How to Transport Dangerous Goods
To transport goods that are designated as dangerous to an overseas destination will require your business to comply with a range of regulations. The most important aspect the transport of dangerous goods is to ensure they are correctly classified with each consignment’s packaging labelled to identify the dangerous goods inside.
Dangerous Goods Safety AdviserEvery business that handles dangerous goods must appoint a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA). This is to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The responsibilities of the DGSA include:
- Ensuring all safety measures are in place when dangerous goods are handled.
- Making sure that dangerous goods regulations are met in full.
- Writing an annual report that gives details of how your business has handled the transport of dangerous goods in that year.
- Handling emergencies and accidents with dangerous goods when they occur.
All DGSAs must have a full qualification that your business must ensure is in place. This is a training certificate that includes a written exam. In England and Wales, the qualification is handled by the Department for Transport. In Scotland the Scottish Qualification Authority handles the DGSA qualification.
Classifying Dangerous GoodsWhen your business is packaging and then about to transport dangerous goods, you must ensure that they are correctly classified. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to get the classification of your dangerous goods correct. The handling, safe transport, packaging and unpacking all depend on a correct classification of your goods.
The United Nations have developed a set of what have now become universal classifications for dangerous goods that all businesses must now use. The UN codes give details of what is the main hazard associated with the goods that your business is going to transport overseas. You can download a full list of the UN dangerous codes from the UNECE website. The general UN codes your business must be aware are:
|UN Class||Dangerous Goods||Classification|
Non-flammable, non-toxic gas
|3||Flammable liquid||Flammable liquid|
|4||Flammable solids|| |
Spontaneously combustable substance
Substance which emits flammable gas in contact with water
|5||Oxidising substances|| |
|6||Toxic substance|| |
|7||Radioactive material||Radioactive material|
|8||Corrosive substances||Corrosive substance|
|9||Miscellaneous dangerous goods||Miscellaneous dangerous goods|