Transporting Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT): What You Must Know
Transporting hazardous materials is an important aspect of modern logistics, but have you ever considered the challenges it poses?
How do you ensure the safe and secure transportation of chemicals, radioactive materials, or flammable liquids?
Companies must comply with strict regulations and possess specialized knowledge of the hazards involved.
However, with the right training, equipment, and understanding of protocols, transporting hazardous materials can be a seamless process.
So, what does it take to successfully transport these materials? Let’s find out…
Which governing bodies and regulations are involved when transporting hazardous materials?
When transporting hazardous materials, several governing bodies and regulations are involved to ensure the safety and security when transporting hazardous material.
The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act of 1975 and the regulations established by the DOT cover the main governing regulations involved when transporting hazardous materials.
However, others have a clear part to play in hazmat regulations:
- U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT): The DOT is responsible for enforcing the regulations for the transport of hazardous materials.
- Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Law (FHMTL): This law, also known as the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act of 1975, is the primary federal regulation governing the transportation of hazardous materials. The FHMTL requires the DOT to establish standards and regulations for the safe transportation of hazardous materials by all modes of transportation.
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA): PHMSA is a division of the DOT responsible for overseeing the safe transportation of hazardous materials by pipeline, as well as the transport of hazardous materials by other modes of transportation.
- International Air Transport Association (IATA): The IATA provides international standards for the air transport of hazardous materials, which are recognized by the DOT.
- International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code: The IMDG Code provides international standards for the marine transport of hazardous materials, which are recognized by the DOT.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): FEMA provides guidance and support in the event of a hazardous materials incident, including the transport of hazardous materials.
In accordance with the above appropriate transportation and other packaging requirements, our UN bags are a high-quality solution for you to stay compliant.
What items fall under the transportation of hazardous materials regulations?
Hazardous materials are divided into nine classes, each with its own specific criteria and requirements:
Class 1: Explosives
This class includes materials that can explode, burn rapidly, or produce toxic fumes.
- Division 1.1: Explosives with a mass explosion hazard
- Division 1.2: Explosives with a projection hazard but no mass explosion hazard
- Division 1.3: Explosives with a fire hazard and minor blast hazard
- Division 1.4: Explosives with a minor fire hazard and no significant blast hazard
- Division 1.5: Very insensitive explosives
- Division 1.6: Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard
- Ammonium nitrate
- Blasting caps
- Detonating cords
- High explosives
- Low explosives
Class 2: Gases
Compressed, liquefied, or dissolved gases that can become hazardous in the event of a release fall under this classification.
- Division 2.1: Flammable gases
- Division 2.2: Non-flammable, non-toxic gases
- Division 2.3: Toxic gases
- Flammable gases: propane, butane, acetylene, hydrogen
- Non-flammable, non-toxic gases: nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide
- Toxic gases: chlorine, ammonia, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide
Class 3: Flammable liquids
Flammable liquids can catch fire easily and continue burning.
- Diesel fuel
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Paint thinners
Class 4: Flammable solids
Similarly to their liquid cousins above, flammable solids also catch fire and will continue to burn if left to. This hazard class is broken down into the following divisions:
- Division 4.1: Flammable solids
- Division 4.2: Spontaneously combustible materials
- Division 4.3: Dangerous when wet materials
- Cellulose nitrate film
- Self-heating cans containing food or beverages
- Flammable solids like magnesium, aluminum, and titanium powders
- Sodium and potassium metal
- Self-reactive substances and solid desensitized explosives
- Lithium-ion batteries
Class 5: Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
Materials that fall under Class 5 are ones that can release oxygen, which promotes the combustion of other materials.
- Division 5.1: Oxidizing substances
- Division 5.2: Organic peroxides
- Ammonium nitrate
- Calcium hypochlorite
- Sodium chlorate
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Cumene hydroperoxide
- Tert-butyl hydroperoxide
Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances
Poisonous, toxic, or substances capable of causing disease fall under Class 6, broken down as:
- Division 6.1: Toxic substances
- Division 6.2: Infectious substances
- Poisonous substances: pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides
- Toxic chemicals: heavy metals, corrosives, and acids (see also our OSHA secondary containment requirements guide for more on this)
- Infectious substances: medical waste, blood, and specimens containing infectious agents
- Radioactive materials: medical isotopes and radioactive waste
Class 7: Radioactive materials
The radioactive materials Class includes materials that emit ionizing radiation.
- Radioactive isotopes used in medical treatment or diagnosis
- Radioactive sources used in industry, such as those used for gauging or testing
- Nuclear fuel or waste from nuclear power plants
- Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) used in various industries, such as mining and oil and gas production
Class 8: Corrosives
Certain types of materials that can corrode or destroy other materials upon contact sit under Class 8, mainly as acids and bases.
- Acids: sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, etc.
- Bases: sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, etc.
- Other corrosive liquids or solids that can cause visible destruction or irreversible alterations in human skin tissue upon direct contact.
- Wet cell batteries.
Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous goods
Any materials that don’t fit into any of the other classes and pose a hazard during transportation are included here.
- Dry ice (carbon dioxide, solid)
- Magnetized material
- Hazardous waste
- Batteries, spent or damaged
- Fuel cell cartridges, or fuel cell systems containing fuel
- Self-inflating life rafts, containing gas
- Fire extinguishers, containing compressed gas
- Aerosols, flammable or non-flammable
- Lithium ion or lithium metal cells or batteries
- Mercury thermometers
Who do the rules for hazardous material transport apply to?
The rules for the transport of hazardous materials apply to anyone who offers, causes to be transported, or transports hazardous materials in commerce by any mode of transportation, including air, rail, highway, and water.
Entities that this includes, but is not limited to, are all of those that have a part in one or more of the following in relation to hazardous materials:
In addition, the regulations apply to hazardous material storage, as well as the packaging, labeling, and marking of hazardous materials, as well as to the training of personnel involved in the transportation of these materials.
The goal of these regulations is to ensure the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials, and failure to comply with these rules can result in significant fines and penalties.
Complying with regulations when hazardous materials are being transported
A business can comply with regulations for the transport of hazardous materials by following these steps:
- Identify the hazardous materials: Determine which materials being transported are considered hazardous and understand the specific hazards associated with each material.
- Classify the hazardous materials: Determine the proper classification of each hazardous material being transported, based on the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
- Package and label the hazardous materials: Ensure that the hazardous materials are packaged and labeled in accordance with DOT regulations, using proper labeling and marking.
- Train personnel: Train all personnel involved in the transport of hazardous materials on the proper handling, packaging, labeling, and transportation of these materials.
- Maintain records: Maintain records of the hazardous materials being transported, including information on the type, quantity, and destination of each shipment.
- Conduct regular audits: Regularly review and audit procedures and processes to ensure ongoing compliance with DOT regulations.
- Familiarize with emergency response procedures: Establish and train personnel on emergency response procedures in the event of an incident involving hazardous materials.
Taking a logical approach as per the above will ensure your business complies with hazmat logistics regulations.
How Palmetto can help with hazmat transport
Palmetto Industries provides a variety of solutions, with our UN-approved bulk bags helping with hazmat transportation compliance.
They’re specially designed to meet the strict regulations set by the United Nations and provide a secure and compliant method of transporting hazardous materials.
Not only do they ensure the safe handling of your materials, but they also provide an efficient and cost-effective solution.
Final words on transporting hazmat
Transporting hazardous materials is a crucial and complex task that requires careful planning, execution, and specialized knowledge.
Companies must comply with strict regulations to ensure the safe and effective transportation of hazardous materials. And so the use of UN-approved bulk bags provides a safe, secure, and compliant solution for handling these materials.
With the right training and equipment, as well as a thorough understanding of the hazards and protocols involved, transporting hazmat can be done efficiently and with confidence.