Transporting Dangerous Goods – Are You Doing It Correctly?


Transporting Dangerous Goods – Are You Doing It Correctly?


What are the requirements and obligations for transporting and receiving Dangerous Goods at your site? This article provides guidance at each step of the process, principally in relation to placarding, documentation and emergency planning, from loading to end receipt of Dangerous Goods.

Checks at the point of Loading:

  • Is the vehicle appropriate and suitable e.g. load capacity, restraints for load, etc.;
  • The vehicle is correctly signed or placarded e.g. as per example shown on right
  • The vehicle is fitted with necessary or required safety equipment e.g. fire extinguisher(s), personal protective equipment, spill kit, etc. This element is the responsibility of the vehicle owner;
  • Emergency Procedures Group (EPG) for each and every substance being loaded, are stored in an Emergency Information Holder within the cabin of the truck;
  • Transportation documents, clearly stating the consignor and nominated prime transport contractor, that are provided to the driver;
  • All products and substances being loaded are safe and compatible, or are separated, segregated in case of any leakage or emergency event e.g. Class 3 Flammable Liquids are not loaded with Class 5.1 Oxidising Substances or Class 5.2 Organic Peroxides (See Segregation Chart – Fig 1 or refer to ADG7, Chap 5.3).
  • Containers and packaging used for the Dangerous Goods transportation are safe and suitable, including bulk containers, barrels, and freight containers and
  • Driver of the vehicle holds appropriate licenses e.g. bulk transport.

Transport Documentation

The Dangerous Goods transport documentation must be formatted to include the following in the order as stated for each substance or product:

  • Consignor’s name and phone number;
  • Description of Dangerous Goods being transported;
  • United Nations (UN) number for the product;
  • Proper shipping name or name of the substance that appears
  • on the packaging/container;
  • Class of Dangerous Good;
  • Each subsidiary risk (if applicable);
  • Packaging Group (if applicable);
  • Type and number of packages or containers being transported;
  • Total quantity of Dangerous Goods on the vehicle.

Issues to consider on the journey after loading is completed:

  • Do not use prohibited routes e.g. information provided by State or Territory regulations;
  • If vehicle breaks down – have a plan to remove Dangerous Goods from that vehicle on roadside;
  • All placarded loads should have a prepared emergency plan, including advice on the properties of the Dangerous Goods, safe containment of the substances, use of emergency equipment on the truck and safe handling of the Dangerous Goods;
  • All incidents where goods have spilled or leaked must be reported to the State or Territory Regulator. Additionally, a written report must be provided to the Regulator within 21 days, stating all the details of event e.g. date, time, location, likely cause(s), measures taken to control during incident and thereafter;
  • As Dangerous Goods are unloaded from the vehicle, the type and quantity of substances remaining must be updated, during the course of the journey.

Issues to consider when receiving Dangerous Goods:

  • Dangerous Goods must be unloaded in a safe area, with a site receiving person present;
  • Ensure site spill kits, PPE and fire equipment that may be needed in an emergency are present in the area;
  • Loaded trailers should only be detached from a prime-mover in an approved vehicle marshalling area or a designated transport depot e.g. vehicle broken down or in an emergency. Figure 1 Load Compatibility Table.

Key Legislative & Code Requirements:

  • Dangerous Good Act 1985 (Vic);
  • Dangerous Goods (Transport by Road or Rail) Regulations 2008 (Vic);
  • Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Interim Regulations 2011 (Vic);
  • The Australian Dangerous Goods Code – 7th Edition (ADG 7);
  • Dangerous Goods Storage and Handling Code of Practice (Vic);
  • Safely Transporting Dangerous Goods Guideline (Vic).

For more information please contact Phillip Kamay at Safety Action on T-03 9690 6311 or

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