abZ & DIBt
In Germany, obtaining national technical approval (“abZ”) is a possibility of placing a construction product on the market, even if it does not comply with any of the (applicable) standards. “abZ” approvals have been awarded by the German Institute for Construction Technology (DIBt) since 1968. An “abZ” approval governs the properties of a construction product with respect to the relevant building regulations and the product’s areas of usage, as well as processing, transport, storage and labelling aspects and the respective certificates of conformity.
A ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of 21 October 2010 (Case C-185-08) provides the legal basis for the DIBt requirements. This ruling defines which anchorage points are classified as personal protection equipment and which as construction products.
Anchorage devices which are firmly attached to a structure are classified as construction products. EN 795 does not apply to these products. As a standard for permanently installed anchorage devices in accordance with the Construction Products Directive is still being worked on, there is currently no basis upon which to base tests.
The so-called Ü symbol that can be found on the products shows that they have been awarded national technical approval and also indicates that these products are tested once a year for conformity with the products originally approved by the DIBt.
Approval Z-14-9-688 awarded to ABS Safety shows you clearly how an “abZ” approval is structured and what it contains.
Further information can be found on the official website of the German Institute for Construction Technology (DIBt).