How to haul hazardous goods


When road transport is the only way to move environmentally unfriendly chemicals, the right considerations and expertise are required.

There are certain compounds, substances and articles of a dangerous nature that require a lot of finesse in transportation. These hazardous materials are crucial to production in a country that has booming industrial and mining sectors.

Most often, the roads provide the only option for transportation, but road transport is extremely risky without an experienced and competent transporter – especially where dangerous goods are concerned.

JSE-listed logistics solutions provider and notable transporter of hazardous goods, Cargo Carriers has the reputation and qualities required from a logistics company when it comes to the transportation of hazardous materials. The company has built its growing business in the area of hazardous goods on the back of an excellent record in the areas of safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ).

A preferred haulier by affluent chemical companies for a number of years, the company has been awarded many “best supplier” awards coupled with winning new business in the hazardous goods arena.

Cargo Carriers is growing into Africa, recently acquiring 55 percent of Zambian logistics business BHL that transports, among other things, sulphuric acid. From left: Tom Mennie (Cargo Carriers), Murray Bolton (Cargo Carriers), Buks van Rensburg (BHL), Elrick de Klerk (BHL) and Garth Bolton (Cargo Carriers).In transporting dangerous goods, Cargo Carriers notes that there are areas in which a logistics company needs to be proficient: industry accreditation, drivers and training, the vehicles and equipment used, as well as emergency reaction.

Industry accreditation

When handling hazardous chemicals it is essential that the highest SHEQ standards are acknowledged and constantly maintained. Being represented on the environmental and chemical forums of the Chemical & Allied Industries Association, as well as on the Dangerous Goods Committee of the Road Freight Association, places Cargo Carriers in an influential position in the chemical logistics industry.

Cargo Carriers consistently undergoes extensive audits by DEKRA-ITS (based locally and in Germany) and has received ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001:2004, and Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Services (OHSAS) 18001 accreditation across all branches. All new contracts and branches are prepared for accreditation within the first year of operation.

Drivers and training

All of Cargo Carriers’ drivers are rigorously trained and re-trained to deal with emergencies – which hopefully never arise.

During training drivers complete an induction training course, a first aid and fire-fighting course, the nationally approved Dangerous Goods Training, and further coaching by Cargo Carriers’ experienced trainer and transport expert, John van Heerden, at the company’s fully fledged in-house training facility in Sasolburg. Following this, all drivers are retested every year in order for the company to maintain compliance and support a robust base of accomplished and qualified drivers of hazardous goods.

In addition, the drivers also undergo customer product training that includes the customer’s own set of tests and on-site training on the dangers of their specific cargo and how to react should an incident occur. “Hazmat” suits are worn in mock accidents, thus preparing the drivers for the worst scenarios.

Vehicles and equipment

Cargo Carriers has drive-cams installed in many of its vehicles that monitor the driver as well as the road – essential for investigating and preventing accidents or emergencies. The company also monitors vehicle performance via satellite-link tracking 24/7/365. These recordings are used as a learning tool to identify where the company can improve on safety.

Emergency reaction

With all potentially threatening or dangerous cargo, much of the ability to gain control of any emergency lies in the hands of the driver until help arrives. In the event of a road spill or spillage at the loading or offloading point, Cargo Carriers would react immediately to secure the site, and then request the assistance of professional Hazmat Services to expertly handle all incidents with respect to containment, clean up and rehabilitation.

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SHEQ Management

SHEQ MANAGEMENT is the definitive source for reliable, accurate and pertinent information to guarantee environmental health and safety in the workplace.
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