Order on centrifuges

Order No. 776 of 25 November 1991 on Centrigues of the Danish Working Environment Authority with later amendments - unofficial version


includes Orders

  • No. 776 of 25 November 1991, which entered into force on 10 December 1991, and
  • No. 1253 of 15 December 2008, which entered into force on 1 January 2009.


In pursuance of Section 35, subsection 1 and Sections 41, 46, 74, 78 and 84 of the Working Environment Act, cf. statutory instrument No. 646 of 18 December 1985, as amended by Act No. 220 of 22 April 1987, and Act No. 380 of 13 June 1990, and by authority according to Section 32 of Ministry of the Environment's Order No. 43 of 22 January 1981 on the design and use of technical devices, the following shall apply:

Section 1. The order includes mechanically driven
Subsection 2. The Order contains supplementary detailed rules in relation to Order No. 43 of 22 January 1981 on the design and use of technical devices.

Section 2. The special requirements in Sections 7 and 8 shall, however, apply solely to basket and laboratory centrifuges. 
Subsection 2. Basket centrifuges are defined in this Order as those used to separate fluids from solids, e.g. water from items to be laundered, molasses from sugar etc. The rotating element has a perforated outer wall which allows fluids to pass through whilst retaining solids.

Subsection 3. Laboratory centrifuges are defined in this Order as those used to centrifuge small amounts of fluids placed in at least two separate containers during centrifuging. 

Section 3. Centrifuges must be designed and constructed such that they can be used, maintained and repaired with due regard to safety and health considerations. 

Section 4. Centrifuges and all their components must be dimensioned, designed and manufactured in compliance with the rules applicable within the European Economic Community. 

Section 5. The design shall ensure that noise and vibrations from centrifuges do not represent a danger to health and safety. 

Section 6. The design shall ensure that centrifuges used for working processes involving substances and materials which are hazardous to health can be used without risk to either safety or health. If this cannot be achieved through the design, other technical measures must be taken.

Section 7. The lids, locks, hinges and body of basket and laboratory centrifuges must be designed such that parts which are detached are not thrown out of the centrifuge.

Subsection 2. The body must be shaped to ensure that rotating parts are covered or encapsulated to guarantee they cannot be touched during centrifuging. 

Section 8. Basket and laboratory centrifuges must be fitted with:


  1. A locking device which is connected to the power source, such that the centrifuge cannot be started before the lid is closed, and such that the lid cannot be opened unless the centrifuge has stopped spinning. The locking device must be able to operate in the event of loss of the power supply.
  2. A device which will disconnect the power supply in the event of extreme imbalance (a wobble switch) unless some other reliable measure will ensure that imbalance cannot represent a risk.

Subsection 2. Laboratory centrifuges must also be fitted with a speed indicator and regulator, unless they have some other reliable measure to ensure that the maximum permitted RPM cannot be exceeded.

Section 9. Sugar centrifuges are exempted from the requirement in Section 8, Subsection 1, No. 1.

Section 10. Laboratory centrifuges with a kinetic energy of less than 1,500 joules are exempted from the provisions in Section 8.

Subsection 2. Alternatively, the centrifuges referred to in Subsection 1 shall be fitted with:

  1. a locking device which causes the lid to be automatically locked when closed and,
  2. a switch which prevents the centrifuge from being started unless the lid is locked and which disrupts the power supply if the lid is opened.

Section 11. All centrifuges must be fitted with a manually operated or automatic braking device.
Automatic washing machines with a centrifuge (spin dry) program are exempted from this provision. 

Section 12. Centrifuges must be fitted with a clearly legible and durable plate which states:

  1. The manufacturer’s or importer's name and address.
  2. Production year and number.
  3. Max. RPM.
  4. Kinetic energy, if less than 1,500 joules.
  5. The rotor on centrifuges with replaceable rotors must be marked with the max. RPM.

Section 13. Centrifuges must be sold with a user guide in Danish, with instructions on how to operate, maintain and clean the machine.

The user guide must be kept easily accessible on the centrifuge or nearby. 

Section 14. All centrifuges must be used, maintained and cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Section 15. If a centrifuge is found to be defective or a danger to health, e.g. due a defect in the locking mechanism, severe imbalance etc, it must be withdrawn from use immediately.

Section 16. Centrifuges for industrial use must be inspected at least once annually by the supplier or other expert, although cf. Section 17. 

Section 17. Centrifuges in residential washrooms or coin laundry facilities where they can be accessible to non-employees (e.g. hospitals and nursing homes) must be inspected at least every 6 months by the supplier or other expert.

Section 18. Two warning signs must always be placed in a highly visible location in residential washrooms and coin laundry facilities and bear clearly legible and durable text, stating:

    Do not attempt to open the lid before the centrifuge has come to complete stop. Report defects to the owner immediately.
  2. Not to be operated by children under the age of 15.

Section 19. A log book must be kept on or near centrifuges located in residential washrooms and coin laundry facilities. 

Subsection 2. The owner must use note all details in the log book with respect to:

  1. the performance of service calls, cf. Section 17.
  2. Major repairs.
  3. The Danish Working Environment Authority’s decisions on breaches of rules concerning the centrifuge, including orders.

Section 20. The Director of the Danish Working Environment Authority may permit exemptions from this Order when special circumstances prevail.

Section 21. Rulings under this Order may be appealed according to Section 81 of the Working Environment Act.

Section 22. Unless a higher penalty is applicable under the terms of the Working Environment Act or other legislation, any breach of Sections 3-8 and 10-19 is punishable by fine or imprisonment.

Subsection 2. Employers may be liable for fines in the event of a breach as stated in Subsection 1, even though the breach cannot be attributed to them as either deliberate or negligent. No alternative penalty is defined for penalties levied.

Subsection 3. In the event of a breach committed by a public limited company, a general partnership, a private limited company or similar, the company shall be held liable for the payment of such a fine. If a breach is committed by the state, a municipality or municipal body subject to Section 60 of the Act on Municipal Management, they shall be liable for payment of fines.

Section 23. This Order shall go into effect on 10 December 1991.

Subsection 2. Ministry of Social Affairs' Order No. 489 of 20 November 1947 on the design and use of mechanically-driven centrifuges is repealed.

Subsection 3. The requirements of this Order shall only become effective on 1 December 1995 for those centrifuges that were in use at the relevant workplace before the effective date, and which fulfilled the previously applicable rules, while Sections 14-19 will come into effect on 10 December 1991.