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Why Safety Labels Matter in Dangerous Goods Transportation

May 25, 2021

Why Safety Labels Matter in Dangerous Goods Transportation

Safety marks are placed on a container to identify dangerous goods and the type of hazard they present. This includes both large and small means of containment- ranging from a transport vehicle to a small consumer box.  While the general individual may not always be aware of what the labels mean, these safety marks provide important information to shippers, receivers, businesses and emergency services personnel about what is being handled.   

The movement of all Dangerous Goods in Canada is regulated by Transport Canada for all modes of Transportation and is governed by the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR), the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions (ICAO TI) as well as the International Marine Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG).  Each of these outlines’ specific instructions for the shipping/handling/receiving and consumer purchasing of each Dangerous Goods product or those products contained within e.g., Lithium Batteries.  Having a visible safety mark on the outside of a means of containment to identify the potential hazards is part of these instructions and works to keep all individuals safe and secure from possible illness/injury caused by unmarked packaging.

In order to properly move products within compliance it is important to know which safety marks to use and why.  Do you need one label or two?  Can this fly?  Is there a label for an inner and outer box?  Why do the placards need to change based on quantity?  Why does the consumer not need a label to take a product home?  All of these questions and more are covered in your basic TDG training or more in-depth for shipments by Air and Marine.   Training is just the first step to knowing how to use safety marks correctly.  If you see them in your workplace or handle materials that contain them, make sure you have your TDG training certification up to date.