Category Archives: Transportation of Dangerous Goods

Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG)

Purpose of TDG Regulations

The Transport of Dangerous Goods Act is federal legislation designed to regulate the movement of dangerous goods via roads, rail, air, and ship. The aim is to ensure that any shipping is done in a manner that enhances the safety of the person involved in the transport as well as the general public. In case of accident, emergency officials can quickly identify the hazard based on the warning placards displayed on the vehicle.

The Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations are the guidelines used to promote the aims of the Act. The Province of Alberta passed the TDG Act in 1982 and later adopted the federal TDG regulations. Unfortunately, these regulations are very detailed and difficult to interpret for someone who hasn’t studied them extensively. Because of this, the guidelines are being rewritten and will appear in the form called “Clear Language Regulations” to distinguish them from the original attempt at codifying these complex issues. These new regulations were implemented in 2002. You can view the TDG regulations at the following website:

Requirements for transporting items that are dangerous goods:

As with the WHMIS standards, items are considered hazardous if they have certain properties related to pressure, flammability, toxicity, biohazard or corrosiveness. If you are transporting items that are considered to be dangerous goods, then you need to meet certain criteria in terms of training, packaging, transporting, documenting and using warning labels. Specifications may differ for transport via road, rail, ship and air.

IS TDG similar to WHMIS?:

TDG (Transportation of Dangerous Goods), and WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System), are complementary hazard communication systems.

The purpose of TDG is to protect the general public from hazards associated with dangerous goods during transport.

WHMIS, on the other hand, was developed to help workers safely handle hazardous materials in the workplace.

No overlap is intended – where one system leaves off, the other takes over.

How does TDG affect EAS workers?

If you ship, receive or **transport dangerous goods, you must be trained and carry a Certificate of Training, or work under the direct supervision of someone who is trained. You should be fully conversant with the TDG Act and Regulations. There are fines and possible imprisonment for receiving and shipping hazardous materials improperly.

**This may apply to field courses/work when you take controlled products into the field with you. Transportation of Dangerous Goods training is available through the Office of Environmental Health & Safety as an E-course. To enroll in a TDG course visit their website at:  TDG Training.   Sign up for their TDG 101 course.

There are exemptions for limited quantity transportation, but you must check the limits for each dangerous good and comply with the correct transportation regulations pertaining to the packaging and size of containers being taken in the field. Every hazardous material you need to carry into the field must be investigated to ensure that you are carrying no more than the limited quantities allowed under this act. (If you wish to carry more than the limited quantities then the dangerous good falls under TDG regulations and must be properly packaged for transport, properly labeled, vehicle properly placarded, and file an Emergency Response Plan with the Transportation Department.)  You need to check the limited quantity yearly as the regulations are updated every year.

To check what the limited quantities are for the controlled products you need to take in the field, contact: Lois Dvorsky, Office of Environmental Health and Safety at the U of A or phone her at: 780-492-1638. You can e-mail Lois at

You can also check with Transport Canada regarding the dangerous good and what qualifies as a limited quantity. Remember, each dangerous good will have its own limited quantities regulations limiting the amount, type of packaging and emergency response plan.

Canada Post Information:

Should you have questions about the types of materials that can be sent through the mail contact Canada Post Customer service (1-800-267-1177), as they have information on restrictions for items sent through the mail.

Canada Post does not ship dangerous goods!