Precautions in the transport of dangerous goods by road

ADR (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) transport legislation has undergone various modifications over the years. However, the terms relating to the meaning of such transportation were already established in the 1992 Law, when it was specified that this activity referred to both the loading and unloading of materials and their transportation. Moving certain types of hazardous materials by road, some of which are very sensitive to any external (or even internal) agent, is an activity that requires strict safety measures and procedures to avoid any risk to both human beings and the environment.

One of the most important aspects in the transport of dangerous goods by road is the packaging of the materials to be transported; knowing exactly which are the most suitable packaging methods for each type of material, taking into account their characteristics and the reactions they may cause, is one of the most effective ways to avoid serious accidents during transport. This is why it is so important to count on professionals when choosing how to move and handle this type of goods; this ensures knowledge of the most appropriate procedures in each case, as well as the signs and methods established in the regulations that must appear on each type of packaging or container used. Workers will also know how to act in the event of a spill of any substance, as well as the procedure to follow to remove any damaged containers.

It is very important to take into account all relevant safety measures for the transport of such materials, since, depending on the type or classification to which they belong, their incorrect handling may cause serious damage to the environment (e.g. explosions that may cause fires) or serious risks to human health (inhalation of toxic gases, diseases, etc.). There are nine categories to classify hazardous materials and each type includes different materials that must be handled taking into consideration their specific characteristics: for example, flammable liquids must be contained in suitable (and approved) containers with spark arrestors and automatic lids.

Marking and labeling is therefore of vital importance in the transport of dangerous goods; the symbols used for this purpose are of international character and inform that there is a cargo that may represent a potential hazard. The labeling system is used whenever the cargo is changed from one container to another, so that there is no confusion about the contents; there are also plates that provide clear and precise information and are placed in every place where these materials are handled, transported or stored. Chemical data sheets (MSDS) also serve to contain all the information related to the materials, in a much more detailed form.

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