Transportation safety and compliance for dangerous goods (DG) and hazardous materials (hazmat) might be difficult, but with the appropriate infrastructure and technology, you can reduce risk and give your company a competitive advantage.
Transporting dangerous goods and hazardous materials has always had some level of risk, with compliance traditionally being the exclusive responsibility of the compliance or shipping departments.
With over 500,000 DG shipments made daily in Nigeria and a bigger number of goods now categorized as hazardous, the danger has grown enormously, as have the laws and regulations.
The challenge of ensuring compliance with these complex and changing regulations is made even more difficult by organizational responsibility shifts, with hazmat compliance now involving a variety of divisions, including IT, supply chain, compliance warehouse, shipping, EHS (environmental, health, and safety), and more.
A dedication to constructing the appropriate infrastructure, establishing the correct processes, and having the right staff to carry it out is required to achieve safety and compliance. As a result of being a good corporate citizen, you can not only improve your company’s brand, but you can also gain a competitive advantage and boost your bottom line by helping to reduce costs, mitigate risk, and virtually eliminate penalties and fines associated with violations and rejected shipments.
In addition to these external hurdles, many businesses have internal issues that limit their desire or capacity to implement a unified, enterprise-wide DG compliance plan. Consider the following scenario:
A corporate structure that is siloed: Compliance obligations are split by the line of business, functional branch, or geographic location in certain corporations with many divisions or facilities.
There is a lack of clarity about who is responsible for DG compliance: Compliance is primarily the duty of the EHS department in certain firms. In certain cases, environmental compliance and safety may only play a minimal part in the shipping and logistics process. A coordinated DG plan (and budget) may also slide between the cracks if there isn’t a C-level understanding or commitment.
There is no money for new technology or resources in the budget: The most common roadblock in selecting whether to undertake a corporate-wide safety strategy is a lack of funding.
Resistance to change and the use of manual procedures: Established businesses frequently have a set of procedures and a strong aversion to change. In today’s strict regulatory climate, a single severe safety violation or catastrophe may be catastrophic to a company’s brand and financial future.
Printed documentation, as well as domestic and/or divergent digital systems, are used: Several companies have started to incorporate DG compliance best practices into their company culture. Those who rely entirely on printed pamphlets and manuals to keep track of regulations may not recognize that the print editions are out-of-date, and the rules are no longer valid.
The Suitable Infrastructure and Resources Are Crucial
Companies pay big money in product development and a significant amount of money in sales and marketing, so it’s critical to make sure your transportation tactics are as efficient, effective, safe, and secure as possible.
Easy-to-use databases and tools designed to keep important staff updated about current rules are some emerging options that can assist guarantee accurate DG record-keeping and compliance. These simple apps may teach your internal team and external partners about applicable rules and what they mean, whether they’re web-based or accessible through USB.
Advanced systemic DG/hazmat software systems automate and expedite the whole process for certain firms, including accessing rules, filling out paperwork, and certifying each and every DG shipment.
The severe laws controlling DG/hazmat shipment aren’t going away, and they could get much stricter. However, how your company handles the process can make a big impact. The crucial thing is to recognize that DG compliance is a meaningful objective, not simply a “nice to have,” and to commit time, people, and money to make it a reality.