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Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Dangerous Goods

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Definition – What do Dangerous Goods mean?

Dangerous goods are materials or substances in forms or quantities that, if released, might pose an unreasonable risk to human health, safety, the environment, or property.

The materials or substances identified as dangerous goods can be biological, chemical, radiological, and/or physical. The term can also include hazardous substances, wastes, marine pollutants, and elevated-temperature materials. Dangerous goods are sometimes referred to as dangerous substances, hazardous goods, or hazardous materials.

HSSE WORLD explains Dangerous Goods

Substances listed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a regulation established in the United States in 1980, are considered to be hazardous. Approximately 2,400 substances are listed, and they are classified broadly into categories such as explosives, flammables, corrosives, combustibles, poisons, oxidizers, biological agents, and radioactive materials.

Transportation of dangerous goods is an important concern in health and safety. If it is not done correctly and according to the necessary regulations, improper transportation may result in a significant emergency situation. In the U.S., the transport of dangerous goods (referred to as hazardous materials) is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act of 1975. When dangerous goods are transported via air, the persons responsible for the handling of the dangerous goods must ensure that they comply with federal regulations, as well as procedures outlined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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