You may need to transport dangerous goods for your own use, or for your use as part of a business. Special provisions allow you to do this without meeting all the requirements for larger amounts.
These goods still present risks in transport, so some requirements must be followed. There are restrictions on the amount of dangerous goods you can carry, and the dangerous goods must also be packaged, marked & labelled, and transported in a way that eliminates or mitigates the risk from the dangerous goods. This helps ensure that the risks to you and other road users are minimised.
These provisions don’t apply If you transport goods as a business – for example if you are a courier – or if you are transporting more than the limits outlined below, . You must transport the goods in accordance with the DG regulations, and should check the controls and when they apply for more information on your obligations.
The special provisions for tools of trade and personal use can be found in clause 7 of the NSW DG regulation. Note that these provisions only cover the transport of the dangerous goods, not the use of the dangerous goods or related equipment. Other legislation may apply, including the work health and safety legislation.
Allowed limits for these provisions
The amount of dangerous goods on board depends on the types of dangerous goods you are carrying.
If the load includes:
- division 2.1 (flammable gases, other than aerosols); or
- division 2.3 (toxic gases); or
- packing group I (of any class or division);
you can carry an aggregate quantity of up to 250 kg (or L) of dangerous goods. Further, you are restricted to no more than 100 kg (or L) of any division 2.3 (toxic gases) or packing group I.
If you are not carrying any of these dangerous goods, you can carry up to 500 kg (or L) of dangerous goods in total.
Calculating aggregate quantity
Aggregate quantity of dangerous goods is calculated using
- kg for solids and articles (including aerosols)
- kg or litres for liquids (whichever is used on documentation or packaging)
- the capacity in litres of the receptacle containing class 2 dangerous goods (excluding aerosols)
If you have a mixture of kg and litres, these are added together to calculate the aggregate quantity.
Packing, marking and labelling the dangerous goods
The dangerous goods must be packaged in appropriate dangerous goods packagings, and for many dangerous goods, the packaging must be approved. The requirements are detailed, but provided the dangerous goods were obtained from a reputable supplier, they should be packaged into good quality, appropriate packaging. You should confirm with the supplier of the dangerous goods that this is the case.
The dangerous goods must also be marked and labelled as required by the ADG Code. This includes:
- the proper shipping name and UN number; and
- the dangerous goods diamond(s) for the class or division of the dangerous goods.
These requirements are necessary to ensure that the dangerous goods are in packaging that will withstand the effects of the dangerous goods and can contain the dangerous goods in the event of an incident. It also ensures that other road users and emergency services are warned about the dangerous goods when they see the marking and labelling. In the event of an incident It allows them to take action to reduce the risks to you, themselves and others.
If you are packing, marking and labelling the dangerous goods yourself, you need to meet the requirements in the ADG Code to ensure the dangerous goods are correctly prepared for transport.
Transporting the dangerous goods
You need to make sure that you transport the dangerous goods in a way that eliminates (or minimises as far as possible) the risks from the dangerous goods. You should make sure they are restrained on the vehicle in accordance with the load restraint guide available from the NTC website.
Before transporting the dangerous goods, you should:
- inspect the packaging to make sure that it is in good condition
- ensure that any caps and closures are securely closed
- on gas bottles, the main cylinder valve must be closed, and consider removing the regulator if it is at risk of being wrenched off and damaging the main valve in an incident.
If you are routinely transporting the same dangerous goods as tools of trade or for personal use (for example, the same oxy-acetylene kit each day), you should consider using a built-for-purpose mounting arrangement. This helps ensure that the goods are correctly secured.
Transport in enclosed spaces
Dangerous goods in enclosed spaces present a unique risk to people in the vehicle, so additional limits apply. As far as possible, you should try to minimise the transport of dangerous goods in enclosed spaces, especially in spaces that are or are connected to the passenger compartment.
There are also limits on the amount of dangerous goods that can be transported in enclosed spaces:
If your load contains these dangerous goods
and there is more than
the load can not be transported in
Class 3, 4, 5 or 6
250 kg (or L)
the passenger compartment, or in an enclosed space not separated from the passenger compartment.
Division 2.1, 2.3 or PG I
50 kg (or L)
the passenger compartment, or in any enclosed spaces where vapours or fumes might accumulate and create a risk
If you are transporting non-flammable, non-toxic gases of division 2.2 in a space connected to the passenger compartment, you should ensure there is sufficient ventilation. These gases are frequently asphyxiants, if there is a leak, a dangerous build-up of gas can occur that you likely won’t notice. This could lead to a serious accident.
Placarding your vehicle
When you are using these provisions, your vehicle must not be placarded. Placarding indicates that you have a significant amount of dangerous goods on the vehicle, and if there is an incident, it might result in an inappropriate incident response.
If you are transporting dangerous goods using these provisions, you are permitted to drive through tunnels in NSW. The restrictions for dangerous goods in tunnels only apply to placard loads.
Diesel is not regulated as dangerous goods for transport purposes. So, if you are only transporting diesel, these provisions don’t apply. However, you should consider that:
- Diesel is still a hazardous chemical and should be transported in appropriate containers, to reduce the risk of harm to yourself, others and the environment.
- When transporting diesel and other dangerous goods (such as flammable liquids like petrol), diesel can provide additional fuel in the event of an incident.
Example scenarios and considerations
This list is not exhaustive, but an example of some of the scenarios that might occur using the tools of trade and personal use provisions.
- Taking an oxy-acetylene kit to a worksite (division 2.2(5.1) and division 2.1)
- Up to 5 x G-sized cylinders can be transported at once using these provisions, for example if you are taking multiple kits to a worksite.
- LPG cylinders for a BBQ (division 2.1)
- The EPA and Safework NSW advise that no more than 1 x 9kg and 1 x 4 kg gas bottles should be transported in the space connected to the passenger compartment (including the boot space) due to the risk to vehicle occupants.
- Large (45 kg) LPG cylinders for heating (division 2.1)
- No more than 2 of these can be loaded on a vehicle, and they must be loaded in an open tray or ventilated compartment.
- Pool chemicals such as pool chlorine (division 5.1) and acids (class 8)
- These can react dangerously in an incident. You should make sure that they are carefully loaded to reduce the risk of this. Consider the use of segregated load compartments or boxes.
- Transporting petrol in jerrycans (class 3)
- Up to 500 L may be transported, but no more than 250 L can be transported in a space connected to the passenger compartment (such as the boot space).
- Taking flammable paints to a worksite (class 3)
- If you are transporting more than 250 L, this can’t be transported in an enclosed space connected to the passenger compartment, such as in a van.
- Transporting sales samples of dangerous goods
- Make sure that you know what kinds of dangerous goods you are transporting and ensure that the transport meets the requirements above.