With much of the world’s air cargo made up of non-dangerous goods, there are, unfortunately, many shippers who are just not aware of nor work with the DG regulations. Something which could be avoided completely with IATA online training. Therefore, substances or articles that have a non-apparent or a hidden dangerous goods element, are often presented as general cargo to operators and could endanger an aircraft, its flight crew, and its passengers.
The most infamous of these incidents is ValueJet Flight 592 which crashed into the Florida Everglades near Miami on May 11, 1996. This was due to an inflight fire started by improperly stored and undeclared oxygen generators. It wound up killing all 110 passengers and crew aboard. Let’s explore how something like this could happen.
What is Considered a Hidden Dangerous Good?
Many common items used every day in the bathroom, kitchen, garage, or at work may seem harmless. But due to their physical and chemical properties, they can be very dangerous when transported by air.
Common, everyday household items like paint, perfume, drain cleaners, and electronic devices, to name but a few, are often presented as general non-DG cargo. And often without the shipper having taken IATA online training, or even being aware that they are actually presenting a dangerous goods shipment.
The IATA DGR provides typical examples of hidden dangerous goods in section 2.2.4, nicknamed the “Trigger List” indicating that there are certain keywords on products and other conditions that may indicate the presence of DG. Some examples that can be found here include:
- Household goods — May contain items meeting any of the criteria for dangerous goods.
Examples include flammable liquids such as solvent-based paint, adhesives, polishes, aerosols, bleach, corrosive oven or drain cleaners, ammunition, matches, etc.
- Frozen fruit, vegetables, etc. — May be packed in dry ice (solid carbon dioxide)
- Repair kits — May contain organic peroxides and flammable adhesives, solvent-based paint, resins, etc.
- Toolboxes — May contain explosives (power rivets), compressed gases or aerosols, flammable gases (butane cylinders), flammable adhesives or paints, corrosive liquids, etc.
- Machinery parts — May include flammable adhesives, paints, sealants and solvents, wet and lithium batteries, mercury, cylinders of compressed or liquefied gas, etc.
Are Only Shippers To Blame?
However, it’s not just cargo carrying hidden dangerous goods. Many passengers have been cited by the authorities for bringing these types of articles or substances onboard passenger aircraft either in their carry-on or checked luggage. Fireworks, vials of mercury or articles containing mercury and lithium batteries are just a few examples. Hence the importance of the DGR requirement that operators’ acceptance staff must be adequately trained, such as with IATA online training, to assist them to identify and detect dangerous goods presented as general cargo.
IATA Online Training and More Through Hazmat University
No person or business wants the negative repercussions resulting from a dangerous goods aviation incident. Take the time to evaluate whether or not you handle dangerous goods, and make sure you have the proper training. Safety is everyone’s responsibility and IATA online training through Hazmat University can help you and your organization be competent, be confident, and be compliant. Contact us today to get started.