What are dangerous goods?
Dangerous goods are articles or substances which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or to property when transported by air. A look at the garden shed or under the kitchen sink will reveal a wide array of items which are potentially dangerous goods. A few examples of household objects include pesticides, acids, aerosols, perfumes, bleaches, matches, cigarette lighters, camping stoves with liquid fuel or compressed gas, anything that contains or has contained petrol, such as lawn mowers, chainsaws, brush cutters, model air craft etc, batteries, fireworks, sparklers.
You are comfortable storing theses items at home or carrying them in your car because you are aware of the risks associated with them and takes appropriate precautions. However, move them into an unfamiliar environment such as an aircraft and the situation changes.
The 9 Classes of Dangerous Goods
While it is possible to transport dangerous goods, they must comply with international regulations.
The international community has created a classification system of nine primary classes of dangerous goods. Some classes have been sub-divided in order to adequately describe the nature of the properties of the individual goods.
There is a label for each class/division to convey the nature of the hazard. These labels must appear on the outside of the package when it is offered for transport and mist remains on the package while it is in transit. They will also be found on most inner packages such as aerosol cans, bottle of bleach, containers of thinners, tins of paint etc that you purchase in the in the supermarket.
For more information you can read the UK’s Health and Safety Executive page on the classification of dangerous goods.
How do I know if my cargo is dangerous?
Firstly look for a diamond-shaped hazard label on the container.
If you can’t see a labels then look for a UN number. This will be the letter UN followed by for numeral digits-such as UN 1950 or UN 1197.
Also look to see if a Hazard Class is written on the container-quite often it will have something like “Class 5.1″or “Corrosive”.
In the event that your head & heart tell you it’s dangerous but you can’t see any of these indicators Data sheet (MSDS) on the internet.
One option is to go to your preferred search engine and type in the manufacturer of your product, then the letters MSDS, then the product name.
If you are unsure, we can give you advice.
Transporting Dangerous Goods
There are options for transporting dangerous goods. Contact us and ask us for advice about transport options for dangerous goods.