Of all the different sectors of the haulage industry, the one dealing with transporting chemicals and other dangerous loads is arguably the most controversial. The high risk factor associated with the cartage and handling of these types of materials forces companies and drivers associated with them to abide by an often very strict code of conduct. They are controlled by a stringent set of rules, regulations and precautions designed to avoid accidents as much as possible.
These rules, however, are not universal. Each country will have its own rules on this matter, although for countries within the European Union there is a specific, dedicated set of norms, which aim to regulate international haulage between the different states that conform to the Union.
In the article below, we aim to give a brief overview of the rules for the transportation of dangerous loads – whether chemical or otherwise – for both the UK and Europe as a whole.
The set of European regulations for the transportation of dangerous loads is called the ADR, whilst the one that translates such principles to the context of British law is known as the Carriage Regulations. The main difference between these two sets of documents is the area they cover: the Carriage Regulations mostly control what goes on within the borders of the British Isles, whilst the ADR’s sphere of influence is far more expansive.
Other than that, however, both codes have quite a few features in common. For instance, the rules of both apply to both carriers and traders, which means each half of the haulage equation having different responsibilities when it comes to ensuring the cargo is properly secured.
Responsibilities Of Each Side
In this regard, it falls to the carriers to acquire the necessary documentation to be able to operate with these sorts of loads on board, as well as to ensure the goods within each haul are properly packaged – to ensure disruptions or damage resulting from natural movement – inspected and labelled according to the standardized United Nations code. Traders, on the other hand, should handle classification, as well as chip in to ensure secure packaging as well.
Furthermore, drivers dealing with these types of materials are required to pursue and pass a certification course prior to being allowed to haul dangerous cargo. They will also be bound by a security code that offers a few more rules, including the responsibility to only deliver this type of cargo to appropriate destinations.
While these steps may seem overly stringent, they are absolutely necessary to ensure dangerous cargo is hauled as safely as possible across the British Isles and further afield.