Historically, dangerous goods consultancy has involved the handling and transport of industrial chemicals that might pose health and environmental hazards. In contemporary times, the scope of the field has expanded to include the carrying, handling and disposal of potentially dangerous industrial chemicals, radioactive waste, biological waste and other such materials.
The hazards associated with handling dangerous chemicals varies depending upon the material involved. The risk might be trivial and insignificant such as rashes and minor burns that recover on their own. In other cases, the dangers involved might be of a more serious nature and can involve severe burns, loss of limbs or even fatal injuries. Employees should be trained about handling dangerous materials. This involves proper education to begin with, and ongoing monitoring in the workplace. Training sessions should be held periodically in order to revisit previously taught areas and qualified training officers should be hired for the purpose. An alternative is to outsource a third party’s services as remediation action plan.
Government regulations have always been stringent when it comes to handling dangerous goods. Inability to comply with relevant laws and regulations might result in considerable fines, penalties and disruption o operations. In some serious instances, the license to operate is dependent upon following government regulations.
Nuclear power plants use dangerous materials as raw materials, fuels and waste products. The risk at each stage is significant and the associated regulations require special considerations. The raw material (usually enriched uranium) needs to be handled with care as it poses very serious health risk if exposed to naked skin. Trained professionals used special coated vans to carry the product in drums made of specially designed alloys. Furthermore, the waste product from nuclear plants requires professional attention for disposal. It needs to be treated before it can be released to specifically designated places. All these steps require the attention of a suitably trained and qualified dangerous goods consultant.
Most industries these days use chemicals that are hazardous if not handled properly. An example is the chemicals used in the dyeing and bleaching process in textile industry. Sodium carbonate, soda ash, hydrochloric acid, bleach and caustic soda are all examples of chemicals that need to be handled, transported and disposed correctly to avoid harm. Biological waste is another example of material that needs the attention of dedicated dangerous goods consultants. Again, the regulations in the area are very demanding seeing the sensitive nature of the products involved.
The costs involved are again variable and depend on a number of factors. It depends upon the volume of the waste involved with the costs increasing as the quantity increases. It also depends on the type of dangerous good involved. For example, radioactive goods might entail a higher cost than the more commonly used industrial goods.