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August 18, 2009

Know Your Responsibilities When Shipping Hazardous Materials

Many people who ship batteries or other common materials don't appreciate the hazards they pose - or the requirements for shipping hazardous materials. Identification of a hazardous material is the first step in safe shipping, and frequently the most difficult.
All batteries are subject to requirements in the HMR because they have two types of hazards: (1) the chemicals or other materials contained in the battery, and (2) the electrical potential of the battery.
The DOT's Hazmat Safety website includes details and guidance on hazmat identification and shipping. Violating hazardous materials regulations can result in civil penalties up to $100,000, criminal fines up to $500,000 and imprisonment.
The major responsibilities of hazardous material shippers are:
  • Determine whether a material meets the definition of a "hazardous material"
  • packageProper Shipping Name
  • Class/Division
  • Identification Number
  • Hazard Warning Label
  • Packaging
  • Marking
  • Employee Training
  • Shipping Papers
  • Emergency Response Information
  • Emergency Response Telephone Number
  • Certification
  • Compatibility
  • Blocking and Bracing
  • Placarding
  • Security Plan
  • Incident Reporting
  • Hazardous materials labels from can help you meet these shipping requirements. For more information, visit: