Set-Zero Accident : Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road

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Complexity lies mostly in pre-transportation standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

As effective preparation is definitive of logistic quality, preventive risk management can ensure minimal occurrence.
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              More than 80% of Thailand’s domestic transportation is done by road, in which case road accidents frequently cause a huge loss of lives and properties, i.e. the lives of the mass at large of whom travel by road as well as residents and buildings structures situated on the sideways.  Thus, owners of dangerous goods are obligated to prepare the pre-transportation stage as much as the remainder journey, if not more.  Management can be divided into three parts as follows:

Pre-transportation Management

  • Laws, regulations and practical guidelines associated with the transport of dangerous goods by road must be studied as each type of goods may relate to different laws, e.g. goods that are industrial waste.
  • Logistics operators must be registered as logistics operators of dangerous goods while truck drivers are required to pass relevant tests and obtain the driver’s licence Type 4 issued by the Department of Land Transport.
  • Truck drivers are required to attend the training course in safe driving as regards the transport of hazardous materials and knowledge about goods to be transported.
  • Packaging for such goods must be subjected to tests and certified by the Department of Industrial Works.
  • Hazard sign, warning in letters or symbol must be made and displayed on the truck or packing.
  • GPS tracking device must be installed with a certified GPS service provider and connected to the Department of Land Transport to transmit the data about the driver, route and operating period, among others.
  • Essential safety and protective fittings and equipment must be installed in case of emergency.
  • A safety set for the truck driver must be provided, e.g. hat, glasses, shoes, mask and suit which should befit the dangerous goods to be transported.
  • Practical guidelines or manual must be prepared as regards how to move/remove, set up and strap down goods as befitting the packagings.
  • A transportation route or plan must be prepared along with an assessment of risk points, rest spots and emergency numbers.
  • A complete set of required truck documents comprising driving permit Type 4, truck registration, dangerous cargo manifest, MSDS and advice in writing in case of emergency must be provided.
  • Insurance on transport of hazardous materials by road is a must to cover the loss of life, body and property of a third party, should an accident occur, including other expenses pertaining to the disposal, removal, relief and alleviation of damage along with the restoration to or close to the original state.
  • Emergency response planning must be done along with an emergency drill at least once a year.
  • Truck drivers must be physically and spiritually fit to execute their duties, must not be drunk or lack attentiveness or clear comprehension while the vehicle must be inspected to ensure it is in a proper condition for work as regards lights, radiator, brakes, tire tread, tire pressure, etc.
  • Punishment and reward must be defined as incentives for truck drivers to conform with rules and regulations and come up with excellent performance.

Management during transportation

  • Truck drivers are to strictly conform with the manual and work standards including the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the entire work period starting from loading to unloading/delivery.
  • Drivers must take at least a 30-minute break, or as stipulated by the law, after having driven for four hours straight in a safe rest area without parking  on road shoulder.
  • In case of emergency where the driver needs to park on the shoulder, he must place reflective traffic cones, sign or symbol as stipulated by the law.
  • Traffic law must be observed.  The speed limit must not be exceeded.  The driver must avoid using mobile phone while driving.   The view through the front windshield must not be obstructed.
  • Mark his own risk behaviors such as frequent blinking, yawning, being absent-minded, drowsing, drifting from the lane, etc.  Finding these, he should immediately pull over and look for a place to rest.
  • In case of emergency, he must act according to the emergency plan already set up and contact the party/parties concerned for help.

Post-delivery management

  • In case of goods being left over in the package including water used to clean the package, logistics operators must dispose of it properly.
  • Make sure that the vehicle is maintained properly while all fittings are in working condition at all times.
  • Regularly monitor, follow up and assess the truck drivers’ performance in keeping with the specific standards.
  • Keep abreast of information, laws and regulations covering transport of dangerous goods that might be announced and enforced in the future.
  • Study new technologies that might be applied for use to reduce accident risk.

It is obvious that complexity lies mostly in the management procedure prior to the transport as an effective preparation means a boost in logistic quality – a risk preventive measure that prevents risk from occurring or ensures its minimum occurrence.

This explains why owners or manufacturers of such goods have come to rely on specialized experts such as experienced logistics service providers who have worked with a team of experts as well as have sufficient resources for the management of the entire supply chain.

Persons interested in the transport of dangerous goods service can contact 08-1372-6305 (Khun Phanthira) or 02-586-2046, 02-586-6777 for more information.

Data credits: nesdb.go.th, oic.or.th, hasla.or.th

Picture credits: unsplash.com, trans.info, ansys.com, magicsunshop.com

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