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HazMat Shipping

May 22nd, 2014 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: HazMat

Hazardous materials can seem like a vague umbrella category; what exactly is considered hazardous?  The Secretary of the Department of Transportation defines them as any substances that pose an unreasonable threat, which also feels a bit vague, but all the materials are broken down into one of nine classes: explosives, gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, organic peroxides, toxic substances, radioactive materials, corrosives, and miscellaneous dangerous goods.  Some of theses classes are further broken down, and each class number must be clearly visible on all transportation vehicles carrying the goods.

When shipping hazardous materials it is important to have up to date employee training that teaches any individual who may come into contact with a hazmat container what the proper procedures are for transport and handling.  This includes proper incident reporting, which should occur at the earliest practical moment and be received by all necessary agencies including, but not limited to, the CDC and DOT.

As there are different safety concerns for transport by air there are also unique regulations for containers of hazardous materials that are to be placed on aircrafts.  As per the 49 CFR 173.27 (c ), “Packagings must be designed and constructed to prevent leakage that may be caused by changes in altitude and temperature during transportation aboard aircraft.”  Other air specific regulations include proper closures, use of absorbent materials, and maximum quantities for passenger-carrying aircrafts.  It is the shipper’s responsibility to make sure all containers are compliant with not only the place of origin but the destination as well.  A container may not be allowed through security if the destination has different or stricter regulations; this is mainly a concern for international shipping, but knowing the requirements for all airports a container will go through can help a shipment run more smoothly and avoid expensive roadblocks.

Shipping hazardous materials requires a strong knowledge of not only the products being shipped but also the regulations around those products and the packaging options available.  Liquids, solids, aircraft, or truck; each different piece changes the puzzle.  If you ever find yourself stuck with an item that you’re unfamiliar with try consulting the 49 CFR or another knowledgeable source, like Skolnik Industries.  Our staff is well versed in hazmat regulations and many of our products meet or exceed industry standards and UN requirements.  When dealing with hazardous materials it is always best to err on the side of safety- preventing incidents is the number one goal.

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