Refrigerating systems

Inspection of refrigerating systems according to Betriebssicherheitsverordnung

Refrigerating systems - Inspections according to Betriebssicherheitsverordnung

The German Regulation on Health and Safety in the Use of Work Equipment (Betriebssicherheitsverordnung, BetrSichV) classifies many refrigerating systems as pressure systems (Druckanlagen) that are subjected to inspection. The regulation prescribes:

  • Initial inspections before commissioning
  • Periodic inspections during operation
  • Inspections before recommissioning after changes requiring inspection

Refrigerating systems which fall under the scope of this regulation need to be inspected by an Authorised Inspection Agency (AIA) such as TÜV SÜD or, in the case of pressure systems with lower hazard potential, a competent personnel. Pressure systems with CE marking will also have to be inspected. Our experts for refrigerating can support you in performing the necessary inspections in all areas related to the safety of pressure systems.

Read more below to find out if your refrigerating system is subject to inspection by an AIA. Contact us if you're in doubt. Our experts are happy to help.


  • Do I need an AIA to inspect my refrigerating system as a pressure system, and what are the maximum possible intervals for periodic inspections?


    Initial inspections before commissioning/ inspections before recommissioning after changes requiring inspection of a refrigerating system according to § 15 BetrSichV:

    • Employers operating refrigerating systems must commission an authorised inspection agency if the pressure volume product of the determining pressure equipment (in many cases this is the refrigerant receiver or the intermediate pressure vessel) exceeds 200 bar x l. This applies to all common refrigerants (e. g. R134a, R744 (carbon dioxide) or R290 (propane)).
    • Example: According to the vessel’s dataplate, the volume V of a system’s refrigerant receiver is 100 liters. The design pressure of the high-pressure side of the system, which the receiver is installed in, is given as 28 bar. The pressure volume product is PS x V = 2800 bar x l. The refrigerating system shall therefore be inspected by an authorised inspection agency before it is started up for the first time.

    Periodic inspections according to § 16 BetrSichV have a maximum interval of 5 or 10 years:

    • Employers operating a refrigerating system must call in an AIA for periodic inspections if the pressure volume product of the determining pressure equipment (in many cases the refrigerant receiver or intermediate pressure vessel) exceeds 1000 bar x l. This applies to all common refrigerants.


    Systems that do not exceed the above limits do not require inspection by an AIA. In these cases, inspection of the pressure system can be carried out by a competent personnel as set forth in Annex 2, Section 4 No. 3 BetrSichV. The inspection responsibilities for refrigerating systems not classified as pressure systems subject to inspection are outlined in TRBS 1201 Part 2.

  • What aspects are covered by the initial and periodic inspections of refrigerating systems?

    The expert carrying out the inspection focuses on visual examination and review of documentation. This includes, but is not limited to, the following aspects:

    • Correct placing on the market of the refrigerating system including the manufacturer’s documentation
    • Safety-related aspects of installation and environmental conditions and their impacts on the refrigerating system
    • The effectiveness and the function of the technical safety measures
    • The content of the refrigerating system logbook
    • The hazard assessment prepared by the employer for the refrigerating system
    • Documentation of regular and on-time inspection of the electrical protective measures
    • Documentation of the annual training of the personnel employed on the refrigerating system

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