Transporting dangerous goods can be a complex business. After all, special care must be taken to ensure that people, property and the environment are not placed at risk. If firms fail in this task, the consequences can be disastrous. In the very worst cases, significant damage can be done and lives can even be lost. Also, as well as the human and material cost of these incidents, firms have to cope with potentially long-lasting reputational damage.
It is no surprise therefore that there is considerable demand for top-quality dangerous goods packaging. To help ensure that their goods get from A to B safely, firms can invest in specialised plastic drums, jerrycans and other provisions.
One organisation that understands the dangers involved with transporting hazardous goods is the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). Recently, it called for “more action” when it comes to protecting the individuals who transport dangerous goods in the retail and distribution industry.
Astrid van der Burgt from the IOSH Retail and Distribution Group commented: “In the retail industry transporting dangerous goods isn’t that common, so many organisations involved in retail don’t have safety professionals in-house who work to specifically reduce risks in this one area. In this case, more action and care needs to be taken to make sure employees are kept safe when transporting and handling packages which contain dangerous goods.”
Ms van der Burgt added: “Staff should be appropriately trained to handle dangerous goods in packages. Employers need to ensure their employees are briefed well, and that they understand how to deal with merchandise they’re distributing, should something go wrong. In any case, prevention is far better than cure. Throughout the supply chain, communication lines should be opened and clear so that participants involved the carriage of dangerous goods in packages have the right information and support.”
Meanwhile, the IOSH noted that over the years, there have been a range of news reports concerning “perilous products” that have caused “havoc in transit”.
Recently, the IOSH Retail and Distribution Group established a Dangerous Goods Forum that comprises safety professionals from a range of organisations, including DHL and Wincanton. The purpose of the group is to help raise the level of understanding concerning the issues surrounding the transport of dangerous goods in the sector.
Those behind the initiative hope it will allow establishments to work together to form solutions to common problems within the industry.
Even though many organisations are feeling the financial pinch at present and are therefore looking to reduce their costs, it is imperative that they do not cut corners when it comes to transporting dangerous goods. While this may save them cash in the short term, it could be hugely damaging in the longer term and it may even lead to tragic consequences.
By adopting a responsible approach to this issue and utilising all the relevant resources, potentially including open top drums, firms can avoid a whole series of difficulties and managers can enjoy greater peace of mind. By heading online, bosses should be able to find all the packaging they need.
About the Author – Anna Longdin is a freelance blogger who has written extensively on the subject of dangerous goods packaging for a range of sites, including Air Sea Containers Ltd.