The purpose of this document is to specify which requirements in Quality Standards & Requirements that are classified as legal according to below set definition.
All requirements necessary to comply with to get safe products that minimize the risk of personal injuries requiring assistance from medical personnel are classified as being legal. This since they fall under General Product Safety Laws. The extent of the injury and the probability of the injury occurring needs to be evaluated.
A requirement is considered as legal when the consequences of the requirement not being fulfilled can result in a personal injury requiring assistance from medical personnel based on foreseeable use and/or misuse. Cases of property damages are only falling under this definition when they have a reasonably foreseeable risk to lead to personal injuries requiring assistance from medical personnel.
Dangerous goods are materials or items with physical and chemical properties which, if not properly controlled, present a potential hazard to human health and safety and/or infrastructure. Dangerous goods are separated into categories through a classification system outlined by the UN Model Regulations. Each dangerous substance or article is assigned to a class.
There are 9 classes of dangerous goods and the class is determined by the nature of the danger they present:
- Class 1: Explosives
- Class 2: Gasses
- Class 3: Flammable liquids
- Class 4: Flammable solids
- Class 5:Oxidizing agents & organic peroxides
- Class 6: Toxins and infectious substances
- Class 7: Radioactive material
- Class 8: Corrosives
- Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous goods
Class 1: Explosives
Class 1 goods are explosives - products that possess the ability to alight or detonate during a chemical reaction. Explosives are dangerous because they have molecules designed to rapidly change their state, which is usually a solid state into a very hot gas. There are 6 sub-divisions of explosives, which relate to the product's behavior when initiated.
- 1.1: Substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard
- 1.2: Substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
- 1.3: Substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both
- 1.4: Substances and articles which present no significant hazard; only a small hazard in the event of ignition during transport with any effects largely confined to the package
- 1.5: Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard
- 1.6: Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard
Examples of explosives include fireworks, flares, and ignitors.
Class 2: Gasses
Class 2 consists of compressed gasses, gasses in their liquefied form, refrigerated gasses, mixtures of gasses with other vapors and products charged with gasses or aerosols. These sorts of gasses are often flammable and can be toxic or corrosive. They're also hazardous because they can chemically react with oxygen. They are split into three sub-divisions:
- Division 2.1: Flammable gasses
- Division 2.2: Non-flammable, non-toxic gasses
- Division 2.3: Toxic gasses
Examples of gasses include aerosols and fire extinguishers.
Class 3: Flammable liquids
A flammable liquid is defined as a liquid, a mixture of liquids, or liquids containing solids that require a much lower temperature than others to ignite. These temperatures are so low that there is a high risk of the liquids igniting during transportation. This makes flammable liquids very dangerous to handle and transport, as they are very volatile and combustible. Flammable liquids are usually used as fuels in internal combustion engines for motor vehicles and aircraft. This means they make up the largest tonnage of dangerous goods moved by surface transport. Many household products also contain flammable liquids, including perfumery products and acetone (which is used in nail polish remover).
Class 4: Flammable solids
Class 4 dangerous goods are classified as products that are easily combustible and likely to contribute to fires during transportation. Some goods are self-reactive and some are liable to spontaneous heating up. There are 3 subdivisions for Class 4 dangerous goods:
- Class 4.1 Flammable solids: These will burn more easily than normal combustible materials. The burning of flammable solids is also fierce and rapid; they are also incredibly dangerous because they can decompose explosively, burn vigorously, or produce toxic gasses.
- Class 4.2 Spontaneously combustible: These can be either solids or liquids. They ignite spontaneously when in contact with oxygen.
- Class 4.3 Dangerous when wet: These goods react with water to generate flammable gas that can be ignited by the heat of the reaction.
Examples of flammable solids include metal powders, sodium batteries and seed cake (oil-bearing seeds).
Class 5: Oxidizing Agents and Organic peroxides
Class 5 dangerous goods are subdivided into 'oxidizing agents' and 'organic peroxides'. These are often extremely reactive because of their high oxygen content. They react readily with other flammable or combustible materials, which means fires may break out and continue in confined spaces. These materials are also incredibly difficult to extinguish, which makes them even more dangerous.
- Class 5.1 Oxidizing Agents: Also known as oxidisers, these substances that can cause or contribute to combustion as a product of chemical reactions. Oxidisers aren't necessarily combustible on their own, but the oxygen they produce can cause combustion with other materials.
- Class 5.2 Organic peroxides: The molecular structure of these materials makes them extremely liable to ignition. This means they're liable to combust individually. They are designed to be reactive for industrial purposes, so they are unstable and can be explosive.
Examples include hydrogen peroxide and lead nitrate.
Class 6: Toxins and Infectious substances
- Class 6.1 Toxins: Toxic substances are liable to cause death because they're, as the name suggests, toxic. They can cause serious injury or harm to human health if they enter the body through swallowing, breathing in, or absorption through the skin. Some toxics will kill in minutes, however, some might only injure if the dose isn't excessive.
- Class 6.2 Infectious substances: These are goods that contain microorganisms that cause infectious diseases in humans or animals, otherwise known as pathogens.
Examples include medical waste, clinical waste, and acids.
Class 7: Radioactive material
Radioactive materials contain unstable atoms that change their structure spontaneously in a random fashion. They contain 'radionuclides', which are atoms with an unstable nucleus. It's this unstable nucleus that releases radioactive energy. When an atom changes, they emit ionizing radiation, which could cause chemical or biological change. This type of radiation can be dangerous to the human body. Examples include smoke detectors and yellowcake.
Class 8: Corrosives
Corrosives are highly reactive materials that produce positive chemical effects.. Due to their reactivity, corrosive substances cause chemical reactions that degrade other materials when they encounter each other. If these encountered materials happen to be living tissue, they can cause severe injury. Examples include batteries, chlorides and flux.
Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous goods
This category covers substances that present a danger not covered in the other classes. Examples include dry ice, GMO's, motor engines, seat belt pretensioner, marine pollutants, asbestos, airbag modules and magnetized material.
Hazardous goods vs prohibited goods
Dangerous goods are classified based on their immediate physical or chemical effects, including fires or explosions. Hazardous substances differ because they're classified based only on health effects. Dangerous goods and hazardous substances are covered by separate legislation, however, there is some overlap. The regulations for hazardous substances focus on controlling the different risks associated with them.
Prohibited goods are goods that will be seized at customs. You cannot import or export prohibited goods because they've been banned for reasons linked to health, environment, security and legislation. Examples include illegal drugs, rough diamonds and offensive weapons. In contrast, you can ship dangerous goods, but you need to adhere to the UN Model Dangerous Goods Regulations and obtain a license.
How do you know if the goods you're shipping are dangerous?
The transportation of dangerous goods is regulated internationally by European agreements, directives and regulations. If you're involved in any part of the carriage of dangerous goods (this includes processing and packing), you will need to classify them according to the UN classification system.
You can find out whether your shipments are dangerous goods by referring to the UN Dangerous Goods List, or by checking to see if they have a Material Data Safety Sheet. You can also refer to transport-specific regulations set out by bodies such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the ADR (concerning European road transport), International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail, and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). They can all advise on how to handle and transport your dangerous goods.
The UN Model Dangerous Goods Regulations can also advise on how to pack dangerous goods. When packing shipments, you should consider the packing group, writing the shipment name in upper case letters, hazard class labels, UN identification number, UN certification mark, and an orientation label (for liquids). Packages must contain either a Dangerous Goods Note or a Declaration for Dangerous Goods, be able to withstand open weather exposure and all labels must be displayed on a contrasting color background. A Dangerous Goods Note is usually completed by a consignor with qualified personnel within the company. These notes give the receiving authority accurate information about the goods so that they can be handled safely and legally.