Dangerous goods

Dangerous goods – what is it?

In accordance with current statutory acts, dangerous goods necessarily include various substances which in the case of transportation as well as during loading on/ loading off cargoes can provoke an emergency like an explosion or fire, which can cause significant damage of buildings, constructions, devices, warehouses, as well as of the transport and the surrounding breathers. The European Agreement, where is explicit description of transportation of such substances, is the main legal authority. The rules as define herein must be complied when transporting any such cargoes. This law-book is called ADR.

Various international shipments are regulated according to ADR and it works in those countries that have signed it, when crossing at least two of them. In the overwhelming majority of cases national regulatory enactments almost completely correspond to this set of rules, but, of course, there may have some peculiarities. In ADR the rules of trucking were developed in order to maximize the degree of safety on the roads during such transportation, as well as to simplify all paperwork. In order to achieve these goals, there is a single classification in the document, as well as an integrated system of claims that are applied during transportation. In our country, in addition to this set of claims, there are also a number of other statutory acts that require the special training of drivers, and also a list of various requirements for such transportation.

Dangerous cargoes are classified as dangerous by the consignor. To do this the company turns to the competent authorities. For example, in accordance with the current Regulation of the premisses, classification, as well as the allocation of the predominant majority of dangerous goods is handled by BAM.

Classification of dangerous goods

Dangerous goods are divided into classes on the basis of the specific physical and chemical characteristics as well as by types and degree of danger during warehousing and transportation. The classification of dangerous goods is regulated, specifically:

CLASS 1 - explosive materials, capable due to their properties to explode, to cause a fire with an explosive effect, as well as devices containing explosive concentrate and firing gears, intended to produce a pyrotechnic effect;

Division 1.1 - Substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard, when an explosion instantly covers the entire cargo;

Division 1.2 - substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard;

Division 1.3 - explosive and pyrotechnic agents and goods with a fire hazard with little or no explosive effect;

Division 1.4 - explosive and pyrotechnic agents and goods which present no significant hazard; only a small hazard in the event of ignition or initiation during transport with any effects largely confined to the package;

Division 1.5 - explosives with a mass explosion hazard that are so insensitive that during transportation initiation or transition from burning to detonation is unlikely;

Division 1.6 - products containing only insensitive to detonation substances, not exploding in mass and characterized by a low probability of accidental initiation;

CLASS 2 - compressed gases, liquefied by cooling and dissolved under pressure, having at least one of the following conditions:

the absolute vapor pressure at temperature of 50 ° C is equal to or higher than 3 kgf / cm (kPa);

critical temperature is below 50 ° C.

According to the physical state gases are divided into:

compressed, the critical temperature of which is below -10 ° C;

liquefied, the critical temperature of which is equal to or higher than -10С, but lower than 70С;

liquefied, the critical temperature of which is equal to or higher than 70 ° C; dissolved under pressure;

undercooling liquefied;

aerosols and compressed gases subject to special regulations.


Division 2.1 - non-flammable gases;

Division 2.2 - non-flammable toxic gases;

Division 2.3 - flammable gases;

Division 2.4 - flammable toxic gases;

Division 2.5 - chemically unstable gases;

Division 2.6 - Chemically unstable toxic gas. Subclass 1.5

the absolute vapor pressure at a temperature of 50 ° C is equal to or higher than 3 kgf / cm (kPa);

critical temperature below 50 ° C. According to the physical state gases are divided into: compressed, the critical temperature of which is below -10 ° C;

liquefied, the critical temperature of which is equal to or higher than -10С, but lower than 70С;

liquefied, the critical temperature of which is equal to or higher than 70 ° C;

dissolved under pressure;

undercooling liquefied;

aerosols and compressed gases subject to special regulations.

CLASS 3 - flammable liquids, mixtures of liquids, as well as liquids containing solids in solution or suspension, which emit flammable vapors having a flash point in a closed bowl of 61 ° C and below;

Subclass 3.1 - flammable liquids with a low flash point and liquids having a flash point below minus 18ºС in a closed bowl or having a flash point in combination with other hazardous properties, except for flammability;

Subclass 3.2 — flammable liquids with an average flash point — liquids with a flash point in a closed bowl from minus 18 to plus 23ºС;

Subclass 3.3 - flammable liquids with a high flash point — liquids with a flash point from 23 to 61 ° C inclusive in a closed bowl.

CLASS 4 - flammable substances and materials (except those which classified as explosive) that are easily combustible during transportation from external ignition or because of friction, moisture pick-up, spontaneous chemical transformations or heating;

Subclass 4.1 - flammable solid substances that can easily inflame because of short-term influence of external sources of ignition (flash, flame or friction) and extensively burn;

Subclass 4.2 - substances liable to spontaneous combustion, which under normal conditions of transportation can spontaneously heat up and ignite;

Subclass 4.3 - substances that emit flammable gases when interacting with water.

подкласс 4.3 — substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases.

CLASS 5 - oxidizing substances and organic peroxides, which are easily able to yield oxygen, sustain combustion, and can cause spontaneous combustion and explosion under certain conditions or mixed with other substances;

Subclass 5.1 - oxidizing substances, which are not combustible intrinsically, but can cause combustion of other materials and emit oxygen during combustion, thereby increasing the intensity of the fire;

Subclass 5.2 - organic peroxides, which are flammable in most cases and can act as oxidizing agents and interact dangerously with other substances. Many of them are inflammable and are sensitive to stroke and friction.

CLASS 6 - toxic and infectious substances that can cause death, intoxication or disease if ingested or on contact with skin and mucous membranes;

Division 6.1 - toxic substances that can cause intoxication by inhalation (of vapors, dust), ingestion or skin contact;

Division 6.2 - substances and materials containing pathogens that are dangerous to people and animals.

CLASS 7 – Radioactive Materials with volume activity more than 70 kBq/kg (2 nCi/g).

CLASS 8 - caustic and corrosive substances that cause skin damage, blennosis of the eyes and pipes, metal corrosion and damage to vehicles, buildings or goods, and can also cause a fire when interacting with organic materials or certain chemicals;

Division 8.1 - acids;

Division 8.2 - alkalis;

Division 8.3 – different caustic and corrosive substances.

CLASS 9 - substances with a lower hazard during transportation, not assigned to any of the previous classes, but requiring the applying to certain rules of transportation and warehousing;

Division 9.1 - solid and liquid combustible substances and materials, which do not belong to Class 3 and 4 by their properties, but under certain conditions can be dangerous relating to fire (combustible liquids with a flashpoint from + 61С to + 100С in a closed vessel, fibers and other similar materials);

Division 9.2 - Substances that become caustic and corrosive under certain conditions.

Classification code

In order to indicate certain hazardous properties, as well as to indicate the physical and chemical features that are not shown on the sign fixed on the packaging. The dangerous goods must have their own classification code, which consists of letter or several letters denoting a certain group of hazardous properties. Also it can be supplemented by a figure indicating the chemical or physical properties of the cargo or its belonging to a particular group.

For hazardous substances of the first class, the classification code includes the division number and the letters of the individual compatibility group. For the second class classification code includes a number indicating a certain state of matter, the type of a certain substance and a few letters that denote their group of hazardous properties.

However, the classification of dangerous goods does not provide the appropriate code for the Class 7.


All such goods must have proper names and certain UN codes. In addition, names and numbers are assigned to some hazardous products and substances in accordance with the UN classification system.

Since, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the requirements apply to a specific items in the list, dangerous goods must be identified without fail before transporting. Due to this identification, the following information is easily identified:

  • UN code;
  •  proper shipping name;
  • classification of dangerous goods, as well as possible additional hazardous characteristics;
  • packing group;
  • number of sign types;
  • a certain classification code.

After all the above elements of information are determined, before the transport of dangerous goods by road it’s important to note the relevant requirements.

Identification by UN code

This number identifies the four-digit identification number of a specific item or substance, which is based on the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods: Model Regulations. Such identification by number is carried out in accordance with the Dangerous Goods List, which is referred to in Table A of ADR, in Chapter No. 3.2. This list includes all dangerous goods; all of them are listed in the order of the indicated numbers. If the number of a substance is not in this list, it means that the identification of this cargo was carried out incorrectly.

For cargoes that are not listed in the list by specifically name, the UN code must be determined after determining the class, as well as all types of additional hazardous characteristics and packing group. It stands to mention that not often a single UN code is enough to identify some dangerous goods. In a point of fact such situations include:

  • identification of aerosols, which additionally requires knowledge of the classification code or the number of sign types;
  • identification of coloration, requiring knowledge of the packing group.

Identification by product name

If the UN number is not known for a certain cargo, then the rules for the transport of dangerous goods provide for identification by name, which is performed in accordance with Table B: “Alphabetic index of substances and articles of ADR”.

In the process of this identification it is important to take into account that for chemicals there are several names in most cases:

  •  basic, which may be technical or biological;
  •  various synonyms;
  •  trade name.

For example, carbon dioxide has several synonyms, such as mephitic gas or carbonic-cid gas. In order to avoid problems that are connected with the use of different names of the same cargo by different subjects of transportation, as well as all by different authoritative bodies, the corresponding shipping name is used during transportation. The rules for the transport of dangerous goods provide for the determination of the proper shipping name in accordance with the requirements established in chapter 3.1.2.

Packing group register

It is not uncommon that for different dangerous goods, which belong to a certain UN code and have the same name, different requirements can be used if dangerous goods are transported by road. This is due to the fact that such cargoes may have different hazard rate. For example, oil paint as well as nitro paint and some other paints belong to the "UN 1263 PAINT" number, but the requirements for transporting oil and nitro paints are completely different.

When transporting dangerous goods such as substances or items that may belong to a specific UN code, for which the list contains several items with exactly the same name, then during the identification process it’s important to consider the packing group listed in column 4 of Table A of Chapter 3.2 ADR. Criteria for determining a particular packing group are also given in this chapter.

Classification Code register

Often such situations happen when the rules for the transport of dangerous goods by road provide for the necessary registration of the number of sign types during the process of determining the conditions of transportation.

Thus, any types of aerosols belong to the number «UN 1950 AEROSOL » and then are divided into 12 other groups depending on the unique properties. Each of them already has its own requirements for transportation by road. During the process of determining the type of road transportation, the numbers of the hazard sign types as well as their individual classification code should be taken into account. The code itself must be taken into account when transporting the following types of cargo:

  • explosive materials and explosive compounds of the first class;
  • items containing gases;
  •  chemical substances that can be transported in a liquid or solid state.

The relevant numbers of the hazard types of signs are identified in the fifth column of the Dangerous Goods List, and the meanings and descriptions of the individual numbers are given in of ADR.

Key requirements

Before transportation a sender makes an appropriate marking at packages or containers, and this is the direct duty of the sender. Marking must be carried out in full compliance up to standards, and at the same time marking should be legible and durable, so that if necessary it can be used to determine which dangerous goods are transported by this vehicle. Special attention should be paid to the fact that the marking of goods of 1, 2 and 7 hazard classes provides for the necessary indication of the proper shipping name.

So far there is a whole system of how to inform about the dangers of certain goods, which includes:

  • an emergency card, which the manufacturer of the cargo must draw up in accordance with a universal sample, including the list of all necessary measures aimed to mitigate potential consequences in the case of road traffic accident;
  • special information signs fixed at the rear and front clips of the vehicle;
  • an information card consisting of detailed information of the various codes of measures indicated in the information plate (the card must be hold by those bodies which are responsible for the elimination of emergency).

Transport requirements

Vehicles that carry out transportation must also meet a number of requirements without fail. In particular, every vehicle must have at least one wheel chock, which will correspond to the dimensions and mass of the vehicle. Also the vehicle must have at least two caution signals with illumination and external bearing part, and in addition, the crew must have a special form of bright color and flashlights.

Special requirements are apply to the condition of the vehicle. In particular, it should have a long wearing break gear with an emergency analogue, and if we are talking about a vehicle with a mass of more than 16 tons, then it must have ABS. It is also important to protect all electrical circuits with special limiters, protectors and cutout switches, and in addition, special attention is paid to the equipment of the vehicle with a special device that allows disconnecting accumulator battery directly from the driver’s cabin.

A road-train that transports dangerous goods may include only one trailer. If the transport of dangerous goods is carried out by tanks, then the vehicle must necessarily be equipped with a specialized bumper that provides protection from impact. The minimum allowable distance from the extreme point of the tank for fastening the bumper on the road-train is 10 cm.

All these rules must be taken into account in the process of transportation, because otherwise you can be administratively liable or incur even more serious liability.