How can you safely and legally transport chemicals?
Safety considerations for chemical storage and transportation are a high safety priority for chemicals manufacturers and suppliers. These goods are typically dangerous, requiring careful handling in order to reduce risk. Dangerous goods can include any of the following:
- Corrosive chemicals
- Explosive chemicals and articles
- Flammable liquids
- Flammable solids
- Oxidising substances
- Radioactive substances
- Toxic substances
Not only do you have a moral responsibility to your staff and the public; there are also many laws and regulations that you must operate within to continue doing business.
Whether you’re transporting your chemicals via boat, rail, road or air, the laws surrounding safe chemicals transportation are becoming stricter over time.
To help your business comply with these laws, we have outlined 4 safety considerations for chemical storage and transportation.
4 safety considerations for chemical storage and transportation
Clear identification is key. If you’re transporting potentially dangerous or hazardous substances, it’s your responsibility to identify them before transit.
You must identify the chemical based upon the International System for Identifying Hazardous Substances, from which you can obtain the UN number.
2. Careful storage
Depending on the hazardous level of the chemical you’re transporting, you may need more complex storing solutions. For example, what may be suitable for a flammable liquid will probably be inappropriate for an organic peroxide.
Consider the chemicals in questions and the best ways for moving these safely and legally.
3. Transportation methods
It’s extremely important to ensure your drivers and handlers receive up-to-date training and have a complete understanding of the substances they’re transporting.
If transporting the goods alone, they may be solely responsible for the completion of the transport document, which declares the nature of the goods.
Depending on what you’re carrying, you may need to contact the European Chemicals Agency if you’re transporting within the European Union. For all other areas, you should research local government websites to ensure you stay within the law.
4. Proper packaging
One of the most important safety considerations for chemical storage and transportation is packaging. The packaging you use to secure and protect your chemicals must meet the requirements outlined in relevant legislation for the type of substance in question.
- The packaging you choose must be suitably tested to ensure it can withstand pressure demands and potential drops.
- It’s possible that spillages may occur during transit, especially if the vehicle encounters rough terrain or if the containers aren’t loaded correctly. The packaging you choose should eliminate this risk and be designed to UN specification standards.
- Your hazardous products must be appropriately labelled with hazard symbols, warning and safety advice. Failure to comply is illegal.
- A manufacturer of chemicals must also include instructions for handling and storage, which can be placed on a label or as a leaflet inside.
Transportation solutions: polythene packaging
Polythene wrap is an excellent packaging option for your chemical transportation requirements. It can be supplied in many different formats, which can be custom made to meet specifications. Polythene is a high standard, quality wrap, which is both versatile and cost effective.
If you’re required to hide the contents of the packaging, you can opt for an opaque finish, which will shield the contents to the outside world.
Alternatively, if you’re required to have your chemical substances on display, choose a tinted finish to allow good visibility of the items inside. Marpak supplies UVI polythene that protects products that could be dangerous if exposed to the elements. This is especially important when dealing with hazardous substances and goods.
If your goods are abnormal in size or shape, opt for lay-flat tubing style polythene, which is designed to fit this type of package. Packets can be sealed, stapled, tied or taped at both ends to ensure stability.
If you’re transporting a large container, gusseted and centrefold tubing will be an ideal choice. Whether you’re packing a few items manually or using an automated packing machine for large quantities, this polythene tubing will work for you. You can opt to receive the polythene as one continuous sheet or have it perforated at your desired measurements.
Who are Marpak Extrusions?
Marpak Extrusions are specialists in their field with over 30 years’ experience. Based in Leeds, we’re market leaders in manufacturing premium-grade polythene film, and we have a passion for packaging solutions.
Marpak are innovative and keen to help the environment by offering our clients the choice of an eco-friendly, sustainably sourced alternative. Marpak Green products are made from 100% renewable sugarcane ethanol, but still maintain the high quality we’re renowned for.