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What Are the Penalties for Non-compliance With HAZMAT Shipping?

The cost of HAZMAT shipping has amounted to more than $37.5 million in damages this year alone. This is generally due to non-compliance with federal regulations.

Non-compliance can cost you or your company hundreds of thousands of dollars. It can also cause needless injuries and deaths to the general public. These leaks, spills, or fires can even pose a threat to the environment.

Continue reading to learn what happens when a company isn't compliant with regulations. We'll also look at what needs to be considered when training employees for compliance.

What Are the Regulated Hazardous Materials?

HAZMAT shipping is the shipment and transportation of hazardous materials and hazardous waste. Several government agencies work together to establish regulations.

The regulated hazardous materials pose a serious threat to the public. They may even pose a threat to the environment through possible exposure. They are under 9 different classes based on their chemical properties.

Class 1 Explosives include materials that pose a:

  • Mass explosive hazard
  • Minor explosive hazard
  • Very insensitive explosives
  • Extremely insensitive explosives
  • Projection hazard
  • Mass fire hazard

Class 2 Gases include poisonous (toxic) gases, flammable gases, and non-flammable gases. This class also includes materials that are:

  • Pressurized cryogenic liquids
  • Dissolved under pressure
  • Compressed
  • Other liquified gases

Class 3 Flammable Liquids include any material with a 141 F flashpoint or lower. Class 4 Flammable Solids include:

  • Flammable solids
  • Materials that are dangerous when wet
  • Spontaneously combustible materials

Class 5 includes organic peroxides and oxidizers. Class 6 includes infectious substances and poisonous (toxic) materials. Class 7 includes all radioactive materials. Class 8 includes all corrosive materials.

Class 9 covers all other miscellaneous dangerous goods, such as:

  • Environmentally hazardous materials
  • Elevated temperature materials
  • Certain combustible liquids (with a flashpoint between 141 F and 200 F)
  • Marine pollutants
  • Hazardous wastes

This means that the products can only be shipped when complying with regulations. This includes items such as nail polish, paint, hairspray, batteries, and e-cigarettes.

HAZMAT Communications

It is the shipper's responsibility to properly package any hazardous materials. You also need the proper shipping papers, proper labels, marking, and placarding. The shipping papers will communicate the possible risks that may arise during transportation.

Federal Requirements for Transportation

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration sets requirements for anyone offering transportation for:

  • Highway route controlled amounts of radioactive materials
  • More than 55 pounds of explosive matter in a motor vehicle
  • More than one liter of poisonous when inhaled materials
  • Bulk packaging of a capacity (more than 3,500 gallons of liquid or gases or more than 468 cubic feet of solids)
  • Bulk packaging of more than 5,000 pounds of hazardous materials requiring a placard
  • Any materials requiring a placard

To transport or ship hazardous materials, these individuals and companies must be registered. Registration must occur before transporting HAZMAT shipments. The Department of Transportation and FMCSA's specific requirements include:

  • Hazard materials identification and classification
  • Hazard communication (HM shipping papers, labels, markings, and placards)
  • Packaging requirements
  • Operational rules

Registration for HAZMAT transportation must be renewed annually for a fee.

What Are the Penalties for Non-compliance?

HAZMAT shipping non-compliance can be dangerous to the:

  • Handlers
  • Shippers
  • Transporters
  • General public

This is especially true when the materials aren't handled in a safe manner. By complying with the regulations, you can avoid penalties that harm your finances. Violations can present themselves in the form of:

  • Not having current certification
  • Using the wrong UN packaging
  • Making mistakes on marking and labeling
  • Failing to have the proper documentation

These mistakes can cause issues should a fire, spill, or leak happen in transportation. These problems may cause environmental hazards or even deaths after contact with HAZMATs.

The Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) penalties for non-compliance increase every year. This is to reflect inflation costs.

The maximum civil penalty for non-compliance is $83,439 per violation per day. Once these violations cause illness, property damage, or death, the number increases to $194,691 per violation per day. The minimum penalty for failing to provide training to employees is $502 per employee.

Your company stands to lose everything if you don't comply with federal regulations. The costs will continue to pile up until the violations get resolved.

How Do I Get Proper Training for My Employees?

Anyone handling the shipping process needs to be properly trained. Only registered personnel can offer and accept a hazardous material shipment for transport. All hazardous materials must be packaged and labeled with the proper paperwork.

The initial training needs to be complete within 90 days of employment. Recurrent training must occur every three years (or with the change or update of a job function). When it comes to providing HAZMAT training for your employees, you need to focus on:

  • General awareness and familiarization
  • Function-specific training
  • Safety training
  • Security training
  • Modal-specific requirements

You can get your employees' certified with a HAZMAT shipping online training course at Compliance Training Online. However, simply providing training for your employees isn't enough. The training also needs to be properly documented.

he regulations require that all training records need to be held by the HAZMAT employer for:

  • The duration of the employee's employment
  • Ninety days following termination of employment

This training should extend beyond simple certification to in-person training. This way, they can get the hands-on experience they need for properly packaged HAZMAT. They also need training that involves safety plans and security for transportation.

Are You Prepared to Stay Compliant with HAZMAT Shipping Regulations?

The cost of HAZMAT shipping non-compliance can cause serious illnesses and even death. It will be more than just the financial buildup from the fines. By becoming compliant, you will save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars. You will also decrease the risk of your products posing a threat to the public.

Contact Compliance Training Online today for more information about HAZMAT shipping training online and the training services we can offer you and your company.

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