Transportation of Goods

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

The purpose of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) legislation is to protect the general public from the hazards associated with dangerous goods during transportation. TDG legislation will apply to field courses/work when you are transporting controlled products into or out of the field, either by air, rail or road.

  • If you ship, receive or transport dangerous goods, you must be trained and carry a valid Certificate of Training – see EHS, or work under the direct supervision of someone who is trained. There are fines and possible imprisonment for receiving, shipping and transporting hazardous materials improperly. You should be fully aware of the Alberta TDG Handling Act and Federal TDG Act, 1992 (consolidated).
  • If you are chartering a passenger vehicle for all or a portion of your travel to your field location (such as a single engine bush plane, a helicopter or a boat), be advised that even with a valid TDG Certificate of Training and properly packaged materials, the pilot still reserves the right of refusal as to what he will allow in his vehicle. This is particularly true of chartered helicopters and planes where the materials, passengers and pilot will all be in the same enclosed space. You should advise your charter company well in advance of the dangerous goods (including quantities) you wish to take with you so that they can confer with the pilot to see what is acceptable.
  • If driving dangerous goods out to a field site, either the driver or a passenger must have a valid TDG Certificate of Training.
  • If you require hazardous goods while you are working in the field, having the original supplier ship the dangerous goods directly to your field location simplifies the process, saves on expenses and may help head off problems caused by restrictions on shipping. ➢ Shipping of dangerous goods to Northern Canada can be extremely difficult and you may have to plan a year in advance to get items moved to your research locations. It may be impossible to ship standard items like fuel and bear spray by air.
  • There are exemptions for TDG if quantities are limited. Check the limits for each dangerous good contact by contacting Lois Dvorsky, EHS by phoning 780-492-1638 or by email or check Transportation Canada and comply with regulations pertaining to the packaging and container sizes. If you are over the limit, follow the TDG training and transporting regulations.
  • If transporting dangerous goods back from the field (i.e., excess chemicals, unused bear spray, formaldehyde in specimen containers), they must be packaged and declared by a person with a valid TDG Certificate of Training just as when they were shipped out from the University.
  • If collecting tissue or blood specimens from wild animal populations in which there is the confirmed presence of an infectious microbe capable of causing disease in humans or animals (e.g., collecting specimens from a bison population with a known high incidence of tuberculosis, collecting deer mice from a known hantavirus endemic area, collecting specimens from muskrat during an active outbreak of tularemia), the specimens must be packaged and declared as Dangerous Goods. On the shipping declaration, the specimens must be declared as “Category B infectious materials” with the name of the infectious microbe listed.
  • If collecting tissue or blood specimens from any human population, the specimens must be packaged and declared as Dangerous Goods because of the unknown health status of the donors. On the shipping package, the specimens must be declared as “Exempt human [or “animal” as appropriate] specimens”. Whether or not a specimen is likely to be infectious is a matter of professional judgment; if the material is deemed to be infectious it would be designated as a “Biological Substance Category B” and shipped accordingly as stated above. References: see Canadian TDG, Regs 142 IATA Regs
  • Canada Post, FWIW or Greyhound does not ship dangerous goods. For information on what can be sent through the mail, contact Canada Post Customer service (1-800-267-1177).