753
  7. ^ BAG, judgment of July 7, 2005, Az .: 2 AZR 581/04
  8. ^ BAG, judgment of April 27, 2006, Az .: 2 AZR 386/05
  9. Rolf Schwartmann (Ed.), Media, IT and Copyright , 2018, p. 503
  10. Wolfgang Däubler, Internet and Labor Law , 2004, § 3 Rn. 185
  11. Erich Gutenberg, Fundamentals of Business Administration , Volume 1: Production , 1966, p. 4
  12. Erich Gutenberg, Fundamentals of Business Administration , Volume 1: Production , 1966, p. 100
  13. Erich Kosiol, Organization of the Enterprise , 1962, p. 90
  14. Arbeitsmittel - Steuerlexikon , accessed on March 23, 2009
  15. a b - Historical texts & dictionaries: Karl Marx, Das Kapital , Volume I-Chapter III-Section 5: Work process and recovery process , 1867, p. 194
  16. MEW, Volume 23, 1961, p. 194