Hazard information systems


The movement of hazardous substances by any mode of transport, presents in general, a greater risk of accidental release. It is due to absence of the availability of appropriate information in transport accidents. The need for essential information to be clearly displayed in transport emergency has always been accepted by both industry and the emergency services. The basis of many emergency information systems adopted in various parts of the world has been a combination of hazard classification and United Nations substance identification.

U.N. classification for hazard and substance identification

The classification of chemical hazards as recommended by the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods has been widely adopted for transport of hazardous chemicals for all modes of transport. Hazard types are segregated into nine basic classes represented numerically. Many of these classes are further separated in to divisions and subdivisions according to appropriate criteria. The international classification system is given in the table below (table-1). In India to manage accidents in transportation of hazardous chemicals "Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989" have been framed.

Table-1 UN international classification system
   

CLASS 1 EXPLOSIVES

Division 1.1

Explosives with a mass explosion hazard

 

Division 1.2

Explosives with a projection hazard

 

Division 1.3

Explosives with predominantly a fire hazard

 

Division 1.4

Explosives with no significant blast hazard

 

Division 1.5

Very insensitive explosives

 

Division 1.6

Extremely insensitive explosive articles

CLASS 2 GASES

Division 2.1

Flammable Gases

 

Division 2.2

Non Flammable Gases

 

Division 2.3

Poison Gases

CLASS 3 FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS

Division 3.1

Flashpoint below - 18°C (0°F)

 

Division 3.2

Flashpoint - 18°C and above but less than 23°C (73°F)

 

Division 3.3

Flashpoint of 23°C and up to 61°C (141°F)

CLASS 4 FLAMMABLE SOLIDS, SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS, AND MATERIALS THAT ARE DANGEROUS WHEN WET

Division 4.1

Flammable Solids

 

Division 4.2

Spontaneously combustible materials

 

Division 4.3

Materials that are dangerous when wet

CLASS 5 OXIDIZERS AND ORGANIC PEROXIDES

Division 5.1

Oxidizers

 

Division 5.2

Organic Peroxides

CLASS 6 POISONOUS AND ETIOLOGIC (INFECTIOUS) MATERIALS

Division 6.1

Poisonous Materials

 

Division 6.2

Etiologic (Infectious) Materials

CLASS 7 RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

   

CLASS 8 CORROSIVES

   

CLASS 9 MISCELLANEOUS HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

   

The pictogram, hazard-warning diamonds may also bear an approved inscription quoting the hazard and /or the United Nations hazard class number. The basic principle however, is that the shape, colour and pictogram convey a clear message of danger, thus overcoming language difficulties. With international acceptance, the value of such labeling system when displayed on vehicles and packages is clear because:

  1. It provides a warning to the general public to keep away.
  2. In an accidental situation the emergency services are provided with an indication of the primary hazard likely to be encountered.

The class label for various type of hazardous chemicals, as per the rule 137, provides information in detail according to table 2.

Table-2


 

 
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