5 Tips for Complying with DOT HAZMAT Regulations

Over 800,000 hazardous materials go through the transportation networks in the US every day. As these figures keep increasing, businesses must comply with DOT HAZMAT regulations.

The regulations acknowledge that shipping hazardous materials is a risky business. It classifies them as such if they pose significant environmental, health, property, and safety risks.

Before shipping them, companies should properly package, mark, label, and document hazardous materials. To remain fully compliant and avoid risks while doing this, here are five tips your business should observe:

Understand the DOT Hazard Classes

There are nine hazard classes for hazardous materials under the HAZMAT regulations. These classes ensure the materials get to their destination safely.

Hazard classes include radioactive waste and flammable gasses, liquids, and solids. They also include infectious and toxic substances. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration classifies them into nine classes.

The least known hazardous items include paint, exit signs, and nail polish. Aerosol sprays and perfumes also fit this description.

The Shipping Method Can Affect the Classification

The Department of Transportation has different regulations for shipping hazardous materials. These rules vary with the mode of transportation.

For instance, a magnetic material falls under the list of prohibited items shipped by air. It carries a magnetic field that can interfere with aircraft equipment.

Before choosing a shipping mode, you should review the list of prohibited items. Consider signing your staff up for dangerous goods training online. The training will help familiarize them with the requirements to ensure compliance.

Pay Attention to the Labels and Documentation

Package, mark, and label hazardous materials per DOT HAZMAT regulations. Failing to do this will affect the safe transport of these items.

Incorrect labeling and documentation can put the lives of shipping personnel at risk. It also makes it difficult to respond to an emergency.

Put placards with the right information on the material outside the shipment. This way, the shipping company will handle and place it the right way.

Give the Freight Forwarder Accurate Information

Maintain a safety data sheet (SDS) on the hazardous product you intend to ship. The SDS can take the form of a product safety data sheet or material safety data sheet, depending on the item.

When contacting your freight forwarder, you should have this document ready. Share its contents with the forwarder.

The contents will include the properties and hazards of the material. They also include its protective measures and safety precautions.

The ORM-D Designation Is Phasing Out

The ORM-D designation covered products shipped in small amounts. These products include paint, perfume, and aerosol cans. They have limited hazards due to their packaging, quantity, and form.

As the designation phases out, these products will have the “limited quantity” label. Check with your forwarder to avoid labeling them as a “consumer commodity.”

Looking to Stay Compliant with DOT HAZMAT Regulations?

If your business doesn’t comply with the DOT HAZMAT regulations, it loses control over the safety of the shipment. You also risk legal action for being non-compliant.

We hope this blog can guide you if you are new to the HAZMAT regulations. Keep yourself updated on any changes to these rules for the safety of your goods. Browse our blog for more insightful posts on business, tech, and more.

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