Handling hazardous substances

The handling of hazardous substances is regulated on a national level by the Chemicals Act (Chemikaliengesetz; ChemG), with the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (Gefahrstoffverordnung; GefStoffV) and a large number of Technical Rules (TRGS) specifying the practical implementation of the Chemicals Act.

Hazardous substances may be explosive, oxidising, easily flammable, extremely flammable, harmful to health, corrosive, irritant, sensitising, toxic, highly toxic or carcinogenic. According to the type of hazard, the Gefahrstoffverordnung classifies these substances into different protection levels which involve specific safety requirements.

Conducting a risk assessment is a central component in determining the correct protection level. The risk assessment includes information on the toxic properties of the substance, information from the manufacturer, details on the level of exposure, physico-chemical effects as well as the possibility of substitution with less dangerous substances. We provide a number of official forms to facilitate the conduct of such an assessment. The Gefahrstoffverordnung also stipulates the maintenance of an up-to-date hazardous substances register that documents the substance information, the corresponding safety data sheet, labelling regulations, the quantity of the substance and the corresponding location.

In some cases, hazardous substances must be kept in safety cabinets.

Dangerous goods

Mr Heinz Dockter has been appointed as Dangerous Goods Officer according to the ADR/RID/ADN directives and as Person in Charge according to 1.3 IATA-DGR of Ulm University. He is contact person for all institutes with shipping obligations and is entitled to sign the Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods.

Dangerous Goods Officer at Ulm University
(external staff)

Heinz Dockter
phone +49 (0)8222 6429

Plattener Straße 25
89331 Burgau

Hazardous substances register

Ulm University's central hazardous substances register DaMaRIS provides the required information for the University and the pre-clinical facilities; it also lets you create safety data sheets, operating instructions for individual substances and labels. If you are not yet registered as a user, please contact Mr PD Dr. E. Kaufmann. The previous hazardous substances register CHRIS is available for the time being, but its use is no longer recommended. Additional substance information is provided, for example, by the EU's inventory of existing substances EINECS and the GESTIS Substance Database of the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (Institut für Arbeitsschutz; IFA). A catalogue of carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic substances and activities can be found in a complete list.

Operating instructions (BA)

Operating instructions (Betriebsanweisungen; BA) provide clear and understandable information about hazardous substances on site. They include a description of the hazardous substance and list the dangers to humans and the environment, measures in the event of an accident, first aid rules and information on disposal. Operating instructions are the basis for the annual staff instruction sessions that are tailored to the workplace and delivered in a face-to-face manner, in easy-to-understand language. The subject of the instruction is documented and signed by the participants accordingly. The operating instructions should be displayed clearly visible in the hazard area. We provide you with a selection of operating instructions as template. These templates serve as example; the facility manager is responsible for the final form of the operating instructions. If you use templates from the internet, please adhere to the specifications of the TRGS 555 (Betriebsanweisungen).

Laboratory regulations

The general laboratory regulations at Ulm University with an appendix on restrictions for adolescents and expectant mothers when handling hazardous substances serve as a guideline and do not replace the preparation of operating instructions and risk assessments as well as staff instruction sessions. Shortened versions of the laboratory regulations (general and special section) are available in English.

Further information on laboratory safety and handling of hazardous substances

  • Rule GUV-R 120 (laboratories) of the German Social Accident Insurance (Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung) in connection with the technical rule TRGS 526 (laboratories) determine the behaviour in the laboratory area. Rule GUV-R 120 has been replaced by laboratory guideline GUV-I 850.0.
  • In addition to the above-mentioned laws and regulations, rule GUV-SR 2005 specifies the handling of hazardous substances, particularly at higher education institutions.
  • Rule GUV-V A1 regulates all questions around prevention in particular.
  • Rules GUV-R 120 and GUV-A 1 are available in English.