External dangerous goods safety advisers: the most important facts in brief

  • Dangerous goods safety advisers are responsible for the safe handling of transport activities of dangerous goods.
  • Dangerous goods safety advisers complete a training course for each mode of transport supervised (road, rail, inland shipping, ocean shipping, air freight). After that, an examination must be passed.
  • Dangerous goods officers are reported to the location canton of the company.
  • The function of the dangerous goods officer can be covered by an employee internally or it can be delegated to external dangerous goods officers.
  • Dangerous goods officers train the personnel involved. Only trained personnel may perform activities related to the transport of dangerous goods.
  • They review this annually and prepare an annual report for the attention of the authorities.

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Why is there a need for external dangerous goods safety advisors?

The interest in transporting hazardous goods quickly and cost-effectively is offset by the risk that naturally arises during transport. Risk is defined as the product of the extent of damage caused by an event and its probability of occurrence. In this sense, hazardous materials transportation differs from stationary facilities in two ways. 

The probability of incidents is higher on transports than on stationary facilities. The public space is less regulated than a factory site with restricted access and mandatory training even for visitors. This increases the probability of an event occurring. An additional factor is kinetic energy. Transports also pass through sensitive areas (residential, agricultural, etc.).

This results in the need for increased regulation and monitoring of these activities. On the industry side, this responsibility is carried out by the hazardous materials supervisor. There are several reasons why external dangerous goods safety advisors are needed:

  1. Independence: External dangerous goods safety advisors are independent of the operators of the plants or facilities and can therefore objectively and neutrally assess whether the requirements for safety and environmental protection are met.
  2. Expertise: External dangerous goods safety advisors usually have special training and experience in the field of dangerous goods management and can therefore assess complex issues faster and more confidently.
  3. Regulation: Laws and regulations in the field of dangerous goods management are often complex and constantly changing. External dangerous goods safety advisors can help companies and facilities meet these requirements and adapt to current regulations.
  4. Safety: External dangerous goods safety advisors help ensure the safety of facilities and equipment that handle dangerous goods and minimize the risk of accidents and environmental pollution.

Legal basis external dangerous goods officer

Dangerous Goods Officer Ordinance (GGBV)
The GGBV of 15 June 2001 applies to companies that transport dangerous goods by road, rail or water. Anyone who deals with certain quantities of dangerous goods must appoint a dangerous goods officer. This is a technically and time demanding task. To fulfill this task, the GGBV explicitly provides for the possibility of calling in an external dangerous goods officer. 

Companies that transport dangerous goods or have them transported via public transport routes (road, rail, inland waterways, ocean shipping or by air freight) are subject to the dangerous goods officer ordinance. Companies that only ship, transport or receive smaller quantities are exempt. It is worth checking.

Convention on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road
Transports of dangerous goods by road are regulated by the "Convention on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road", the ADR ("Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises dangereuses par route"). Rail transport is regulated by the IDR. Thanks to this agreement, cross-border transport of dangerous goods is also regulated uniformly in this way in many states.

Who needs to deal with it?

Whoever is involved in transport processes of dangerous goods must clarify which measures he must take to minimize the risks for people and the environment. In this context, it must also be clarified whether he is thus subject to the Dangerous Goods Officer Ordinance. Compliance with the legal requirements reduces the risks and improves the position vis-à-vis the investigating authorities if something should happen after all.

Dangerous goods safety advisors must be appointed by law if transport activities involving dangerous goods are carried out. Exceptions apply in the case of small quantities.

The following persons must be involved:

  • Transport law requires shippers of dangerous goods to hand over consignments that comply with the regulations (packaging, labeling, documentation). He can use the services of packers or fillers.
  • Shippers check compliance with the provisions of transport law and ensure safe loading.
  • Carriers check the consignment and are responsible for safe transport.
  • Receivers take delivery of the consignment after a successful inspection without delay. In case of defects, they take appropriate measures or reject the consignment.
  • Unloading check the package and transport documents and unload the transport vehicle.

How does SBIS support?

In a first step, we clarify on an order basis whether your company is subject to the GGBV. If this is the case, we offer you the following services on a mandate basis: 

  • Comprehensive support in complying with the legal requirements 
  • Review of the relevant internal procedures and instructions 
  • Training of the responsible persons in the company 
  • Support in the implementation of preventive measures to prevent accidents 
  • Preparation of an accident report in the event of damage 
  • Preparation of the annual report 

Establishment of external dangerous goods officers
The SBIS provides external dangerous goods officers if required. They prepare the annual report and represent the client to the authorities.

Training of employees
Training of employees involved in the transport of dangerous goods is another benefit of the customer.

Classification and transport documents
We also assist with the classification of dangerous goods and the preparation of transport documents.

Make a non-binding request for external dangerous goods representatives


You benefit from this

The requirements for a dangerous goods safety advisor presuppose a profound knowledge of national and international regulations, and continuous training is a must. Thanks to the involvement of an external dangerous goods safety advisor, you save time and personnel resources. The possibility to fill the position of the dangerous goods safety advisor with a person from outside the company also guarantees you the independence you need to fulfill this task. The experience gained from various dangerous goods mandates allows us to efficiently and competently handle the tasks to be performed in your company.