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Dangerous goods

Dangerous goods are substances and items identified as hazardous for transport and present a risk to people, property and the environment.

Examples of HSE dangerous goods include:

  • clinical wastes
  • specimens
  • laboratory waste
  • pharmacy waste
  • medical gases
  • chemical waste

Dangerous goods legislation

Dangerous goods legislation provides for the safety of people handling dangerous goods, the public, property and the environment.

The regulations place specific duties on the HSE as a consignor, carrier, packer, loader, un-loader and driver.

The regulations also place a legal duty on the HSE to appoint Dangerous Goods Safety Advisors (DGSA) to advise on the safe transport of dangerous goods.

Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA) role

The role of the DGSA is to:

  • monitor compliance with the requirements governing the transport of dangerous goods
  • advise on the transport of dangerous goods
  • prepare an annual report in relation to the carriage of dangerous goods

HSE’s approach to discharging its legal duties

  • In common with all other areas of Occupational Safety and Health, responsibility for the management of the transportation of dangerous goods and the appointment of DGSAs rests with the CEOs of HGs, COs of CHOs and local Responsible Persons.
  • A framework (split into five Lots) of external advisors/service providers has been established by the National Health and Safety Function (NHSF), the National Health Sustainability Office and other key stakeholders in conjunction with the Office of Government Procurement (OGP). These lots are as follows:
    • Lot 1 – National Dangerous Goods Advisor
    • Lot 2 to 4 – Regional Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor Services
    • Lot 5 – Training
  • CEOs and COs must appoint an external specialist from this framework to provide local DGSA services (Lots 2 to 4 inclusive) and training (Lot 5) in accordance with the ADR, European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road 2013 and 2015
  • The NHSF will collect data at national level on the local discharge of DGSA obligations. This data provides independent assurance to key oversight Committees and the Leadership Team, that the HSE’s duties with regard to DGSA are being fulfilled.


Contact the Health and Safety helpdesk

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Page last reviewed: 20/11/2020
Next review due: 20/11/2023