Dealing with hazardous materials is notoriously complicated for everyone involved – including shippers, drivers, and carriers. But, this is for a very good reason. Hazardous materials can be dangerous, obviously. Oftentimes when it comes to hazmat packing and shipping, there is just too much information to absorb – even if you have a knowledgeable team. Consequently, an overload of information, along with limited bandwidth, can lead to an environment where it is easier for shippers to make consequential mistakes when packaging, labeling, and transporting their hazmat cargo.
Furthermore, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “The hazardous materials regulations have changed significantly over the last several years…No person may offer or accept a hazardous material for transportation in commerce unless that person is registered in conformance with subpart G of Part 107 of this chapter, if applicable, and the hazardous material is properly classed, described, packaged, marked, labeled, and in condition for shipment as required or authorized…”(49 CFR 171.2(a))
Whose responsibility is it to ensure that hazmat loads are packaged and labeled properly?
When it comes to transporting dangerous goods, beyond safety, a driver’s main concern will likely be to satisfy all necessary compliance issues to ensure that their load is successfully delivered. However, compliance issues are complicated. For example, labels for dangerous goods can have a lot of variations and variables regarding shape, type, and size. This can sometimes lead to a shipper straying from the path of compliance without even knowing it!
The result of these complications is likely a loss of load that’s blamed on the driver. Because, out on the road, drivers are ultimately responsible for their cargo. This includes ensuring that any cargo they haul is correctly labeled, particularly if hazardous materials or dangerous goods are involved. Consequently, truckers are dependent on shippers to properly classify and label shipments according to the appropriate DOT regulations. So, even though it is technically up to the shipper to identify and place the right hazmat labels on their cargo, it is generally the driver’s responsibility to double-check the manifest and the shipper’s labeling to ensure that the labeling is correct before they accept any load which contains potentially hazardous materials.
However, even if a driver spots the problem and determines that the load is improperly labeled, then what? In the end, the driver may be forced to reject the load altogether. This will benefit no one. What the transportation industry in general, and what drivers in particular, need is a tool which allows shippers to get their labeling right. This will lead to more a more consistent and reliable transportation process.
Because, the reality is that the driver or carrier are typically penalized when a hazmat load is lost. But, if a driver has the ability to determine whether material in a load meets the definition of dangerous goods, and they are able to create printable digital labels, they are in a much more desirable position to continue serving the needs of businesses who deal with dangerous goods.
What can drivers, and others involved with transporting hazardous materials, do to simplify the process?
When it comes to transporting dangerous goods, there is just too much at stake to ensure public safety. Working around hazardous chemical materials requires knowledge, experience, and extreme caution at all times. And, one mistake is all it takes to realize that hazardous materials regulations, although complicated, are necessary. But, should you be expected to remember every last regulation and requirement? We think not. That is why we have developed the HAZMAT HUB.
HAZMAT HUB is a revolutionary, mobile-ready platform that will allow anyone with hazmat transportation needs to safely & efficiently ship their dangerous goods. Because, when it comes to dangerous goods, it is important to be compliant with all of the various regulations to ensure that hazardous materials are safely transported by road, air, or sea. HAZMAT HUB can help resolve any complicated issue related to hazardous materials so that the most common complications are now simply problems of the past.
Just remember that when it comes to anything related to hazardous materials – if you don’t know, don’t go! Call DGD Hazmat, Miami’s #1 hazmat compliance company, on (888) 429-2353 today ask us about HAZMAT HUB!