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Three Things You Need to Know When Transporting Dangerous Goods

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While something classified as a 'dangerous good' may sound like it should be rare due to regulation, in actual fact many Australian businesses deal with the transport and storage of dangerous goods every day. Most of these dangerous goods are simply chemicals and gasses used in production, cleaning, farming or cooking and are only dangerous when handled incorrectly, the same way a car is dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced driver. If you are looking to transport items you think might be dangerous, here are a few things you need to know before you get started.

Identify the Danger

First, for your reference, there are lists of what is classified as a 'dangerous good' on both the Australian government's page and every relevant courier's page. In general, there are nine rough categories of dangerous goods, and each come with their own risks and safety procedures. If you need to remove chemical waste you will have a different set of needs than if you are moving petrol, and so on. You should know what you are moving well enough to understand how to store it during transport, what temperature it needs to be and how delicately it needs to be handled when loading and unloading it into the vehicle

Prepare It for Transport

As was mentioned, different dangerous goods will have different storage requirements. Some need to be kept refrigerated at all times and some need to be loaded in reinforced storage compartments so that they do not come into contact with the air or other chemicals. Research what you are moving and highlight the areas that relate to its storage. Remember that if you are moving it long distance, it needs to be able to handle hours of bumpy roads or sharp movements on a train or plane. Do not complete this step without researching the specific item you have, as you will risk putting lives in danger. 

Choose a Courier

Unless you are moving a very small amount of dangerous goods (like herbicides or pesticides for your garden) over a short journey (like to your house from the store), you will quickly find that you need to engage an official courier who is registered with the government and has all the necessary transportation equipment. There is simply no way to move any significant amount of dangerous goods without the services of professionals because there are so many risks to yourself and to the general public. While it can be a hassle to do this, it will be far worse for you if you are caught trying to transport the goods yourself, illegally. Choose one that has a trusted reputation and remember to be receptive to their ideas on how to move and load your dangerous goods, as they are the ones who have experience in this area. If you are going to be moving a lot of dangerous goods over any period of time, you will want to build a good business relationship with the company you hire, so pick a courier with that in mind. 

For more information, learn more about how to get certified to transport dangerous goods.