This Monday Tech Talk will discuss the 9 Classes of Dangerous Goods. Dangerous goods are materials or items with hazardous properties which, if not properly controlled present a potential hazard to human health and safety. The UN Model Regulations use a classification system in which each dangerous substance or article is assigned to a CLASS, depending on the nature of the danger it presents. There are 9 Classes, some of which are sub-divided.

The National Road Traffic Act, 93 of 1996  (NRTA) and the SANS specifications referred to in the NRT Regulations – regulation 273A. Up until around August 2000 the responsibility of the transportation and handling of Dangerous Goods was with the Department of Health under Hazardous Chemicals Regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations as prescribed within the Hazardous Substance Act (15 of 1973).

This system was difficult to police and enforce as the regulations were fragmented, encompassing several different legislations and included the Hazardous Substance Act, Explosive Act, Mining Act, Fire Brigade Services Act and the Farm Feeds Agricultural and Stock Remedies Act (36 of 1947). The regulations had specific limitations and only affected substances transported by road tanker in quantities in excess of 500 litres. This responsibility has now been transferred to the Department of Transport and was implemented in stages between August 2000 and October 2001 and replaced by new legislation prescribed within the National Road Traffic (93 of 1996) and a wide selection of the South African National Standards (SANS) codes of practice (formerly known as SABS or South African Bureau of Standards).

Take a look at the 9 classes below and their subdivisions, along with a few examples of the labels and types of materials.

Presented by: Bianca Swarts

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