When you’re shipping any hazardous materials, there are many regulations you must follow to ensure safety. If you make even the slightest mistake, this could be incredibly costly for your company and those coming in contact with the material. Luckily, these dangerous mistakes are easy to avoid if you know what to look out for. For the top common mistakes to avoid when shipping hazardous materials, read below.
Not Properly Labeling or Declaring Material
All hazardous materials must be in containers with labels that identify the hazardous material, the dangers it presents, and its hazard class. They must also be stated on the declaration form from the official shipper. This is one of the key expectations to make your drum DOT shippable. It refers to the DOT and EPA regulations on all hazardous materials being transported or stored. Without this proper signage, workers who must handle dangerous material are not sufficiently prepared and informed for what they’re dealing with.
Failing to Account for Different Transportation Methods
One thing you must remember when transporting hazardous materials is there are different packing methods for various types of transport. For instance, something being shipped by air will require completely different packaging. It may require more secure packaging methods, especially if it’s something that could leak or break easily. Items of this nature shipped by sea will also require proper containment to keep them secure. You should always make sure to confirm what standards your materials need to meet based on the transport you choose.
Not Familiarizing Yourself with Substance Regulations
One of the most common mistakes to avoid when shipping hazardous materials is not making yourself familiar with the regulations specific to what you’re shipping. You need to be sure to follow the Department of Transportation’s regulations that are provided in their table of hazardous materials. These regulations are made to protect those who come into contact with and help transport any of these materials. You can learn the proper packing methods required for specific transportation modes. It’s a legal responsibility for your organization to be aware of any regulations on items you are shipping and to follow them.
Assuming What You’re Shipping Isn’t Classified as Hazardous
This assumption could be one of the most detrimental mistakes you could make. Unfortunately, there are many items made of materials we wouldn’t commonly view as hazardous but actually are. You must be extra sure to check anything you ship and make sure it’s not classified as hazardous. Examples such as lithium batteries, fuel cell devices, and medical specimens are just a few common items that we might not consider hazardous, but still must be labeled and treated as such. This can also vary depending on how you’re transporting them, and the amount being shipped.