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Safe Trip October 15, 2014 | SHEQ Management

Chemicals are used for various functions in a wide range of industries. If transported irresponsibly, they may pose risks to both humans and the environment. Cargo Carriers, a top-notch logistics service provider, shares some tips on what it takes to safely transport hazardous chemicals

Manufacturers focus on the safe production and storage of hazardous chemicals. Production plants utilise controlled environments to – as far as possible – minimise risk of injury and the possibility of pollution.
On the flipside of the supply chain, the end user focuses on the effect of the product when it is used. Have you ever wondered what happens between point A and B, when these chemicals are transported from the manufacturer’s plant to the end user?

In logistics, and particularly when it comes to the transport of hazardous chemicals, the highest possible levels of safety, health, environmental and quality (SHEQ) standards have become non-negotiable. This is, however, an industry fraught with dangers …
As every road user will know, this transport mode operates in a high-risk environment! It is, however, the management of these risks that differentiate one transport operator from another.
Other factors that distinguish the “cream of the crop” from the “dime a dozen” are the state of the vehicles used, irrespective of the high costs of keeping them pristine, and the level of training that is provided to all personnel (operators have to go beyond mere statutory compliance).

Safety practices also need to include conservative and practical driver selection. Intensive training and the continuous focus on safety embeds a mindset and positive attitude that is vital to the safe transportation of dangerous goods over the long term.
The inculcation of these vital values really makes a difference.

At Cargo Carriers, drivers are screened and selected according to the operational factors of high driving competency and the seldom found, but much valued, attribute of “vehicle sympathy ”; whereby drivers will unconsciously look after their vehicles and treat them as if they were their own. Not only does this attitude save costs, but it’s also a foundation for inherent safety on the road over the long term.
Accidents can happen; that is the risk of traffic on the road. Yet, even in such an unfortunate event, the inherent safety-driven vehicle operation will, to a large extent, minimise the effects and severity of an accident.

Furthermore, the selected vehicle’s design, realistic driver training and coaching, and the overall response to an accident, make a massive difference to the severity and cost of any such event. Any minimisation of risk factors is also a plus for overall safety, and an emphasis on continuous safe behaviour provides results that can be measured and audited.
The mantra “no short cuts in transporting and handling dangerous goods” has to rule; anything less invites serious problems and consequences.

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