Every product bought and sold is likely to, at some point along its supply chain journey from manufacturer to consumer, have been inside a truck on our National road network. Some of these products require specialised, expert handling complying with the strictest safety standards, and never is this truer than with the transportation of hazardous goods.According to the regulations set out under section 54 (Chapter VIII) of the National Road Traffic Act, 1996, dangerous or hazardous goods are “Any substances which may cause injury, ill health or death of a human by reason of their toxic, corrosive, irritants, strongly sensitizing or flammable nature, are considered flammable goods”. The Act further lays out strict conditions regarding the transportation and handling of such freight, and it is vital for those organisations wishing to move dangerous goods within South Africa to partner with transporters well versed regarding the Act.
Intrinsic to the safe transportation of hazardous goods is a deep understanding that every detail counts. There is no room for error, as any small deviation may potentially have devastating consequences. From vehicle selection, through to driver training and documentation, every step of this risk laden supply chain should be precisely managed. Although the Act as mentioned above places the onus on the transporter regarding compliance when accepting hazardous cargo, any responsible organisation should ask the following fundamental questions before selecting a transportation partner:
Are vehicles equipped with the required safety accessories?
The type of product and distance to be travelled will inform the choice of the vehicle per load. From tankers, tri-axles and panel vans, a variety of trucks can bear the cargo, however, regardless of the type of vehicle, certain accessories are mandatory.
- Exterior fire extinguishers with quick-release mounting.
- Orange warning signs on the front, placards on both sides and one on the rear of truck or trailer. Further relevant prohibitive signage to be visible on the sides and rear of the vehicle, e.g. No Smoking, No Cell Phone etc.
- Battery cover and exterior off switch.
- Designated container, clearly marked in which documentation for current load to kept while load is in transit
Are Drivers sufficiently skilled?
The safety of a load is largely dependent on the skill of the person responsible for driving the truck. The best packaging, documentation and process can be rendered useless by the reckless handling of a vehicle on the road. Driver training is vital to the enablement of successful hazardous transportation solutions, in that the driver needs to understand each type of product, its triggers and how to react if something goes wrong. It is not enough that employees tasked with the transportation of dangerous goods are skilled drivers, they require additional training, in compliance with regulation by approved training bodies, to ensure that goods are in the hands of experts from collection to delivery.
Does the Transporter protect documentation?
When on the road, the only information that the driver has on-hand is the documentation relating to the load in the vehicle. It is important that all documentation about the load is readily available, and stored within a protected area, while in transit. This seemingly minor detail is vital in the case of an emergency – providing responders on-site information about the type of hazardous material they are dealing with and in what volume so that assistance and clean-up can be rapid and efficient.
With specialist knowledge, infrastructure and technical skills, Manline Energy is the obvious choice when transporting hazardous goods. Complying with the strictest Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) standards, as well as holding an ISO 39001 accreditation, our fleet is state-of-the-art.
From the drivers through to management, our dedicated team of professionals have the expertise and operational know-how to deliver your hazardous freight in the safest, most effective way possible.
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