Handling dangerous goods entails a risk for employees and for the company. Hence, there are strict protocols on how this process should take place. However, following the rules is not always enough, and sometimes it is also necessary to have the right equipment or the right professionals. Thus, having a first-class technical team facilitates the transport of these goods and minimizes the risks involved. The following is a detailed explanation of the types of problems that can occur and how a company can avoid them.
What is the risk of handling dangerous goods?
Dangerous goods are understood to be those which, during transportation, may pose a risk to the health of people or the environment. There is a catalog of toxic products that helps us to identify the goods in question.
The risks of handling dangerous goods are varied in nature. Here are the main ones:
- A leak or seepage of a substance. This event could endanger the health of the operators or, in turn, reach a sensitive area. On the other hand, gases from toxic substances, or their propagation, for example, are potentially very harmful to health and the environment.
- Improper handling of such goods. This refers to possible falls, blows or inefficient storage that can damage them or, at the same time, produce the aforementioned leaks. If they are being stored inefficiently, with obsolete machinery, for example, or without proper training, serious problems can occur.
- Risks that are a consequence of the specific dangerous goods. A clear example is flammable products that come into contact with fire or are subject to high temperatures. This would also be chemicals that are not properly sealed. This may be due to a lack of quality material in the packaging, a direct problem during transport or, at the same time, it may be due to the inexperience of the operators or poor information provided to them.
As we have seen, despite the existence of rules and laws and operating standards, risks may still be present. And the best way to reduce them is to invest in safety and in machinery so that the transport can be carried out without major complications or problems.
How to carry out the transport of dangerous goods?
There are standards and protocols that guide companies so that they can use this type of goods in complete safety. There are four main requirements:
1. Special and visible vehicles
In the case of both trucks and ships, current regulations require that they must indicate somewhere on the vehicle what they are transporting. This way, they warn others that they are carrying dangerous goods. Obviously, the transport of dangerous goods requires vehicles to be in perfect condition. Meaning: to be active, functional and with everything in order.
2. Adequate packaging
These products must be contained in the containers indicated and intended for them. And, in the same way, they must have the appropriate labeling. This will alert operators and workers as to how they can and should be handled. This is essential, as not all dangerous goods require the same type of care. Therefore, knowing which one is being transported will be a requirement to minimize risks.
This also includes the need to have the right machines to move these goods. That is, it must be done with due care and without posing any risk. This is another aspect in which companies have to invest.
3. Trained and knowledgeable personnel
Training is also an essential requirement that will give operators the resources, knowledge and tools to handle these goods correctly. This training plays a crucial role, since, for example, if any mishap occurs or if a problem arises, these operators will be in a position to act in each situation.
Therefore, it is not only a form of prevention, but also a way of tackling the problem once it has already arisen.
4. The vehicle must be in good condition
Whether it is a ship or a truck, it must have passed all the necessary formalities or inspections.
Recommendations to avoid risks
Some important recommendations regarding the transport of dangerous goods are the following:
- Properly analyze the risks. Putting yourself in the worst case scenario can be useful for the company in order to be prepared if any mishap happens. Thus, a specialized and experienced logistics team foresees in advance any possibility. For this reason, it usually has a contingency plan in place in the case of an unforeseen event.
- Proper handling of goods. We must pay the utmost attention to the packing of the goods. The more protected they are, the more difficult it will be for any leak or spillage to occur and, therefore, a large part of the possible problems will be neutralized.
- Make a preliminary study of the situation. This is a key element in the logistics of any transportation company. It is necessary to measure the routes, the ways and the way of moving the goods at all times, analyzing the weak and strong points of the operation. This is essential in the transport of hazardous cargoes.
- Having adequate equipment, both human and machinery. It is only thanks to them that we minimize all potential risks in any transport. This involves training professionals and hiring companies with the most resources and knowledge to prepare for this type of transport.
In short, this is an overview of the importance of management when handling dangerous goods. Suisca Group offers everything that a ship may need in its stopover so that any potentially dangerous situation or that supposes an important risk does not arise. If this is your case, contact us.