How Do I Ship Hazardous Materials?

You might work in an industry where you need to ship hazardous materials. If that is so, you cannot simply mail them at the post office and hope they get there. There are strict regulations that you need to follow if you are to ship hazardous items. Failure to follow these rules could lead to criminal charges and even jail terms. Here are some tips that we at Sports Overnight hope will help you ship hazardous items the right way.

1. Check whether your items qualify as hazardous materials

If you suspect your items may be hazardous, simply check what the law says. There is a lot of information online from both the government and private websites. Read them extensively to find out if you are indeed shipping something hazardous.

2. Find the right company

Most companies are not equipped nor certified to ship hazardous items. It will be up to you to find a company that ships hazardous items. When you find a certified company, check its record of accomplishment. You want to ensure there are no spills or breakage from the mishandling of your hazardous materials.

3. Get the right approval

After finding the right company, you have to ensure you have all the documentation. It is up to you to ensure that all documents for shipping hazardous items are in place. You will have to check the laws or consult a lawyer. The rules on shipping these items are updated quite often. It could lead to serious charges if you miss any of the laws around shipping hazardous materials.

4. Check the rules for shipping a particular item

The laws will vary depending on the item you are shipping. For instance, the rules for shipping batteries may vary from the rules of shipping certain chemicals in liquid form. When shipping batteries, there is a general requirement that they not be damaged in any way. Besides that, they have to be packed in a manner that does not lead to an electrical discharge during transportation.

5. Use the right packaging

When shipping hazardous materials, you cannot simply use an ordinary shipping box. There are strict rules regarding the kind of packaging you can use. For instance, you may be required to acquire a special container to carry the hazardous material. That way, it does not leak during transportation.

6. Learn the rules on shipping internationally

When shipping a package locally, you will only need to know what the rules say in your jurisdiction. However, the rules may change if the shipment crosses borders. It is thus important for you to understand what the rules say. This way, your shipment will not be rejected at an international border. It could also lead to major fines for you or your company if you do not understand the rules of another jurisdiction.

7. Ensure everything is documented

Sometimes, you may follow all the rules, but you are still accused of failing to follow the rules. It is thus important for you to have all the papers with you. Make copies of everything. It is also important that you store these documents in a safe place. That way, if an issue arises, it can be resolved quickly by producing the papers.

8. Ensure everyone has the right training

If you are going to ship hazardous goods, ensure that everyone understands the rules and procedures. You can hold seminars where employees get the training they need. It will reduce the chances of anything going wrong leading to injuries or worse. You have to ensure that those who handle the dangerous goods have the right qualifications.

9. Keep yourself updated on the rules

We live in a world where terrorism is rife. Thus, the rules could change on a weekly or monthly basis. What may have worked last month, may not work this month. It is up to you to keep yourself on these changes as they occur. It will prevent any unnecessary delays or even fines. Keep in mind that the rules are created to keep you safe and not to hurt you.

10. Mark your shipment appropriately

Labeling is part of the rules of shipping hazardous materials. You have to ensure that you get the signage correctly. Failure to do this could also lead to some fines. It is up to you to understand all the signage around the hazardous materials you are carrying. Not only is it the law, but it is also helpful to those doing the shipping. They will stay safe as they handle your package and ensure that it is not damaged.

11. Maintain data

The law requires that you maintain data on the physical and chemical properties of the items you ship. It is part of the OSHA rules for dealing with hazardous items. You are required to send this document to anyone who will handle the items. As part of the documentation, you have to include the risks involved with exposure to the material.