Transportation of Dangerous Goods needs to be integrated into your Chemical Management Program

By: Corinne Paul
If your organization produces or ships chemical products you likely have different departments working on different areas of that product’s life cycle; whether that is marketing them, managing their hazards and risks, or transporting those products. All departments have many common links and tasks between managing a chemical but frequently, they do not communicate with each other. For example, your marketing group may be selling a product under one name, the Safety Data Sheet is likely written for the product under a separate name and when transported the product’s shipping name can be entirely different again. These groups may even be conducting their own sampling of the product.

Communication between the industrial hygienist, process engineers and marketing personnel is important so they all understand what the chemical properties are of the product they are selling and what is being communicated to carriers and customers.

Sampling is critical to many elements of a Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) program. Section 15 on a Safety Data Sheet informs people of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods criteria. Sampling affects classification which determines placarding and safety marks on a means of containment (MOC). Composition affects the class of the product and flammability affects the packing group. Developing a sampling strategy ensures confidence in the proper classification, which flows into accurate and reliable SDSs. Proof of Classification is a regulatory requirement under TDG and needs to be incorporated into your TDG and/or Chemical Management program.  Is that information readily available for all groups to access? Is every group conducting their own sampling activity or can this be consolidated for efficiency?

Better communication between these 3 groups will mitigate the risk of miscommunication on products and reduce an overlap of tasks. It may also minimize the risk of an error on shipping documentation or placarding that can result in a TDG infraction.