Information regarding the expert for occupational safety as well as relevant training courses:

Berufsgenossenschaft Verkehrswirtschaft Post-Logistik Telekommunikation (BG Verkehr)
Geschäftsbereich Prävention
Ottenser Hauptstr. 54
22765 Hamburg

Referat Seeschifffahrt und Fischerei

Phone: +49 40 39802754
Fax: +49 40 39801999

Verification of the appointment of the expert for occupational safety at the shore-based branch of the company (e.g. shipping company):

Arbeitsschutzbehörden der Länder
Liste der Arbeitsschutzbehörden der Küsten-Bundesländer:

Kontaktdaten der Arbeitsschutzbehörden

Expert for occupational safety

Companies must have experts for occupational safety

According to section 6 of the German Arbeitssicherheitsgesetz (occupational health and safety act), an employer must appoint "experts for occupational safety" (safety engineer, technician, foreman) in writing. These experts have to advise their employer and other personnel responsible for occupational health and safety in all matters pertaining to occupational health and safety.
Further information on experts for occupational safety can be found at Sifa-online (only in German).

Experts for occupational safety in ocean shipping

In ocean shipping the experts for occupational safety (the earlier term "FASI" is now changed to "Sifa") formerly existed in two variants:

  • as  "on-board expert for occupational safety" for each ship, and
  • as "expert for occupational safety for the shipping company" ashore

Today this former differentiation is obsolete. The qualification "on-board expert for occupational safety" is no longer accepted and the relevant training no longer available. The former "expert for occupational safety for the shipping company" on the other hand, is still recognized, due to the comprehensive training required for this "Sifa" qualification ("Sifa" = Sicherheitsfachkraft, expert for occupational safety). The Berufsgenossenschaft für Transport und Verkehrswirtschaft (BG Verkehr, Geschäftsbereich Prävention) offers this (Sifa) training with a focus on shipping.

bild fachkraft schiffssicherheit

On-board safety representatives

In addition to the expert for occupational safety, on each ship with five or more crew members an on-board safety representative has to be appointed. His tasks are mandatorily specified for each company to ensure a focus on practical matters.  The safety representatives are welcome to enrol in a voluntary one-week training course offered by the BG Verkehr to familiarize themselves with their tasks. The legal basis for the appointment of a safety representative is section 116 of the German Seearbeitsgesetz (maritime labour law), which, as a more specific regulation, takes precedence over section 22, paragraph 1, clause 1, of Volume VII of the German social insurance code (SGB VII).

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Contact details

The German federal state-level occupational health and safety authorities are responsible for checking whether experts for occupational safety have been appointed for the shore-based branch of the company. Which authority is responsible depends on the location of the company’s headquarters. The city of Hamburg has compiled a list of the coastal occupational health and safety authorities responsible for ocean shipping with their contact details.

Furthermore, the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for Commercial Transport, Postal Logistics and Telecommunication (Referat Seeschifffahrt = shipping department) offers advice to shipping companies regarding the expert for occupational safety as well as relevant training courses.

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