By nature, hazardous materials transportation comes with a high level of responsibility. These items can often pose a significant threat to humans and the environment alike, and must be handled with care.
Failing to do so will rack you up some hefty fines and potentially even prison time.
That’s why it’s absolutely vital to follow all guidelines and ensure these materials are being transported while remaining in full compliance. But how can you guarantee those two things occur?
Obtain a Permit and Have an Emergency Response Plan
In order to transport certain hazardous materials, you must obtain a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit, which needs to be registered on an annual basis. This is the easiest and most simple step to staying in compliance and ensuring you’re operating as safely as possible.
Given that permits are required to transport many of these materials, it’s absolutely vital that you not only get them but that you make sure to register them annually as to stay current.
Failure to do so could result in large fines and/or prison time.
In addition to obtaining a permit to transport hazardous materials, you should have an emergency response plan in place, complete with an emergency phone number. When your material is in transit, the number will need to be monitored 24/7 and must connect to a live individual who is capable of providing any information necessary in order to respond to the emergency.
With that in mind, here are some other tips to ensure safe handling and transportation of hazardous materials.
Tips for Safely Hazardous Materials Transportation
There are many things that could go wrong during the transportation of hazardous materials, ranging from incidents being caused by human error to loading and unloading problems.
However, if you follow some of these tips, you will immediately mitigate your risk and, at the very least, will know what to do should something happen.
- Always follow hazardous materials handling procedures. Do not take shortcuts!
- Reduce vehicle speed and practice safe driving techniques
- Do not overload cargo spaces or overfill tanks
- Familiarize yourself with all HAZMAT standards and procedures
- Review shipping papers prior to departing to identify the material’s basic dangers
- Ensure you know what to do should an emergency occur
- If possible, always use material-specific waste labels
- Double check package information and make sure it matches information on shipping papers
While implementing these practices and procedures won’t completely eliminate the inevitable accident, getting into the habit of doing them will greatly reduce the risk of a major incident occurring.
And with penalties for failing to properly handle certain materials becoming more and more severe, it’s simply logical to follow these simple steps each and every time.