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Anyone who owns an e-commerce site must determine if the goods they’re shipping are hazardous. Among the tons of cargo shipments that move around the world are classified as potential health hazards, meaning they’re subject to risk evaluation before shipping. Some commonly shipped goods with safety hazards include explosives, corrosive chemicals, poisonous, radioactive, and flammable materials.

Other items contain mercury or chemicals that are a health risk if they drop, break, spill, or come into contact with other substances. If you have an ecommerce store and need help with transport services, look up ArdentX, and they’ll fulfill your shipment needs. During shipment, hazardous materials must be appropriately packaged, handled, labeled, and stored for safe transportation. Without the proper safety measures, dangerous materials pose a significant risk to shipping staff, property, emergency responders, the public, and the environment.

The Most Dangerous Goods Transported Annually

Out of the millions of hazardous materials transported annually, the three most dangerous goods stand out. They include combustible liquids, lithium batteries, and dry ice, commonly used as a refrigerant for frozen foods and pharmaceuticals like vaccines. Here are the three most dangerous goods typically transported yearly.

Contagious Substances

Shipping communicable substances like specimens for further diagnostics are typically left to the healthcare industry. They include the veterinary sector, under an umbrella body created to assist shippers in safely meeting the necessary regulations for the safe shipping of infectious specimens or substances.

Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries are the most commonly transported hazardous goods. Some specific rules and regulations concern the shipping of lithium batteries. The guidelines are clear on the safe transportation of lithium batteries for companies and individual shippers. For those unfamiliar with transporting dangerous goods, Lithium Battery Shipping Regulations (LBSR) can help provide instructions on the safe transportation of lithium batteries.

Shipping and Handling

Safe shipping and handling is the beginning point of transporting hazardous material. Shippers are required to adhere to strict safety regulations to ensure everyone is safe.

Parties involved in Transporting Dangerous Goods and their Responsibilities

Anyone handling dangerous goods must undergo proper training to ensure safety and success in hazardous shipping goods. Adhering to safety guidelines in the supply chain is crucial to ensure that potential hazards are under control. Additionally, everyone in the supply chain and shipping is competent to execute the specific functions assigned to them.

Although some functions of handling dangerous goods need basic knowledge, others need more detailed information on managing hazardous materials. In both scenarios, adequate regulations and training are necessary for each function. Freight forwarders, shippers, packers, freight forwarders, ground handling agents, operators, and security screeners must be prepared to handle dangerous shipments adequately.

The Roles of Shippers and Operators

Shipping safety of hazardous materials begins with manufacturers, handlers, packagers, and shippers and ends with operators. The shippers have significant responsibility for their goods to be accepted for shipping. They’re responsible for each step of packaging and maintaining the safety of the hazardous goods by fulfilling the following.

  • Yield to specific packaging regulations
  • Apply on permitted packaging for dangerous materials
  • Correctly assemble and safe packaging as per guidelines
  • Pack standard quantities in each package
  • Ensure that the external packaging is safe from contaminants
  • Remove any marking on packaging containers that’s irrelevant
  • Ensure all boxes are correctly labeled

Operators are responsible for ensuring shippers adhere to all shipping rules and regulations regarding dangerous material transportation.

Safety Tips for Shipping Hazardous Materials

The effect of not following the correct procedure to ship dangerous materials is life and death. Other outcomes include severe injury to people, damage to property, and adverse environmental effects. Safety precautions when sending harmful materials are paramount to keep every part of the shipping chain safe and minimize accidents. Here are essential safety tips when transporting dangerous goods.

Proper Training

Shippers of dangerous goods must undergo training on handling and shipping the goods appropriately by air, road, water, or rail. Depending on the means you intend to use, look for the regulatory body and get the proper training to handle and manage dangerous goods. You must understand the aspects that constitute dangerous goods, report incidents that pose a risk to others, and prepare the relevant documentation.

Classify the Dangerous Materials in Transit Correctly

You must be specific about the exact dangerous goods you’re shipping. Focussing on a particular hazardous material will make work easier for anyone handling the substances. This is important because hazardous goods are different, and they vary in reaction depending on circumstances or what they’re exposed to. People handling harmful materials should know what they’re dealing with.

Contact Your Shipper Earlier

Always contact your shipper before the material day of shipping. This is because regulations can change anytime in shipping firms. You’ll avoid time wastage and ensure shipping happens as expected.

Properly Labeling Packages

Proper labeling of packaging ensures that the shipment is handled with the carefulness it deserves. Putting suitable labels on packages and transporting dangerous materials helps everyone in the shipping chain adhere to proper handling requirements and minimizes risks.

Have an Eye for Detail

Mistakes happen; hence, you need to pay extra attention to detail in each step of the shipping procedure. Human error is a great contributor to most accidents when handling dangerous goods. Therefore, everyone who handles hazardous goods must double or quadruple-check vital details of harmful materials to avoid mistakes that can cost a life.