What are Dangerous Goods?
by Perth Trucking Company Vintage Road Haulage
Overview of dangerous goods that companies store and transport…
Dangerous Goods are items or substances which could cause an immediate health and safety hazard to people, transport and infrastructure, if they are not properly stored and transported. In Western Australia they are classified under the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004, which identifies nine classes of dangerous goods.
Hazardous Substances are substances which after exposure can cause an adverse effect on the health of a person, such as burns, irritation or cancer. Most hazardous substances are also classified as being dangerous goods.
What are the classes of Dangerous Goods?
There are nine classes of dangerous goods, as identified by the 2004 Dangerous Goods Safety Act in Western Australia.
Class 1: Explosives
Explosives include items which can quickly detonate or explode because of a chemical reaction. This can include producing gases which at a certain temperature, pressure or speed can cause significant damage. Hazardous amounts of light, heat, sound, smoke or gas may or may not be produced as well. Examples include blasting caps, ammunition, TNT or fireworks.
Class 2: Gases
Dangerous goods gases are substances which are completely gaseous at 20°celcius at standard atmospheric pressure or which have a vapour pressure of 300 kPa or greater at 50°celcius. They are classified as dangerous goods because of their flammability, they are corrosive or toxic to humans, have potential as asphyxiants and the ability to oxidize. Examples include fire extinguishers, natural gas, butane and compressed air.
Class 3: Flammable Liquids
Flammable liquids are a mixture of liquids or liquids and solids in solution/suspension which make a flammable vapour/flash point at no more than 60-65°C, or liquids transported at temperatures above their flash point or are substances transported at raised temperatures in a liquid state and which give off a flammable vapour at a temperature at or below the maximum transport temperature. Examples include paint, petrol and perfumery products.
Class 4: Flammable Solids; Spontaneous Combustibles and ‘Dangerous When Wet’ Materials
Flammable solids may cause fires due to friction created when travelling. Other substances may combust without warning due to heating up when travelling or can become flammable when wet. Examples include matches, carbon and metal powders.
Class 5: Oxidisers
Oxidisers may not be combustable themselves, but can contribute oxygen which may cause other substances to combust. Examples include hydrogen pyroxide and sodium nitrate.
Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances
Toxic substances are those which can cause death or harm by skin contact, swallowing or breathing in. Infectious substances are those containing pathogens (such as viruses), which can cause serious consequences when humans come into contact with them. Examples include medical waste, cynanide and acids.
Class 7: Radioactive Material
Radioactive material contains radionuclides, which are atoms with unstable nucleuses. They can cause serious harm to the health of humans. Examples include enriched uranium, medical isotopes and yellowcake.
Class 8: Corrosives
Corrosives are substances which can dissolve the things they come into contact with. They can cause severe damage in human tissues or destroy surrounding materials. Examples include battery fluid, sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid.
Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods
These are substances or items which also can cause a hazard or danger when transporting, but cannot be placed into one of the other 8 classes. Examples include lithium metal batteries, dry ice and first aid kits.
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