dangerous goods

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tank trailer with warning sign (30 = flammable liquid (flash point from 23 ° C up to and including 60 ° C) UN 1866 = resin solution, flammable) and danger label (class 3 = flammable liquid)
Danger sign (orange warning sign) 80 | 1789 and hazard label 8 (corrosive / caustic)
80: caustic substance
1789: hydrochloric acid
Warning sign 663 | 1695 and hazard labels 6.1 (toxic), 3 (flammable) and 8 (corrosive / caustic)
663: very toxic substance, flammable, flash point not above 61 ° C
1695: stabilized chloroacetone
Trichlorosilane in hazardous goods trolleys

As dangerous (outside the technical language also dangerous ; English dangerous goods or hazardous materials abbreviated as hazmat ) is called in connection with the transport in the public space substances , preparations (mixtures, blends, solutions) and articles containing substances which due due to their nature , their physical or chemical properties or their state during transport certain hazards for

  • the public safety and order, especially for the general public,
  • important commons,
  • Life and health of people, animals and things

and which are classified as dangerous goods due to legal regulations .


is the identification of a dangerous goods transport with warning signs ( generally 40 cm × 30 cm orange-colored rectangular signs on the transport vehicle or tank container, provided with numbers under certain conditions) as well as on the package with so-called "danger labels" (squares in size 10 cm × 10 cm in fixed colors and meaningful pictograms ) or on vehicles and containers with their versions enlarged to 25 cm × 25 cm, so-called "large notes" or "placards". These provide information about the composition of the goods being transported and the dangers arising from them, and are therefore used to quickly determine measures in the event of an accident involving dangerous goods .

Differentiation from hazardous substances

Hazardous substances are substances that pose a risk to the environment and health, for example through the effects of poison, fire or explosion. The storage of such substances is subject to the provisions of the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances ( GefStoff V ) and the technical rules for hazardous substances (TRGS 510). Substances and objects that pose such risks in connection with the transport are also referred to as dangerous goods. Their storage in terms of the provision for transport or a transport interruption is subject to the Hazardous Goods Transport Act ( GGBefG ). If the transport interruption exceeds 24 hours, storage is assumed.

Delimitation from the freight law term "dangerous goods"

The term "dangerous goods" in transport law / freight law (e.g. in Germany according to § 410 Commercial Code (HGB) or according to Art. 22 CMR ) includes the concept of dangerous goods discussed here, but can go beyond this. According to this, dangerous goods are also any goods which, taken in isolation, would be harmless, but which can or must be classified as dangerous due to the transport situation. These are goods that, in the context of normal transport , pose a risk to means of transport , people or other legal interests.


There are numerous regulations and agreements for the transport of dangerous goods by road, rail, air and water transport, e.g. B. with regard to packaging , load securing , labeling and transport . The purpose of the numerous regulations is a safe handling of the transport of dangerous goods (accident avoidance) as well as precise and quick information of the rescue forces ( fire brigade ), so that in the event of an accident this can be recognized as a dangerous goods accident and the correct measures can be taken as soon as possible. Hazardous substances law applies to storage and use .

The transport of dangerous goods is one of the few areas in which there have been transnational regulations for a long time , to which most states have subscribed. These regulations are intended to guarantee the safe transport of these sensitive goods across national borders. The international regulations are supplemented by national regulations which, among other things, define responsibilities, obligations and administrative offenses. The regulations are continuously reviewed and further developed, taking into account knowledge in science and technology. In the Federal Official Gazette I and II, the regulations are promulgated and amended as required by notices in the traffic sheet. The handling of dangerous goods is defined by the United Nations (UN) in the Model Regulations of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods , which are currently valid in Revision 20 (2017). Nevertheless, various standards have developed in dangerous goods and hazardous substances law, for example with regard to classification criteria. Since 2000, however, the UN has endeavored to standardize the regulations with the globally harmonized system for the classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS).

The most important, carrier- specific individual regulations include:

All of these supranational regulations are incorporated into national law in the individual countries through national legislation.


For the transport of dangerous goods by road, the driver must acquire an ADR training certificate, which is issued to him for a limited time (for five years) after successfully completing a course. Without this certificate, dangerous goods may only be transported with special restrictions and observance of special features. All those involved in the transport of dangerous goods must prove their knowledge of the dangerous goods regulations. They receive this in regular training courses.

Companies that are involved in the transport of dangerous goods must usually appoint a dangerous goods officer in writing . However, the Ordinance on Hazardous Goods (GbV) contains exemptions; if these apply to the company, no dangerous goods officer has to be appointed.

The legal standards require a special ADR approval for certain motor vehicles that are used for certain dangerous goods transports (e.g. tankers, vehicles for the transport of larger quantities of explosives, etc.), which requires various additional technical safety features. In addition, when transporting dangerous goods, protective equipment (on the one hand for personal protection, but also aids for removing dangerous goods that have been released, for securing the accident site and for fire fighting ) must be carried with you , depending on the substances being transported. The labeling of vehicles and packages and the carrying of certain transport documents are also required.

Corresponding regulations also apply to rail , ship and air traffic .

Classification according to UN

The classification takes place according to dangerous goods classes with a special symbol, the individual classes are then further specified (class 1 via subclasses and compatibility group , the others via a classification code ). The goods themselves are recorded in a database with the UN number , which also includes information on the hazard class, hazard according to quantity and the like.

Dangerous goods classes
Dangclass1.svg class 1 Explosives and articles containing explosives (with 7 subclasses )
DOT hazmat class 2.1.svg Class 2.1 Gases ( flammable )
DOT hazmat class 2.2.svg Class 2.2 Gases (non-flammable)
DOT hazmat class 2.3 - (Alt 2) .svg Class 2.3 Gases ( toxic )
UN transport pictogram - 3 (black) .svg Class 3 Flammable liquids
DOT hazmat class 4.1.svg Class 4.1 Flammable solids
DOT hazmat class 4.2.svg Class 4.2 Self-igniting substances
Label for dangerous goods - class 4.3.svg Class 4.3 Substances that form flammable gases with water
DOT hazmat class 5.1.svg Class 5.1 Inflammatory (oxidizing) substances
Placard 5.2.svg Class 5.2 Organic peroxides 1
Dangclass6 1st svg Class 6.1 Toxic substances
Dangclass6 2nd svg Class 6.2 Infectious substances
Dangclass7.svg Grade 7 Radioactive substances
Danger-class-8.svg class 8 Corrosive substances
Dangclass9.svg class 9 Various dangerous substances and objects
UN transport pictogram - pollution.svg Environmentally hazardous substances (does not represent a separate hazardous goods class, but serves as an additional label that, if the criteria for an environmentally hazardous substance apply, must also be attached to packaging, tanks, etc.)
ADR hot.svg Marking for materials transported in a heated state 2
NFPA 704.svg The corresponding system in the USA is the NFPA 704 hazard diamond

Source: UN Regulations Chapter 5.3 Placarding and Marking of Transport Units and 2.0.1 Classes, divisions, packing groups ; ADR chap. 5.3 Attaching large slips of paper (placards) and orange-colored labeling of containers, MEGCs, tank containers, portable tanks and vehicles and chap. 2.2 Special regulations for the individual classes (Class specific provisions)

1valid since 2007, obsolete hazard symbol DOT hazmat class 5.2.svgdiscarded due to similarity with 5.1
2 Liquids with or above 100 ° C, solids above 240 ° C (example: liquid aluminum, transport temperature approx. 800 ° C)

See also: Hazard pictogram (to compare the hazard classes UN-GHS and UN-Rec.Transp.)

Labeling according to ADR / RID / ADN / IMDG / IATA

According to the relevant regulation, the transport containers and devices from certain quantities require different labeling depending on the hazard characteristic.

Danger label

Class 1

The hazard labels are squares on top that provide information about the type of hazard using pictograms, the hazard symbol and a special number code , the hazardous goods classes. They are available in sizes 10 × 10 cm ( danger label , label ) for packages and 25 × 25 cm and 30 × 30 cm ( large label , placard ) for trucks , tank trucks, add-on tanks or containers .

→ See dangerous goods class with a detailed description

Warning sign

Danger sign Danger number 33 | UN number 1203

The hazard sign ("warning sign") is a rectangular, orange-colored sign with a black border in the format 30 cm × 40 cm (across) or - in the event of space problems - 12 cm × 30 cm to identify hazardous goods transport vehicles or tank containers. It is available in two versions: Either as an empty (neutral) orange-colored board or with two numerical codes in black, one above the other. They must be designed in such a way that the numbers are still legible even after 15 minutes of exposure to fire.

An empty (neutral) danger sign is used when dangerous goods are transported together as packages (packaged goods), for example different boxes, barrels, canisters or sacks, each of which is then labeled with information about the content and the hazards involved. In this case, the orange-red warning sign only indicates that dangerous goods are loaded and that there is more detailed information on the packages themselves. The empty (neutral) warning board is also used to mark the front and rear of tank transports when the individual tank chambers are filled with different substances (e.g. different fuels such as gasoline, diesel, heating oil or kerosene, different acids or alkalis and various toxic substances ). Vehicles for the transport of dangerous goods of class "1" (explosives, pyrotechnics, ammunition etc.) as well as class "7" (radioactive substances) are also marked with empty warning signs, but also with placards on both sides and behind.

However, if dangerous goods are transported unpacked (e.g. in bulk or in tanks or tank containers), the warning signs are provided with two numerical codes placed one above the other. The upper number provides information about the type of hazard ( hazard number , also known as Kemler number ), for example 33 stands for a highly flammable liquid. If the number is preceded by an "X", the substance reacts dangerously with water. The lower number is called the UN number , or also called the substance number - it names the transported substance according to a nomenclature standardized by the UN. For example, the 1202 stands for diesel fuel or heating oil .

If the hazardous substances have been unloaded, the orange (neutral) panels must be removed or provided with a fire-retardant (15 min) cover. In the case of tank trucks, the orange-colored marking may only be removed after the tanks have been cleaned and degassed.

According to RID , the marking of wagons is specifically regulated. The ADR regulations only apply to the rolling road in the railway area.

Alignment arrows

Alignment arrows

In addition, the guidelines for the labeling of the layer for “composite packagings with inner packagings that contain liquid substances, individual packagings equipped with ventilation devices, and cryogenic containers for the transport of refrigerated liquefied gases” prescribe the position marking by means of the alignment arrows. These are black or red, on a sufficiently contrasting background.

Transport papers

Transport document

Every transport of dangerous goods must be accompanied by a transport document . On this, the substances (classification with UN number, danger label, as well as the technical name, for main and secondary risk and packaging group) and packaging, the respective quantities and the determination of the exemption limits are noted (the exemption limit can be determined using a free online Tools can also be checked without in-depth knowledge of dangerous goods). In addition, the names and addresses of the sender and recipient must be listed. Since July 1, 2009, the tunnel category of which tunnels can be entered must also be specified by specifying the tunnel restriction code. If no information is given, the transport is classified as category A.

Written instruction

When transporting dangerous goods, it is a requirement (with exceptions) to carry with you written instructions that contain important information for the driver about the handling of dangerous goods and what to do in the event of an accident.

By 2009, the sender of the dangerous goods had to provide this information. They were either written specifically for the specific goods to be transported (“material information sheets”), or they were valid for entire product groups (“group information sheets”). Until 2009 they had to be written in the language of the country in which the dangerous goods were transported (national language) and in the languages ​​of all countries through which the dangerous goods were transported to their destination. Furthermore, a version in the language had to be given that the vehicle crew (driver, necessary co-driver, etc.) could read or understand. The latter requirement in particular was often difficult to meet for senders.

Originally, the "Written Instructions" for faster access by assistants were carried in their own pocket on the back of the orange "Hazardous Goods Warning Sign" on the front and back of the transport unit, a good solution, but inconvenient for the driver.

Problems arose from this, however, for the rescue workers, who had to dare to get very close to the property for precise substance identification if the other warning devices (warning boards) were no longer recognizable. In common parlance, the “written instructions” are usually still referred to today as “accident information sheets”.

Since July 1, 2009 - in accordance with the changes to ADR 2009 - the "Written Instructions" must be carried along in a standardized form in ADR (4 pages, connected, with colored pictograms). It is therefore not necessary to carry them with you in the languages ​​of all the countries you pass through , as they are already available to all emergency services. They therefore only need to be written in the language (s) that the driver can read and understand. The instruction is now aimed more at the drivers than at the rescue workers. The written instructions must therefore no longer be made available by the sender, but by the carrier, who is more likely to know the language of the drivers.

Extract from § 19 (2) GGVSEB (Hazardous Goods Ordinance on Road, Rail and Inland Shipping)

The road haulier must give the vehicle crew the written instructions [...] before the start of the journey and ensure that every member of the vehicle crew understands them and can apply them correctly.

ERI cards

The written instructions, which were originally created for the driver, later also contained information for rescue workers, such as the fire brigade. Information for the emergency services can now be found in the ERI cards .

Further security measures

Prohibition of marking vehicles with dangerous goods (sign 261)

In Germany, a road for vehicles that are subject to labeling and loaded with dangerous goods can be forbidden by sign 261. This prohibition is particularly found on accident-prone downhill stretches that can be secured with an emergency lane as an alternative .


Companies in the chemical industry from Germany and Austria jointly maintain the Transport Accident Information and Assistance System ( TUIS ). There employees can be reached by phone around the clock to provide information on how to handle chemicals in the event of a transport accident. In the event of accidents involving dangerous goods, local fire brigades can request support from TUIS plant fire brigades in the form of specialist advisors, special fire engines and trained personnel.

It is divided into 3 levels:

  1. Level: Technical advice over the phone
  2. Stage: Advice from a specialist on-site
  3. Stage: Works fire brigade at the scene of the accident with special equipment and operating know-how


Analogous to the TUIS system, the International Chemical Environment Program, or ICE for short, of the chemical industry in many Western European countries is responsible for providing assistance in the case of dangerous goods transport and accidents.


Many chemicals , liquid gas , fireworks , gasoline , heating oil , certain fertilizers and non-installed airbags ( risk of explosion), clinical waste (risk of infection), radioactive substances of all kinds (e.g. for medical and technical applications), but also substances that pose no danger in small quantities, large quantities may be dangerous goods. A truck filled with lighters or spray cans, for example, is a dangerous goods transport, which is normally not recognizable as such from the outside. Conversely, for example, food in large quantities can represent dangerous goods without being labeled accordingly. B. edible oil has a similar energy density to diesel fuel and is explosive in the event of a fire, provided that water-based extinguishing agents are used.

See also


  • ADR 2019, 34th edition, The Ordinance on Hazardous Goods for Road, Rail and Inland Shipping (GGVSEB), Annexes A and B to ADR, ISBN 978-3-609-69674-4
  • Klaus Ridder: The dangerous goods driver. Driver's substance list, excerpts from ADR, GGVSE, fines . Ecomed, ISBN 3-609-66349-9
  • Anne Kaiser: Liability for the transport of dangerous goods in Europe: On the non-contractual liability for the transport of dangerous goods by land, water and aircraft. Universitätsverlag Göttingen, ISBN 978-3-941875-58-6 ( digitized version )
  • German Forwarding and Logistics Association (Ed.): ADR 2015 . October 2014 ( PDF ).
  • Lothar Schott, Manfred Ritter: Fire Brigade Basic Course FwDV 2 . 20th edition. Wenzel-Verlag, Marburg 2018, ISBN 978-3-88293-220-1 .
  • Hans-Peter Plattner: Die Roten Hefte, Heft 36a - Use of dangerous goods . 4th edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 978-3-17-013520-8 .

Web links

Commons : ADR: Pictures and labels  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Dangerous goods  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. See Section 2, Paragraph 1 of the Hazardous Goods Transport Act (Germany)
  2. Labeling of dangerous goods. In: logistra.de. Retrieved July 6, 2018 .
  3. Security from stock: professional handling of dangerous goods. (PDF) Dekra , accessed on June 1, 2018 .
  4. See only Koller, Ingo: Transportrecht. Commentary , 7th edition, Munich 2010, Verlag CH Beck, § 410 HGB, Rn. 2
  5. BMVI Dangerous Goods Law / Regulations. Retrieved June 10, 2018 .
  6. ^ UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Model Regulations. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Transport Division, accessed July 30, 2019 .
  7. Tasks as well as rights and obligations of the dangerous goods officer. In: frankfurt-main.ihk.de. Retrieved July 6, 2018 .
  8. Dangerous goods classes. In: www.bussgeldkatalog.net. Retrieved August 12, 2018 .
  9. UN Regulations Elevated temperature substances or ADR 5.3.3 Labels for substances that are transported in a heated state
  10. Warning signs. In: gefahrgutberater.de. Retrieved July 5, 2018 .
  11. ADR Alignment arrows
  12. ADR-Check - free online tool for checking the exemption limit
  13. Tunnel Regulations - Explanations of the tunnel categories and tunnel restriction codes from the Federal Institute for Materials Testing and Research
  14. The written instructions are now available in 23 national languages ​​on the UN website: Linguistic versions (ADR, Instructions in writing) (as of February 21, 2012)
  15. ^ TUIS transport accident information and assistance system. In: vci.de. Retrieved July 5, 2018 .