DGSA – Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser

Businesses that handle, process or transport dangerous goods on a regular basis must appoint a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA) in order to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and ADR (European Road Agreement) 1.8.3. If you transport smaller quantities of dangerous goods than those in the legislation, or if your main or secondary activities are not the carriage or related loading or unloading of dangerous goods, but occasionally you do it, then you do not need to appoint a DGSA.

The DGSA has three main duties:

  • monitoring compliance with rules governing transport of dangerous goods
  • advising their business on the transport of dangerous goods
  • preparing an annual report to management on the business’ activities in the transport of dangerous goods

The DGSA is also responsible for:

  • monitoring procedures and safety measures
  • investigating and compiling reports on any accidents or emergencies
  • advising on the potential security aspects of transport

These regulations can apply to any person who allows dangerous goods to be carried, not just the transport operator. This could include cargo consignors, freight forwarders, warehouse workers and manufacturers producing goods that will be collected from their factory.

Training

DGSAs must:

  • obtain a vocational training certificate after receiving appropriate training
  • pass a written examination

The Department for Transport approves the mandatory DGSA exams. It has appointed the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) as its agent. SQA sets, marks and organises the exams, and issues the vocational training certificates for the whole of the UK, and the certificates are recognised in all European Union member states.

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