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Major Considerations for Managing Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods ought to be managed carefully since they can easily leak, explode, or emit hazardous fumes if they are exposed to certain environmental conditions. Dangerous goods are materials or substances that can cause considerable risks to individuals, the environment, and property during their storage and transportation. This article seeks to highlight the significance for appropriate handling, packaging, labelling, and shipping of dangerous products to promote human and environmental protection. The article also aims to outline control measures, including an emergency action plan that can assist dangerous goods handlers to manage possible crises.

Compliance with Regulations

Parties that handle dangerous goods are mandated by law to adhere to the provisions. The overseeing agency, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), requires all freighter forwarders, air operators, and shippers to observe certain guidelines while handling the items to guarantee safety. For instance, the parties are obligated to acquire a dangerous goods permit from the agency when aspiring to transport the items in or out of the nation. The certification applies both to local and foreign aircrafts that ship or may intend to transport the materials. The agency requires the parties to acquire the permit a week before the intended date of transportation. The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) is the other legislation that ought to be observed by all entities handling the materials globally. The regulation outlines the minimum standards that should be considered by the parties as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions (ICAO TI). Freighter forwarders, air operators, and shippers are further required to abide by the United Nations (UN) Model Regulations that prescribes handling of harmful materials across various forms of transportation. 

Identifying Dangerous Goods

The function is vital in promoting safe management and transportation of dangerous goods. Freighter forwarders and shippers are mandated to employ one or more methods when identifying hazardous materials. Among them are labels and markings. The crew and ground personnel are required to indicate the class and division of the items to necessitate appropriate handling.

The second method is the use of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). The method is applied universally in the categorisation of chemicals based on the level of risk that they pose towards users.The providers and manufacturers of chemicals are obligated to label the containers based on their hazard level to influence notification among handlers. The hidden dangerous goods list is the other method that is utilised to identify such items. It relates to commercial and household items that may contain harmful substances. In effect, their identification is essential to limit chances of the products being wrongfully and unnoticeably offered for carriage. The safety data sheet (SDS) is also employed to outline the characteristics of harmful components. The publication may reveal the package group, UN number, and special considerations when handling the materials.

Assessing the Risks of Dangerous Goods

Assessment of all possible threats caused by the substances need to be performed to inform control measures. The activity is implemented to lessen negative effects towards the environment, individuals, or property. For successful execution, the risk assessment process ought to be documented to determine all hazards that may affect a storage or transportation facility. The assessors need to highlight the toxicological, physical, and chemical features of the substances, including estimating the likelihoods and severity of the risks in case of occurrence to influence preparedness. The activity ought to be conducted by competent/ trained persons to necessitate determination of all risk factors, as well as the establishment of control measures.

Controlling the Risks for Dangerous Goods

After risk assessment, dealers of dangerous goods need to create control mechanisms to keep the threats at reasonable levels. The control procedures, actions, and systems ought to be considered based on the priorities of the risks. The activity is undertaken to cushion the operators against negative events. One of the measures that can be applied to safeguard the parties is acquisition of safety garments and equipment. Freight forwarders and operators can also develop safety procedures to guide the personnel in case of an incident. The parties can also prevent the occurrence of the events by separating the risk receptors of the products via a barricade or distancing. Organisations can also empower the capacity of their personnel by facilitating training to boost their capabilities when handling the products. Furthermore, operators can establish emergency plans to lessen the impacts of disasters.

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CAAS. (2022). Carriage of Dangerous Goods. Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. Available at: https://www.caas.gov.sg/operations-safety/carriage-of-dangerous-goods (Accessed: 11 June 2022)

Clarence Tan Wee Lin, DPSM. (2021). Warehousing Risk Mitigation for Hazardous Chemicals. SIPMM Publications. Available at SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/warehousing-risk-mitigation-hazardous-chemicals/ (Accessed: 11 June 2022)

FAA. (2022). What are Dangerous Goods? Federal Aviation Administration. Available at: https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/what_is_hazmat#:~:text=A%20dangerous%20good%20(also%20known,property%20when%20transported%20in%20commerce (Accessed: 11/06/2022)

Jumaliah Yusoff, DLSM. (2020). Integrated Logistics Practices for Dangerous Goods. SIPMM Publications. Available at SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/integrated-logistics-practices-dangerous-goods/ (Accessed: 11 June 2022)

Mohammad Ihsan bin Othman, DLSM. (2020). Critical Factors for Transporting and Storing Dangerous Goods. SIPMM Publications. Available at SIPMM: https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/critical-factors-transporting-storing-dangerous-goods/ (Accessed: 11 June 2022)

West Bend. (2022). Developing an Emergency Action Plan. West Bend. Available at: https://www.thesilverlining.com/safety-tips/developing-an-emergency-action-plan (Accessed: 11 June 2022)

Bong Ing Chyang
Bong Ing Chyang
Bong Ing Chyang has substantive years of experience in warehousing and logistics operations, and specifically in the manufacturing industry. His responsibilities in the warehouse include all incoming and outgoing shipments, as well as liaison for export shipments. He is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). He completed Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM) in June 2022 at SIPMM Institute.

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