Friday, June 12, 2009

Proper classification of dangerous goods transported by aircraft is the first step towards compliance

The proper classification of dangerous goods to be transported by aircraft is the first step towards achieving regulatory compliance and promoting a safe work environment for everyone involved. Classifying dangerous goods creates a standard method of universal communication regarding the type of dangerous good or hazardous material being transported. This is especially important because most dangerous goods are transported in opague or non-transparent containers and packagings, making it near impossible to identify the contents inside. By properly classifying a dangerous goods shipment along with the correct labels and markings, we can help reduce the risk of accidents including spills, explosions, corrosion, radiation and more.

The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, along with the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, classifies dangerous goods into nine distinct class hazards. Some of these class hazards are further divided into divisions, each with specific criteria to classify the division from others.

These are the nine class hazards and their respective divisions:

  • Class 1: Explosives
    • Division 1.1: Articles and substances having a mass explosion hazard
    • Division 1.2: Articles and substances having a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
    • Division 1.3: Articles and substances having a fire hazard, a minor blast hazard and/or a minor projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
    • Division 1.4: Articles and substances presenting no significant hazard
    • Division 1.5: Very insensitive substances having a mass explosion hazard
    • Division 1.6: Extremely insensitive articles
  • Class 2: Gases
    • Division 2.1: Flammable Gas
    • Division 2.2: Non-flammable, non-toxic gas
    • Toxic gas
  • Class 3: Flammable Liquids
  • Class 4: Flammable Solids; Substances Liable to Spontaneous Combustion; Substances Which, in Contact with Water, Emit Flammable Gases
    • Division 4.1: Flammable solids, self-reactive substances and solid desnsitized explosives
    • Division 4.2: Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
    • Division 4.3: Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases
  • Class 5: Oxidizing Substances and Organic Peroxides
    • Division 5.1: Oxidizers
    • Division 5.2: Organic peroxides
  • Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Subsssstances
    • Division 6.1: Toxic substances
    • Division 6.2: Infectious substances
  • Class 7: Radioactive Material
  • Class 8: Corrosives
  • Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

There are dangerous goods and hazardous materials that have multiple class hazards assigned. Section 3.10 in the IATA DGR describes the criteria for assigning a dangerous good with multiple hazards. In this case, the most restrictive of packing groups between the hazard classes must be assigned to the dangerous goods.

The Bureau of Dangerous Goods, Ltd. provides classroom, on-site and online dangerous goods training solutions for business of any size around the world. Our courses are designed to train employees on proper identification and classification of dangerous goods for transport by air, surface and vessel. is our designated online hazmat training application for simplifying the training process by bringing course material and instruction to you. Take online courses at your own pace, at your own convenience, and maintain regulatory compliance.