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What to consider when transporting dangerous goods

ADR is a European agreement on dangerous goods by road, which is agreed to among 39 countries. The agreement contains regulations for road transport, packaging, loading, securing, and labeling the goods. These rules are established by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).
Transporting dangerous goods by sea is regulated and governed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG code) which has the same purpose as ADN, European Agreement for the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by inland waterways. ADN is formulated to ensure:
  1. ensuring a high level of safety of international carriage of dangerous goods by inland waterways; contributing effectively to the protection of the environment by preventing any pollution resulting from accidents or incidents during such carriage
  2. facilitating transport operations and promoting international trade in dangerous goods.
Transporting dangerous goods by air is regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which has its regulation for transporting dangerous goods by air, to accommodate the different aspects of transporting these goods by air. Besides that, IATA (International Air Transport Association) also has a Dangerous Goods Regulation (DGR). When your air freight complies with the DGR you are within the rules of IATA and can transport your goods with the air carriers. 

Transporting dangerous goods by rail, regulated by the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail, developed their regulating system concerning the international transportation for dangerous goods by rail. 

Besides each mode of transportation with their regulations, some nations have also developed their regulations aligned with the UN Model, therefore regulations can vary per country or state.

When are goods considered dangerous? 
Goods are dangerous if they contain any substance that risk health, environment, safety, or transportation. In every phase of the transportation, the goods are handled with care, from the warehouse, onto the truck, and to their final destination. Many substances do not appear dangerous but they may have a dangerous composition such as nail polish and photographic film. These goods can be dangerous as they may include the emission of flammable and/or toxic fumes, and can be corrosive to metals and other materials. The goods can be explosive under certain circumstances or when exposed to heat. It is essential to analyze the components of the product before shipping to know how to handle and transport the products safely.

How are dangerous goods classified?
Dangerous goods are classified according to the nature of their hazard. There are 9 classes of dangerous goods: explosives, gasses, flammable liquid, flammable solids, oxidizing substances, toxic substances, radioactive material, corrosive substances, and miscellaneous dangerous goods. Dangerous goods can be liquids, gasses, and/or solids. Some items are not dangerous themselves but contain dangerous components. Often this is because they are composed of a mixture of substance or pure chemicals.
What and how much can you transport?
The amount of hazardous substances that may be transported depends on the hazardousness of the substance. For the most dangerous substances this is a maximum of 20 kilograms or liters per vehicle, for the least hazardous substances a maximum of 1000 kilograms or liters per vehicle.
Safety requirements
  • Dangerous Goods Hazard Classification Criteria
  • conditions of carriage
  • requirements for packaging and tanks
  • shipping procedures, including labeling and documentation
Requirements on vehicle and driver
  • The vehicle that transports dangerous goods needs an MOT certificate or a certificate of approval and vehicle equipment.
  • The driver must have a professional certificate. ADR training certificates need to be acquired by every driver, this certificate is valid for 5 years, it expires automatically if it is not extended. The driver is required to take a refresher course to extend the certificate.
  • The driver must be medically approved.
  • Written instructions must be present in the vehicle cabin (the hazard card). This hazard card must be drawn up in the language of the country of consignor, transit, and destination of the substances.
  • Each company that transports dangerous goods needs a dangerous goods officer, who ensures that the regulations and requirements are complied with when transporting dangerous goods.
  • Trucks are required to have orange warning signs, a helmet, safety goggles, and two fire extinguishers when transporting dangerous goods. 
Required documents
Depending on the goods you transport, several documents are required, such as:
  • Dangerous Goods Declaration
  • Container Packing Certificate
  • Dangerous Goods List (Manifest)
How to pack and label dangerous goods
After identifying the goods you are shipping, consider the regulations and restrictions of where you are shipping your goods to. Avoid damage during transportation by carefully packaging your goods. Here are some things you need to ensure if you pack dangerous goods:
  • Usage of high-quality packaging materials, which can withstand various conditions of transportation and weather.
  • No dangerous residue outside of the packaging
  • The goods must be tightly packed and secured
  • The goods are not allowed to move inside the container or transportation space
  • The goods should not cause any damage or leakage
  • The goods should not be packed in inaccessible areas in case of emergencies
  • The goods must be near the doors of the container in case of emergencies
Hazard Identification
The well-known orange sign for trucks has several numbers on it. The numbers held in the substance are hazardous, and to what class these substances are. The hazard identification number (HIN) is also known as the Kemler number or Kemler code. It is always on the top line of the board. The numbers in the hazard code correspond to the safety classes. A double-digit at the top indicates a boost in potential. Start like this 3 = flammable, 33 = highly flammable. Gasoline gets the following hazard identification sign: 33/1203.

Transporting explosives
The transportation of explosives is only allowed to be driven by licensed drivers. No person is allowed to smoke, carry matches, or carry any other flame-producing devices near the vehicle. Explosives are not allowed to be transported with other goods or explosives in the same vehicle. The vehicle used for transporting explosives must be powerful enough to carry the load without any difficulties and needs to be in good mechanical conditions. The vehicle is always marked with the word "Explosives” visible in every direction. Each vehicle is equipped with a fully charged fire extinguisher, the driver is also trained to use the extinguisher.

Lubbers the ADR expert
The years of experience that Lubbers has in the oil and gas industry have led to strict safety standards even for our equipment. All the trucks in the fleet meet the safety requirements for ADR transportation. Lubbers transport all 9 ADR classes. 

Lubbers can advise and offer you safe solutions, thanks to their professional team of planners, drivers, and global freight specialists. Lubbers can ensure a safe execution at all times with your dangerous goods. 

Lubbers is certified for ISO 9001, 140001, OHSAS 18001, and AEO. We are fully qualified to handle all 9 classes of dangerous goods. Lubbers are allowed with the NAM passes to access drilling locations and most drivers have an H2S diploma.

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