Your Guide To HAZMAT Shipping

Your Guide To HAZMAT Shipping

March 1, 2022

Shipping hazardous materials requires special care and attention that you don’t necessarily have to put into everything else you ship. The government and various trade organizations regulate the shipment of hazardous materials to ensure the safety of the driver and the end receiver of these products. You will want to follow all the laws and rules regarding the shipment of hazardous materials to retain your ability to do business in the transportation industry.

What Is HAZMAT Shipping?

HAZMAT shipping is the shipment of potentially dangerous goods across any distance. Hazardous goods can be defined as chemicals that could be harmful to the human body or any material that poses a physical health risk to humans or animals. Common hazardous materials include chemicals that are poisonous to the body or large shipments of other materials that are known to potentially do harm when one is exposed to them.

Which Materials/Items Are Classified as HAZMAT?

There are incredibly specific definitions of what classifies as a HAZMAT material. In fact, they are classified in law to ensure that everyone knows that material is potentially hazardous when they see it being shipped on the road. Trucks that carry hazardous materials must put placards on their truck to identify the type of material that is moving in that vehicle.

A few examples of hazardous materials that require a placard include:

  • Poisonous chemicals
  • Batteries
  • Explosives

Any vehicle found transporting one of these items or the many others classified as hazardous without proper placards could face stiff penalties for doing so.

Are There Hazardous Non-Chemical Items?

There are absolutely hazardous non-chemical items that need to be labeled when shipped via a truck. Flammable solids pose just as much risk to a human being as anything else that needs to be labeled while it is being shipped. As such, companies are required to ensure that they mark any hazardous material regardless of its chemical status.

Hazardous materials are broken into various classes to identify their potential risk to a person as well as to classify similar hazardous materials together. The classes range from class 1 to class 6. Each item should be labeled with its class along with its packing group to distinguish what is contained within. For example, a few of the hazardous materials that are classified as class one include:

  • Fireworks
  • Minor explosive hazard items
  • Mass explosive hazard items
  • Virtually anything that could cause an explosion

Flammable solid items fall into class four and include items that could be dangerous when wet. They are still classified as hazardous materials because they are. A few examples of items that fall into class four of hazardous materials include:

  • Spontaneously combustible items
  • Flammable solids
  • Any item that is dangerous when wet (such as electrical materials)

It is essential that anyone in the business of transporting hazardous materials understand the difference between those various materials and the laws that they must abide by when they move those materials from one place to another. You now have a little primer as to what hazardous materials are and the laws that govern them. Take this information and travel safely.

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