Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Regulations Pertaining to Transportation of Hazardous Chemicals

The movement of hazardous substances by any mode of transport presence, in general, a greater risk of accidental release than in a static installation.
chemical transportation
Some aspects of transport which need to be considered include:

1. Regulation
2. Design
3. Operation.
4. Hazards
5. Emergency planning
Hazards presented by the transport of chemicals are:

1. Fire

2. Explosion

3. Toxic release

a. Conventional toxic substances
b. Ultra toxic substances.

The initiating factor in a transport accident may be:

1. Cargo

2. Transporter

3. Operations.

The cargo may catch fire, explode or corrode the tank; the transporter may be involved in a crash or derailment; the operations such as charging and discharging may be wrongfully executed. Thus the events which can give rise to hazards include particularly:

1. Container failure

2. Accident impact

3. Loading and unloading operation.

Considering the hazards of uncontrolled release of chemicals into the environment, several international organizations, particularly U.N. have produced detailed recommendations over the last two decades, for the safe transport of chemicals, which have provided the framework for new legislations introduced by various Governments in many countries.

Some of the rules framed under the Explosives Act, 1884, Petroleum Act 1934, are Petroleum Rules 1976, Explosives Rules 1983, Static and Mobi1e Pressure Vessels (Unfired) Rub 1981, Gas Cylinder Rules 1981 etc. cover most of the important factors coming under the preview of the above rules.

The recent notification dated 30th December 1985 of the State Transport authority of the Government of Maharashtra enumerates specific conditions for adherence by public and private carriers while transporting hazardous chemicals as under:

1. Special labels or notices should be prominently affixed on packages or on vehicles, bearing emblems, as specified by the Transport Commissioner, Maharashtra State, Bombay, pictorially representing the
particular dangers arising out of the carriage of any hazardous chemical.

2. Chemical names, descriptive names or prescribed “Correct technical names” should invariably be displayed on packages or vehicles carrying hazardous chemicals.

3. The drivers of all road vehicles carrying hazardous chemicals must carry with them “Instructions in writing” relating to each class of dangerous substance or whether carried in packed form (i.e. in tins, drums, etc.) or in bulk road vehicles. The instructions including first aid treatment and advice for dealing with fire, accident, spillage or leakage must be written in English, Hindi and Marathi and in the languages of the State of transit and destination.

These instructions in writing should be obtained from the fire/ chemical company, which permits the
hazardous chemicals to be transported.

4. A summary of these instructions in writing in a Card form to be called “Transport Emergency Card” (Term card) should also be carried by the driver in his cabin; The Term card should be provided by the Party/Supervisor/Chemical Company loading the said chemical.

5. Special’ signs or plates denoting that dangerous goods are being conveyed should be displayed which will identify the substances and also reveal its hazardous properties and indicate what action should be
taken in emergencies.

It is implied from the above notification that one: has to be much more careful about packages, containers proper labels, instructions as well as Term Cards etc. In addition the drivers and cleaners are to be trained to take care of emergencies and are to be provided with first aid kit, protective clothing, fire extinguishers neutralizing agent etc. The drivers must not park the vehicles carrying hazardous materials in thickly populated areas and should drive away the leaking tanker/vehicle away from the populated area.

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