If your company needs to ship hazardous materials as part of everyday operations, it's essential to understand all the pertinent procedures. Improperly shipping hazardous materials can create safety hazards and leave your company subject to fines and penalties.
The following are seven things you need to know regarding shipping hazardous materials.
1. Some seemingly harmless products may actually be considered hazardous materials.
Companies shouldn't make any assumptions regarding whether or not a particular product is considered hazardous. Instead, it's important to research and to make sure that the product is not classified as hazardous.
There are a lot of substances that seem relatively harmless but are in fact often considered hazardous materials. For example, substances including laundry detergent and certain perfumes are typically considered hazardous.
2. Different organizations are governing hazardous shipments depending on the mode of transportation.
Companies need to consider the mode of transportation they're using for their shipments to determine what the various guidelines are for shipping hazardous materials.
International hazardous material shipments by air are regulated by the International Air Transport Association. On the other hand, hazardous shipments made by road are regulated by individual countries and municipalities within those countries.
3. It's essential to package hazardous shipments adequately.
Packaging is one of the number one concerns when it comes to hazardous material shipments. If hazardous materials are temperature sensitive or sensitive to moisture exposure, they should be packaged in materials that are waterproof and airtight.
4. Hazardous shipments need to be labeled as hazardous.
Another key concern with hazardous material shipments is labeling. Hazardous materials need to be labeled as hazardous both on the exterior and on any inner packaging as well.
5. Staff members responsible for handling hazardous shipments need to go through specialized training.
United States Department of Transportation guidelines stipulate that those in charge of shipping hazardous materials need to go through hazardous goods shipment training. Do your research on the exact training and certification demands your staff has to meet to properly ship hazardous materials.
6. Having insurance on hazardous shipments is a good idea.
Insuring shipments is always a good idea. It's especially important when shipments include hazardous materials. Find an insurance broker to assist you with shopping around for the best insurance coverage options for your hazardous material shipments.
7. Shipping hazardous items involves a lot of extra paperwork.
It's important to make arrangements for hazardous material shipments in advance because these shipments will involve a lot of additional paperwork. This paperwork can be time-consuming, but it must be completed correctly. Therefore, advanced preparation is very important.