GDA Hazardous Substance Check (GDA Gefahrstoff-Check)

The GDA Hazardous Substance Check is a service available to all parties involved in occupational health and safety within a company. Its aim is to assist in the foresighted anticipation of hazards to employees presented by carcinogens and in the taking of effective protection measures. It was developed by the German federal and regional authorities and the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions under the aegis of the latter and their institutes, the IFA and IPA, in the context of the work programme entitled ‘Safe Handling of Carcinogenic Substances’, established by the Joint German Occupational Safety and Health Strategy (GDA).

Contents and aims

The GDA Hazardous Substance Check offers nine components, structured by topic, which follow the steps of the risk assessment and are intended to assist in its step-by-step implementation, completion, improvement and updating:

  1. Introduction
  2. Information gathering
  3. Exposure
  4. Level of exposure
  5. Protective measures
  6. Instruction/Operating instructions
  7. Preventive health care/occupational safety and health professionals
  8. Exposure register
  9. Documentation

Each component comprises three to five questions which focus on the different aspects of the component concerned. The user can answer the questions by selecting from the following options, which are based on the traffic light model: green for ‘requirements fulfilled’, yellow for ‘requirements partly fulfilled’ and red for ‘requirements not fulfilled’. This permits evaluation by the user themselves based on the information provided, which in turn assists in the determining of measures to improve occupational health and safety.


The GDA Hazardous Substance Check is available in the form of a comprehensive online tool and also in compact form as a printed brochure or PDF file. At present, the online tool is available only in German. The form as PDF-brochure is available in English. Both versions contain all nine components and the corresponding questions.


The comprehensive version of the GDA Hazardous Substance Check can be accessed on the Hazardous Substance Check website. It provides the user with additional functions:

  • Secure saving of the results on the user’s own computer.
  • Overview of the results and a final report to assist in determining tasks and measures.
  • Extensive glossary explaining technical terms.

Furthermore, for each question posed in the components the online version provides detailed explanations under the heading ‘What is meant by this?’ of cross-sector requirements arising from the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (Gefahrstoffverordnung).

Examples of protection measures specific to certain tasks, procedures or branches of industry are provided under the heading: ‘What is to be done?’. This includes information on when the state OSH authority is to be contacted.

The online version also provides links to further information and helpful, practical guides for almost all branches of industry under the heading ‘Practical aids’ found in each question.

Print and PDF

In the print version, each question is explained by a short text and in many cases by example images. The brochure also contains a selection of the most important technical terms taken from the online glossary. The brochure is available on the Hazardous Substance Check website.

Further information

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us by sending an e-mail to:

Share this page
Berufsgenossenschaft Rohstoffe und chemische Industrie (BG RCI) and Institut für Arbeitsschutz der DGUV (IFA)
  • 1,2 dichloroethane (EDC) (EC: 203-458-1)
  • Acrylamide (EC: 201-173-7)
  • Acrylonitrile (EC: 203-466-5)
  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Beryllium (EC: 231-150-7)
  • Bisphenol A (EC: 201-245-8)
  • Cadmium (EC: 231-152-8)
  • Chloroalkanes
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Cytostatics
  • Cytotoxics
  • Dichloromethane (EC: 200-838-9)
  • Diesel motor emission
  • Dust
  • Ethylene oxide (EC: 200-849-9)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Fuels
  • Glyphosate (EC: 213-997-4)
  • Glyphosate (EC: 213-997-4)
  • Hardwood dust
  • Hydrazine (EC: 206-114-9)
  • Lead
  • Lubricants
  • N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) (EC: 212-828-1 )
  • Nickel
  • Pesticides
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Silica and quartz dust
  • Sodium dichromate
  • Sterilizers
  • Toluene
  • Welding fumes
  • Asbestos removal workers
  • Automotive workers
  • Cleaning workers
  • Construction workers
  • Electra workers
  • Electricians
  • Farmers
  • Firefighters
  • Forestry workers
  • Graphic Media workers
  • Heating engineers
  • Hospital workers
  • Laboratory workers
  • Metal workers
  • Painters
  • Pharmaceutical workers
  • Plumbers
  • Road workers
  • Welders
Sector / branche
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Manufacturing
  • Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
  • Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
  • Construction
  • Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
  • Transportation and storage
  • Professional, scientific and technical activities
  • Education
  • Other service activities
  • Activities of households as employers; undifferentiated goods- and services-producing activities of households for own use
Solution types
  • 1. S – Substitution
  • 2. T – Technical measurements
  • 3. O – Organizational measurements
  • 4. P – Personal protection