Hazardous Materials and How to Identify Them

When dealing with cargo containing hazardous goods, they need to be handled with the appropriate care. Transporting dangerous material comes with a certain amount of risk, and if procedures aren’t followed correctly for the specific material, the result could be disastrous – even fatal. Read on to learn more.


Dangerous Goods

Abbreviated as DG, dangerous goods are defined as items or substances that could pose a risk to health, safety, property, or the environment. There are also hazardous goods and materials, known as HAZMAT, which includes solids, liquids, or gases harmful to people, animals, property, or the environment. These substances need to adhere to strict chemical regulations. HAZMAT goods could include radioactive, flammable, explosive, corrosive, oxidizing, toxic, pathogenic, or allergenic materials.


The classification GHS, The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, is internationally known and agreed upon. A United States body manages the GHS and uses standardized hazard testing criteria, universal warnings, and safety sheets. This information took some time to become prevalent in the industry, but now it’s everywhere, including the EU.

Labeling Dangerous Goods

Both dangerous and hazardous goods are labeled with a diamond-shaped sign with a red border. This symbol signifies the danger while being internationally understood. GHS has different symbols depending on the type and danger level of the substance. Symbols, signal words, and hazard statements are all used to warn everyone in the line of transport.

All hazardous goods must be transported with careful care and attention. The level of care can vary depending on the mode of transport, special requirements, and destination. As far as the logistics industry is concerned, everything is being done to protect all involved while still providing necessary transportation. Everyone involved can trust that their cargo will get where it needs to go, safely and efficiently.