Decoding SDS Series Section 14: Transport Information
Like Section 12 and Section 13, Transport Information is another non-mandatory section of the safety data sheet (SDS). This does not mean, however, that this section is not important. Section 14 provides important guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting hazardous chemicals by road, air, rail, or sea. Let’s break down this section into more detail.
Names and Numbers
The United Nations (UN) has a set of recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods. Section 14 allows you to identify the UN number (the four-digit identification number) of the substance, as well as the proper shipping name as defined by the UN. The proper shipping name can be found on page 51 in the most recent edition of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNRTDG). The UN assigns dangerous goods to a UN name and proper shipping name according to their hazard classification and composition.
It is always important to indicate if shipping contents contain hazardous materials. Classifications are drawn up based on the risk involved with each type of material: explosives, gases, flammable liquids, and more (a complete list of hazard classes can be found on page 55 of the UNRTDG). In certain cases, where the danger of an item of dangerous goods is considered low or the goods are packed in a limited quantity, exceptions on labeling may be provided. In these cases, marking packages with the class, division, or packing group number may be required. The packing group numbers are based on the degree of hazard.
Most of the environmental hazard information is in Section 12: Ecological Information. Section 14 pulls safety guidelines from the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code to identify if materials are marine pollutants according to the IMDG. The IMDG code was developed as an international code for the maritime transport of dangerous goods in packaged form, to enhance and harmonize the safe carriage of dangerous goods and to prevent pollution to the environment. This part of section 14 only applies to sea transportation.
Section 14 contains guidance on bulk transportation. This guidance is based on information from the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code). These codes specify the regulations and standards for the bulk shipment of chemicals.
The last part of Section 14 is designated for information pertaining to special precautions that employees or carriers should be aware of, or comply with while transporting goods within or outside of their premises. It must be indicated within section 14 that there are no special precautions to be aware of if this is the case.
Although a non-mandatory section of the SDS, transport information is important for the safe and cautious transportation of possibly hazardous materials. It makes the job easier for those involved with the shipping and handling of goods and materials.
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