Revised ordnance regulations were issued for Hamburg in 2005 defining the actions to be taken by land owners when dealing with unexploded ordnance. During the construction planning phase, checks should be made to determine if there may be hazards resulting from unexploded ordnance. If yes, then the plot is to be searched for ordnance before construction begins. This raises a number of questions: Am I actually required to conduct a search? Where should I look? How deep must I go? What method should I use? What does it cost? How long does it take?

The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) provides a central point of contact for these kinds of questions: The Unexploded Ordnance Service.

The office provides advice to specialists working on HPA construction projects as well as to HPA tenants for construction work. When explosive ordnance is discovered, the Nautical Centre passes on important information to the police and fire services (ordnance clearance service) who will then take over responsibility for securing the site and disposing of the ordnance.

OUR TIP: “The people at the HPA” – Interview with Dr. Axel Gruhn, member of the HPA Unexploded Ordnance Service.

The process of a bomb disposal

When a bomb is found, the police are the one to call. They're responsible for any safety precautions. In cooperation with the fire brigades bomb disposal services they define the danger zone and the blocking. There's the evacuation zone of a few hundred meters and the danger zone which is a couple hundred meters bigger. The police then cordens off the aforesaid area.

The HPA Unexploded Ordnance Service is there for when ordnance needs to be defused within the harbour area. In this event, the HPA hazard management department is also contacted. The Nautical Centre receives this information and notifies the Chief Harbour Master, the harbour railway, the road traffic control room and all relevant site managers. The HPA will also provide the police and fire department’s ordnance clearance service with answers to various questions. Which rail lines into the port area are affected? Which streets around the port are affected? Which docks or canals are affected? The HPA helps the police and ordnance clearance service to seal off the affected area as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Career at HPA

Are you interested in working for the Unexploded Ordnance Service? Apply online. When you're interested in a place to train, an internship or a university or trainee place, we can also offer you attractive prospects for the future.

HPA as an employer