Hazardous substances: Obligation to notify in the event of an accident or malfunction

Entrepreneurs must immediately notify the state occupational health and safety authority of accidents or operational disruptions caused by activities involving hazardous substances.

As an entrepreneur or employer, you are obliged to notify the competent authority without delay:

  • any accident or malfunction which has led to serious damage to the health of employees in activities involving hazardous substances,
  • on cases of illness and death for which there are concrete indications of causation caused by the activity with hazardous substances, with the precise indication of the activity and the risk assessment.

Information about:

  • type of injury,
  • number of persons concerned,
  • a brief description of the place of the accident,
  • brief description of the activity.

The informal notification must be made in writing (also via e-mail); a personal appearance is not necessary.


If the notification is also required by other legal provisions, a copy of this notification may also be sent to the authority responsible for occupational health and safety. However, it should be noted that this report contains all information relating to the employees concerned. Personal data is not required.

The notification must not be confused with the accident report to the responsible employers' liability insurance association (§ 193 SGB VII Obligation to report an insured event). Both duties stand side by side. However, the obligation to notify in accordance with the Hazardous Substances Ordinance is also fulfilled if the State Occupational Safety and Health Authority receives a copy of the accident report to the employers' liability insurance association.

§ 18 Para. 1 Ordinance on Protection against Hazardous Substances (Hazardous Substances Ordinance - GefStoffV).

Related Links

  • § 18 GefStoffV

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