The 9 Classes Of Dangerous Goods

If you’re thinking of embarking on an exciting career on the open road as a long-haul truck driver, it’s imperative that you select a driving school that teaches its enrollees about the transportation of dangerous goods.

These goods must be transported with considerable care to ensure the safety of the driver, other vehicles on the road and the surrounding environment. Here’s an overview of Transport Canada’s classification of dangerous goods.

Class 1: Explosive materials

Explosive materials have the ability to rapidly detonate or conflagrate, thus making them dangerous to transport. Indeed, explosives are capable of producing threatening levels of gas, heat, light, sound and smoke.

Class 2: Gases

Gases are hazardous for a variety of reasons, such as: their flammability, oxidizing properties, asphyxiation risks and toxicity. This class is divided into flammable gases, toxic gases and non-flammable and non-toxic gases like helium and oxygen.

Class 3: Flammable liquids

Flammable liquids emit flammable vapours, which can lead to fire and combustion. Some of them can ignite when exposed to temperatures as low as 60.5 degrees Celsius or less.

Class 4: Flammable solids

Flammable solids are prone to combustion. These hazardous reactions occur for many reasons including exposure to air, water or friction.

Class 5: Oxidizing substances and organic pesticides

If poorly transported, oxidizing substances and organic pesticides both have high potential for causing fires and explosions. Oxidizing substances are volatile due to their ability to yield oxygen, and organic pesticides are thermally unstable and often release excessive heat during decomposition.

Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances

These pose considerable danger to human health. If inhaled, swallowed or touched, a toxic substance can lead to serious injury or death, while infectious substances contain pathogens such as bacteria, parasites or viruses.

Class 7: Radioactive materials

Radioactive materials contain radionuclides, which are atoms vulnerable to radioactive decay. The ionizing radiation emitted during radioactive decay can be tremendously harmful to living organisms.

Class 8: Corrosive materials

Corrosives are hazardous because they can degrade or disintegrate other materials on contact. If improperly stored, these corrosive agents can cause significant damage to living tissue, as well as to the surrounding area during transport.

Class 9: Miscellaneous

Materials with dangerous properties that don’t fit into the other categories fall under the miscellaneous class. This class contains materials such as asbestos, solid dry ice and even items like chainsaws.


To expand your knowledge on these nine classes, consider signing up for the Dangerous Goods program offered by North Shore Driving School. Based out of Burnaby, our truck driving school provides a comprehensive 4-hour course for drivers of all levels. Contact us by phone or email to learn more!

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