Occupational safety specialist

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The specialist for occupational safety is a specially trained person who, together with a company doctor ( occupational physician ), supports companies or authorities with one or more employees in tasks that result from the implementation of the EC framework directive 89/391 / EEC. The abbreviation in Germany is Sifa. Depending on the trade association and trade, the abbreviations FASi and occasionally FAS are also used because of the conceptual overlap with the security specialists in the guarding trade (§34a Trade Regulations ) and the “security specialist for information protection and corporate security”.

The central task of Sifa is to advise and support the entrepreneur or employer in the field of occupational safety - more precisely: "Occupational health and safety and humane work design".


In Germany , the EU framework directive is implemented primarily through the Occupational Safety and Health Act (ArbSchG), the Occupational Safety Act (ASiG) and the Seventh Book of the Social Code (SGB VII). The implementation of the safety-related and company medical care is regulated by the Occupational Safety Act (ASiG) and specified in DGUV regulation 2 and VSG 1.2.

Sifa should neither be confused with the safety officer nor with the "safety officer" (transfer of company duties; authority to issue instructions, a central component of "responsibility" is usually not present at Sifa). In Germany, training for occupational safety specialists is predominantly carried out by the employers' liability insurance association .

At the BG, it takes place part-time and does not cause any direct costs in addition to the wages to be paid, as it is financed through the compulsory contributions of all companies belonging to the BG. The training usually comprises six face-to-face phases (one week each in a BG training center), two or three self-study phases with teaching material on CD-ROM or USB stick, and practical work that must be presented in the fifth face-to-face phase. The individual sections are completed by written exams.

Depending on the previous professional qualification, a specialist for occupational safety can call himself a safety master (master craftsman training), safety technician (qualification as a technician) or safety engineer (completion of an engineering degree), but the knowledge acquired during the training as a Sifa does not differ in any of the three designations. With the special approval of the BG, the Sifa course can also be completed with equivalent training and appropriate professional experience; According to Section 7 (2) ASiG, the competent authority (e.g. trade supervisory office , office for occupational safety and health ) decides whether the person may ultimately work as a Sifa .

Position in the company

The occupational safety specialist must be appointed in writing by the employer in accordance with Section 5 ASiG with the participation of the works or staff council. Sifa is directly subordinate to the manager of the company (see Section 8 (2) ASiG). The manager of the company is usually the entrepreneur, a specific member of the management or the mayor (not to be confused with the manager). All attempts, the Sifa not the top management, but z. B. subordinate to a department head, did not exist in courts. Sifa thus takes on a staff function of the management in the organizational chart and reports directly to it. Sifa has no authority to issue instructions. It has a pure advisory and support function. She also has no managerial duties (exception: a senior Sifa has managerial duties towards her subordinate Sifas). Sifa is not subject to technical instructions (cf. § 8 Paragraph 1 ASiG). This means that no person in the company is allowed to give her instructions on how to perform the job. Conversely, Sifa is responsible for providing technically correct advice and must organize the performance of its tasks independently. This can be an employee of the company or an external consultant (external safety-related support).

Forms of care

There are various options for security-related support:

  • Support from a salaried employee
  • Support from a freelance Sifa
  • Supervision by an inter-company service

Special regulations for small businesses

For small companies, there are special regulations in accordance with the provisions of DGUV regulation 2, annex 3 of the respective accident insurance institution to which the small company belongs. According to this, the entrepreneur with a limited number of employees can limit the safety-related support from an external Sifa to self-determined needs after a motivation and information training.


The tasks are defined in § 6 ASiG:

The occupational safety specialists have the task of supporting the employer in occupational safety , health protection , accident prevention and in all questions relating to the humane organization of work.
You have in particular

  • to advise the employer and the persons otherwise responsible for occupational safety and accident prevention, in particular with
  • to check the safety of the operating systems and the technical work equipment, in particular before commissioning and work procedures, in particular before their introduction,
  • the assessment of the working conditions,
  • to observe the implementation of occupational safety and accident prevention and in connection with it
  • to inspect the workplaces at regular intervals and to notify the employer or the person otherwise responsible for occupational safety and accident prevention, to propose measures to remedy these defects and to work towards their implementation,
  • to pay attention to the use of personal protective equipment,
  • the design of the workplaces, the workflow, the work environment and other ergonomic issues ,
  • the planning, implementation and maintenance of operating facilities and social and sanitary facilities,
  • Investigate the causes of occupational accidents, record and evaluate the results of the investigation and suggest measures to prevent these occupational accidents to the employer,
  • to ensure that all employees in the company behave in accordance with the requirements of occupational safety and accident prevention, in particular to instruct them about the accident and health hazards to which they are exposed at work, as well as about the facilities and measures to avert these hazards and with to participate in the training of safety officers .


The steps taken by the specialist for occupational safety in the cycle of action .

In the professional association information BGI 838, the content and process of training to become a specialist for occupational safety , the activities are outlined in a PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) principle:

  1. Analysis of the work system
  2. Assessment of the hazards identified in the analysis
  3. Setting of (protective) goals
  4. Development of alternative solutions ( hierarchy of measures )
  5. Suggestions for suitable solutions (decision rests with the management)
  6. Implementation and implementation of the solution (usually only initiate and monitor)
  7. Control the effectiveness of the solution

Further conclusions or a new analysis create a cycle.

In contrast to this, in the current training for occupational safety specialists ( German Statutory Accident Insurance ), the area of ​​further conclusions is not understood as part of the cycle, as the cycle is part of the continuous improvement process (CIP; see also quality management according to ISO 9001 , environmental management according to EMAS or ISO 14001 or occupational health and safety management according to OHRIS ) is to be run continuously even without any need for action and the further conclusions usually do not relate to the work system but rather to the management system (e.g. higher-level organizational measures, integrated management system (IMS)).


  • Since the last amendment to the trade association regulations, companies have been given more freedom to make decisions. The entrepreneurs are obliged to use a risk assessment to make their decisions comprehensible and to document them. As a rule, the employers' liability insurance association (or the public prosecutor's office ) only checks after a negative event (accident) whether the measures are sufficient; z. For example, a small business owner must provide evidence of advice in which the working times for the occupational safety specialist are determined. It can turn out that a small office (fewer than 20 employees) can get by with a consulting service of 8 hours every 3 years, while a chemical company with the same number of employees needs 8 hours per month.
  • The working time of the specialist for occupational safety depends on the number of employees and their hazards ( hazard classes ). According to DGUV regulation 2 (formerly BGV A2 of the respective BG or GUV-V A6 / 7 set of rules of the accident insurance funds ), it results from basic support, the times of which are specified in a list, and company-specific support, the time required with the help of a Risk assessment is determined as well as the percentage distribution of the basic care time between Sifa and the company doctor .
  • As can already be seen from the tasks and position, she has no line responsibility and no authority to issue instructions to other employees in the company. This gives rise to liability limited to the accuracy of the advice. The responsibility for the implementation of occupational safety remains i. A. with the entrepreneur, who in turn can delegate them (transfer of entrepreneurial duties).

Specialist for occupational safety in Austria

The occupational safety specialist is prescribed in Austria by the Employee Protection Act (ASchG). The designation is Sicherheitfachkraft (SFK) acc. the SFK-VO. The training for this must be at least 288 hours.


In the ASchG, the tasks are laid down in Section 76:

Safety specialists have the task of advising employers, employees, safety representatives and staff bodies in the field of occupational safety and humane work design and supporting employers in fulfilling their duties in these areas.

Employers must call in the safety specialists and, if necessary, other suitable specialists:

  1. in work physiological, work psychological and other ergonomic and industrial hygiene issues, in particular the design of workplaces and the work flow,
  2. when purchasing or changing work equipment,
  3. when introducing or changing work procedures and when introducing working materials,
  4. in the identification and assessment of hazards,
  5. when testing and selecting personal protective equipment,
  6. in the definition of measures to prevent danger,
  7. in all questions of occupational safety including accident prevention,
  8. in the organization of fire protection and evacuation measures,
  9. in the organization of the instruction and in the creation of operating instructions
  10. in the planning of workplaces and
  11. in administrative procedures as defined in Section 8.


The activities are listed in Section 77 of the ASchG:

  1. advising employees, safety representatives and staff bodies on matters relating to occupational safety and humane work design,
  2. advising and supporting the employer in matters pursuant to Section 76 (3),
  3. the inspection of workplaces, construction sites and external workplaces as well as participation in inspections by the labor inspectorate,
  4. the documentation of the activity and the results of investigations as well as the preparation of reports and programs in the field of occupational safety and work organization
  5. the determination and investigation of the causes of accidents at work and work-related illnesses as well as the evaluation of these investigations and investigations,
  6. the coordination of the activities of several safety experts
  7. the activity within the framework of the occupational safety committee and the central occupational safety committee ,
  8. the review and adaptation of the identification and assessment of the hazards and the specified measures required by the employee protection regulations, including adaptation of the safety and health protection documents and
  9. further training up to a maximum of 15% of the annual prevention time set for them.

Operating times

In workplaces with up to 50 employees, preventive care must take place in the form of inspections that

  • for 1 to 10 employees at least every 2 years and
  • are to be carried out at least annually for 11 to 50 employees, whereby these inspections should be carried out jointly by the SFK and AM if possible.

In workplaces with more than 50 employees, SFK and AM are to be employed at least as long as the prevention time regulated in § 82a ASchG. This amounts to per calendar year and AN for

  • Office workplaces 1.2 hours and for
  • other jobs 1.5 hours.

There is a surcharge for night work. The occupational safety specialist has to fulfill at least 40% of the calculated deployment time. The occupational physician must meet 35%, the remaining 25% must be divided individually between all preventive specialists.

Position in the company

The occupational safety specialist is appointed in writing by the employer (external specialist or company employee). The occupational safety specialist reports directly to the entrepreneur and has the position of a staff unit . There is no authority to issue instructions to employees from this position.

The specialist for occupational safety is a member of the occupational safety committee in companies with more than 20 employees (Germany) , in Austria from 100 employees.

Web links

See also

  • BuS care and accident prevention regulation DGUV regulation 2 "Company doctors and specialists for occupational safety" valid from January 1, 2011 (formerly BGV A2, old designation BGV A6 / A7) of the respective trade associations.

Individual evidence

  1. Accident prevention regulation “ Company doctors and specialists for occupational safety” - DGUV regulation 2. Frequently asked questions. As of June 28, 2011 , German Social Accident Insurance, accessed on November 16, 2016 (PDF; 34 kB)
  2. Training as security specialist for information protection and corporate security , accessed October 4, 2015