Organisation of the Occupational Safety
The "Brandschutzbeauftragte" (=fire prevention officer) are in duty for preventative fire protection measures. They are supported by "Brandschutzhelfer" (=fire protection assistants).
- Fire prevention officers
are coordinating the fire protection measures and take care that the necessary fire protection measures are established (For example providing the "Brandschutzordnung" (=fire protection regulations) recruiting a sufficient number of fire protection assistants.) As a rule fire prevention officers have a leadership position and are doing the job for a longer period of time.
- Fire protection assistants
take care that preventative fire protection measures are established in their workspace. They remove wedges which are used to keep fire protecting doors open, check fire extinguishers, if they are in proper condition, remove unnecessary fire loads in labs and escape routs. Everybody may ask to be designated for this job. If you can read German you may read the BGI/GUV-I 5182 "Brandschutzhelfer" for details. Oterwise ask any fire protection assistant.
The "Sicherheitsbeauftragte" (=safety representatives) are responsible for all safety matters.
- Safety Representatives
should assist their group heads in all matters of safety. They take care for the safety in their own workspace and either remedy an abuse or report it to the group head. Every group should have at least one safety representative. If you are a safety representative then everybody in your workspace should know this. A good idea is to put this form at your door.
Persons, Training and Responsibilities
Trainings are offered by the "Dienststelle Arbeitssicherheit" (=Occupational Safety Service). If you have been trained, please provide information to the department administration, because it has to be monitored that there is a sufficient number of functionaries.
Fire prevention officers and safety representatives do not take any responsibility with respect to the organisation of the workplace and are not responsible for detected defects. It is almost desired that these people are not recruted from staff with a leadership function, because in this case it could happen that a boss is consulting himself about work safety.
Nevertheless these jobs thrive on the commitment of the people doing these jobs.
Usually a safety representative is more taking care about his own working group and a fire prevention officer is more taking care of a building or a part of a building. Nevertheless there is a big overlap between both jobs. For example both should check, if a fire extinguisher is in proper condition. Therefore interested people should think about to assume both jobs.