Who Is Responsible for the Transport of Hazardous Materials?

In Canada, the Transport of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations (TDG) regulates hazardous material transport. The TDG legislation is an example of the country’s commitment to international safety in transporting dangerous goods. The law’s objective is to protect human health and safety, property, and the environment.

But if your business involves transporting dangerous materials or it’s necessary for you for emergencies, you need to know their classifications and the rules of transporting these materials.

What Are Hazardous Materials?

In Canada, a professional driver properly transported dangerous goods or HAZMATS from one licensed business or residence to another. They are trained in safely handling and transporting the hazardous goods they’re hauling. Also, they need to adhere to the requirements of the TDG.

However, you can also transport dangerous goods in your vehicle if you need them for business or emergencies. These include gasoline generators, corrosive materials (acids and solvents), compressed gasses (propane cylinders for camping equipment), fire extinguishers, and flares. But you have to remember that there are rules and guidelines you need to follow.

Classifications of Dangerous Goods

All dangerous goods in transport need to be assigned a UN number. The UN identification numbers and their corresponding product identifiers are listed in the TDG Regulations.

There are nine classes of dangerous goods:

  • Class 1: Explosives
  • Class 2: Gasses
  • Class 3: Flammable Liquids
  • Class 4: Flammable Solids
  • Class 5: Oxidizing Agents and Organic Peroxides
  • Class 6: Toxic Substances  (mixture) 
  • Class 7: Radioactive Material 
  • Class 8: Corrosives
  • Class 9:  Miscellaneous Products, Substances, Materials or Organisms

These classifications are your guide on how to pack those materials very differently. You need to know if the dangerous goods you’re transporting are in a solid, liquid, or gas state and to which class they belong.

Common Examples of HAZMATS

  • Acids
  • Ammunition
  • Asbestos
  • Biological substances, such as bodily fluids or cultures from the human body that may carry certain infectious diseases
  • Corrosives, such as strong acids and bases
  • Explosives, such as fireworks and ammunition
  • Flammable liquids like gasoline and paint thinners
  • Volatile solids, such as magnesium shavings and fire starters 
  • Flammable gasses, such as propane cylinders for camping equipment and hydrogen tanks for balloon rides
  • Oxidizing materials, such as bleach and peroxide
  • Poisonous materials, such as rat poison
  • Toxic substances, such as pesticides and disease cultures
  • Naturally occurring or manufactured radioactive materials

Safety Tips on Transporting HAZMATS

1. Ensure Your Car Is Well Maintained

If you are transporting dangerous goods in your vehicle, make sure that the tank is not compromised or damaged by corrosion. Never use a cracked or dented tank because it could lead to leakage.

2. Check the Required Marking and Labeling for Your Vehicle’s Cargo

Before transporting HAZMATS in your car, check if your vehicle needs any labels and markings indicating the type of substance the tank contains inside. Every time you transport dangerous goods in your vehicle, ensure that all safety equipment is well maintained and readily accessible. This way, you will be prepared to take quick action if an accident happens.

3. Don’t Smell HAZMATS

Remember, it’s illegal to inhale or smell these substances because they can cause serious health effects. Never use containers with cracks, chips, or rust because they can be badly dented, weakened, and porous, rendering them useless.

Make sure to wear quality PPEs, respirator masks, etc., when hauling HAZMATS in your car. Ensure that the next vehicle you drive in has a well-maintained tank. If there are leaks, use sand or other absorbent materials to stop them. Never pour water on any chemical spill because water can make chemicals react violently.

4. Stay Away from Open Flames and Heat-producing Devices

Flammable gasses such as those used for welding should be transported in approved cylinders that meet UN requirements. Similarly, dangerous goods in inflammable liquid form must be transported in approved, non-spill containers that meet UN requirements.

5. Use Trucking Services

Even if you practice safety measures, it’s always best to use trucking services, especially when transporting a bulk cargo of dangerous goods. These professionals are highly trained and always adhere to specific security measures when on the job. They are also responsible for the transport of over-sized loads via flatbet transportation because they have suitable vehicles designed for these services.

In Summary

Several federal and provincial regulations govern the transport of hazardous materials in Canada. The majority of these laws are designed to ensure the public’s safety, including those who transport dangerous goods.

When transporting HAZMATS in your private vehicle, make sure you only use tanks that are not compromised or damaged. All safety equipment must be easily accessible and in working condition, such as fire extinguishers and warning signs to warn other drivers. In addition, never inhale fumes from hazardous materials because they could cause health problems. Read the article for more things you need to know when transporting HAZMATs in a private car.

On top of these, using trucking services, especially international transportation, is always the safest way.