If you manufacture dangerous goods, you probably also need to transport them to your suppliers.
And that's why you need to know about the new railway risk standards if you use a rail freight company.
You see, the South African Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) and chemicals body CAIA plan on changing the railway risk standards.
When they do, you'll need to ensure your freight service provider follows them so your goods aren't damaged, stolen or lost.
Read on to find out what your freight service provide is supposed to do.
Take this quick quiz to find out if you can handle the DoL hot seat
• Which risk assessments have to be checked by an approved inspector every two years?
• Is it absolutely necessary for your company to appoint and train someone as a risk assessor?
• When was the last time you did a risk assessment? (Is that too long?)
• Have you checked and double checked the less obvious health hazards?
If you can't answer even one of these questions you're not only putting your employee's lives at risk; you're also putting yourself in danger of massive fine from the DoL.
Don't wait until it's too late.
You must ensure your freight service provider follows the railway risk standards
At their annual meeting, the RSR and CAIA agreed to enforce new basic operational principles to improve railway risk standards. These will include how railways transport dangerous goods by rail to manage relevant risks.
As a producer of dangerous goods, you must make sure your freight service provider:
1. Has a proper railway safety permit;
2. Has done a fully risk assessment of their transport procedure;
3. Has properly trained all its railway workers; and
4. Has a competent safety officer who oversees all freight transport.
But how do you know if your freight service provider is complying? Simple, really. Just do these five checks…
Do you want to be fined, jailed or have a criminal record for life?
If an accident occurs in your workplace, and the person dies, you could be charged with culpable homicide, charged penalties of R100 000 or 2 years in jail! The CEO or Owner of a company is personally accountable for health and safety at work.
Do these five checks to see if your freight service provider is following the new standards
If you're not sure if your freight service provider is following the new standards, you must do these five checks:
1. See if their railway workers know how to correctly placard their wagons;
2. Check if they properly maintain their infrastructure and railway sidings;
3. Check if they have proper security on their railway sidings. Without this, there's nothing stopping someone from going into the wagon without permission and stealing your goods;
4. See if their railway workers know how to properly earth and bond rail wagons. They must do this when they load and unload dangerous goods;
5. See if their railway workers follow safe working procedures and safety regulations when they load, unload and transport goods.
The RSR has said it'll draw up regulations during 2014 and 2015. So keep an eye out for them to ensure your freight service provider follows these new standards and transports your goods safely. If it doesn't, it's time to start looking around for a new provider.