Training is paramount in complex DG environment


Transporting dangerous goods (DG) is complex and high-risk, and those responsible for compliance have an increasingly critical and difficult job. It is with this in mind that ICA Bulk Logistics has put the focus on training.

“There is no compromise when it comes to safety,” says the company’s Durban branch manager Dinesh Balgobind. “It is therefore our obligation to ensure all operational
staff undertake continuous training and renewal of DG certifications, which is done through an international training academy. The importance of training from a micro and macro perspective is to ensure that staff are on top of their game at all times.”

All-round training provides increased knowledge of all products and an understanding of
the environment – be it the safe stowage of DG cargo on vessels, the correct segregation of the cargo, or the allocation of precise equipment that must be provided
for specialised products.

Balgobind says more emphasis needs to be placed on training across the DG supply chain. “One of the major challenges we experience is not all parties involved in the supply chain have been properly trained or are skilled enough to complete documentation and follow correct procedures.” He says another ongoing challenge has been finding space for cargo in light of the global challenges carriers are facing.

“When it comes to DG cargo, however, it’s a bit more complicated as we require hazardous acceptance from both destination ports and vessel operators. The space issue can become quite challenging then.”

With the majority of terminals and ports in South Africa only allowing a limited time for the delivery or collection of DG cargo, it is essential to have a smooth operating supply chain. Certain classes such as 2.1 and 5.1 are not grounded at all and are only allowed on direct loading or offloading.

According to Balgobind, training is paramount considering the way DG cargo is moved in the country. “South Africa has the 10th largest road network in the world and a heavy reliance on road freight transport. It is to be expected that motorists often share the roads with the transporters of dangerous goods; therefore we are governed by the South African National Standards (SANS) that follow international standards when it comes to the transportation of dangerous goods by road. Staying up to date with these regulations and standards is critical,” he says.

“The bulk tank container industry is also highly regulated, in particular through the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, with written and strict protocols for product and equipment.” With the sector constantly changing, remaining up to date is important, adds Balgobind.

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