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The modern construction industry deeply depends on special chemicals. Since the German construction industry consists of very small companies (ca. 75 % of the companies have less than 10 employees) easy to use tools providing information for the safe handling of chemicals are very much needed. The department GISBAU of the BG BAU (Berufsgenossenschaft der Bauwirtschaft (employers’ liability insurance association for the construction industry) developed WINGIS. WINGIS offers multiple modules which provide information about hazardous chemicals to help employers in the construction industry to fulfil their legal requirements.

The GISCODE system

WINGIS provides its uers with information for about 15000 different chemical products. In order to do this GISBAU groups products of similar composition, application and hazards into so called GISCODES. The assignment of products is done by OSH and chemical experts and is mainly based on the safety data sheet.

These GISCODES are often printed on the label of products or can be found in safety data sheets. Just by knowing the GISCODE of a product, users can find all the relevant information.


WINGIS is available both as an online solution and as a locally installed solution. Both versions have nearly identical features. The local version of WINGIS is produced in a circulation of 40000 every year. Figure 1 shows the homepage of WINGISonline.
Figure 1: WINGISonline homepage
Figure 1: WINGISonline homepage


WINGIS consist of 6 different modules with different use cases.

  1. The Gefahrstoffsuche (search for hazardous substances) works similar to any search engine. Here users find all the information they need for their risk assessments in German and English. Additionally operating instructions for the use of hazardous chemicals are provided in 16 different languages. All this information is backed up by measurements! Possible search terms are names of substances, products, GISCODES and some special applications like “activities with quartz containing dust".
  2. The GISCODE module is fairly simple. Here users find a comprehensive view of all existing GISCODES and information about each of those.
  3. The Handschuhe (glove) module is a database of chemical gloves used in the construction industry. Here information about glove materials, thickness and penetration times is made available.
  4. myWINGIS is an e-tool to prepare and maintain a hazardous substances inventory. The tool uses the data exchange format SDScomXML to greatly simplify the manual data processing.
  5. With the Gefahrguttransport (transport of hazardous goods) module users can calculate whether or not they are able to transport in accordance to the low quantity regulations.
  6. The e-tool myBETRAN is used to create operating instructions. When using the available phrases of the tool, created operating instructions can be automatically translated into 16 different languages.
  7. GISBAU apps is simply the Gefahrstoffsuche (1.) optimised for the usage with mobile devices.

GefKomm-Bau – sector-specific pool of safety data sheets

Additional to WINGIS the BG BAU is providing a pool of safety data sheets of products used in the construction industry. The solution is called GefKomm-Bau. All stakeholders of the industry have been involved in the development of this pool.

The development was motivated by the fact that every level of the supply chain has to archive the safety data sheets for 10 years. It is very hard to comply with this for the micro-enterprises of the construction industry.

In order to solve this distributors of chemicals deliver their SDS to GefKomm-Bau. They then get the links to the safety data sheets within GefKomm-Bau. When delivering the product they can inform their customers that the safety data sheets can be found at GefKomm-Bau. Since distributers have to deliver the safety data sheet together with the product, they can either can provide the direct link to it inside GefKomm-Bau or they deliver their safety data sheet like they have always done and make a more general reference to GefKomm-Bau.

In November 2017 about 14000 safety data sheets of 300 different manufacturers / distributers could be found in GefKomm-Bau.

Figure 2: Homepage of Gefkomm-Bau
Figure 2: Homepage of Gefkomm-Bau


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