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Dangerous goods incidents in Canada, 2016

Released: 2017-12-08

There were 290 incidents involving dangerous goods that required a report to Transport Canada in 2016, down 13.2% from 2015 and about 74 fewer than the 10-year annual average (364.2) of reportable incidents.

These numbers come from the Dangerous Goods Accident Information System, which has been updated with 2016 data. The 11 tables show the annual number of dangerous goods incidents in Canada by province and territory, as well as by mode of transportation, class of dangerous good, package type and initiating events.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Dangerous good reportable incidents by type in Canada
Dangerous good reportable incidents by type in Canada

Most incidents occur in facilities

Nearly two-thirds (63.4%) of the incidents in 2016 occurred in facilities, such as terminals or warehouses, while road incidents accounted for about one-third (33.1%).

Over half (53.8%) of the total number of reportable dangerous goods incidents were reported in Alberta, primarily in facilities, and likely related to the province's oil and gas industry activities. However, these 156 incidents in Alberta represented 60 fewer than in 2015. Ontario had the second-highest number of reportable incidents in 2016 with 42, up from 32 the previous year.

Little change in class of good and initiating events

Most (91.2%) incidents involved four dangerous good classes in 2016: Class 3 Flammable liquids (56.0%), Class 8 Corrosives (17.9%), Class 2 Gases (11.0%) and Class 4 Flammable solids (6.4%). In 2015, these four classes together accounted for almost 94% of incidents.

In 2016, the top three initiating events for dangerous goods incidents were improper handling (21.0%), overfill (18.3%) and defective fittings, valves, dome covers (11.4%). These have been the top three initiating events for the last five years.

  Note to readers

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 defines nine classes of such goods. Changes to Part 8 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations came into effect on December 1, 2016. For more information on current reporting requirements for each class, please visit Transport Canada's website.

Under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, Transport Canada collects specific information on dangerous goods reportable incidents in Canada. If the incident meets the reporting requirements, then the employer of the person who had possession of the dangerous goods at the time of the incident has 30 days to file a report.

Some data for previous years have been revised.

A new CANSIM table was added this year: 409-0011 - Marine accident rankings for top commodities, package types and initiating events.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the data and data quality of this release, contact Michel Savard (613-951-3175;, Environment, Energy and Transportation Statistics Division.

To enquire about the concepts and methods of this release, contact Transport Canada (

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