Classes of dangerous goods

storage of barrels in a chemical factory - logistics and shipping

The carriage of dangerous goods by road, rail, inland waterway, sea and air is regulated internationally by European agreements, directives and regulations, and parallel legislation in the UK.

If you’re involved in the processing, packing or transporting of dangerous goods, you will first need to classify them correctly so that all organisations in the supply chain, including the emergency authorities, know and understand exactly what the hazard is.

The carriage of dangerous goods by road, rail, inland waterway, sea and air is regulated by international agreements. The UK is a signatory to all the regulations and an EU Directive requires the UK to apply RID and ADR to domestic as well as international operations.

The transport of dangerous goods is based on the:

Classification, Identification, packaging, marking and labelling of the substance or article.

Dangerous goods are assigned to different classes depending on their predominant hazard. The UN system puts dangerous goods in the following classes/divisions:

UN class Dangerous goods Division(s) if applicable Classification
1 Explosives 1.1 - 1.6 Explosives
2 Gases 2.1 Flammable gas
2 Gases 2.2 Non-flammable gas, non-toxic gas
2 Gases 2.3 Toxic gas
3 Flammable liquids   Flammable liquid
4 Flammable solids 4.1 Flammable solid
4 Flamable solids 4.2 Spontaneous combustible substance
4 Flam 4.3 Substance which emits flammable gas in contact with water
5 Oxidizers and organic peroxides 5.1 Oxidising substance
  Oxidizers and organic peroxides 5.2 Organic peroxide
6 Toxic and infectious substances 6.1 Toxic substance
6 Toxic and infectious substances 6.2 Infectious substance
7 Radioactive material 7 Radioactive material
8 Corrosive material 8 Corrosive material
9 Miscellaneous dangerous substances 9 Miscellaneous dangerous substances

The consignor - the person or business shipping the goods - is responsible for classifying, identifying, packaging, marking and labelling the dangerous goods.

The carrier is generally responsible for loading, placarding and ensuring the driver (for road operations) is competent.

Consignors, carriers and loaders that transport certain quantities of dangerous goods on a regular basis must appoint a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA) in order to comply with the requirements of ADR and the associated UK Regulations.

If you transport smaller quantities of dangerous goods, or if your main or secondary activities are not the carriage or related loading or unloading of dangerous goods, but occasionally you do it, then you do not need to appoint a DGSA.

However even if you are not required to have a DGSA you must have trained staff.