When transporting hazardous goods, there are stringent safety protocols that need to be followed. This is to ensure the safety of both personnel and the environment. Cargo carriers must comply with all relevant national, state, and local regulations. These include obtaining and properly displaying a valid Hazardous Materials Safety Permit (HMS).


What Are Hazmat Materials?


Hazardous materials can be divided into several classifications, including flammable and combustible liquids, gasses, explosives, poisons and radioactive materials.


Commonly regulated hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gas, combustible liquids and solids (such as flammable aerosols), radioactive materials, oxidizers, corrosives, poisons and infectious substances.


Dangers Of Hazmat Spills


Hazmat spills can have severe consequences for the environment and human health. The primary hazards of spills include contamination of soil, water, and air; destruction of vegetation and wildlife; hazardous exposure to chemicals; and potential fires or explosions. Additionally, long-term effects such as chronic health conditions may arise due to prolonged exposure to contaminants. 


DOT Classifications


The Department of Transportation (DOT) classifies hazardous materials into nine classes based on the type of hazard they pose. The classification system is an internationally recognized standard and helps ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials by air, land or sea. 


Class 1: Explosives – These are substances that may burn rapidly with intense heat, release considerable energy and form detonable mixtures. Examples include fireworks, ammunition and blasting agents.


Class 2: Gasses – These substances are compressed or liquefied gasses that can cause suffocation by reducing oxygen content in the air or are flammable, toxic or corrosive at ambient temperatures. Examples include propane, welding gas and carbon monoxide.


Class 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquids – These are liquids that have a flashpoint below 100°F or those with a boiling point at or above 100°F. Examples include gasoline, oil-based paint and alcohol.


Class 4: Flammable Solids – These are substances that can easily ignite and burn rapidly. Examples include matches, some forms of resin and sodium.


Class 5: Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides – These are substances that can release oxygen or other oxidizing agents, thus increasing the risk of fire when in contact with combustible materials. Examples include bleach, ammonium nitrate and potassium permanganate.


Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances – These are substances that can be toxic or cause death if ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Examples include pesticides, biological agents and medical waste.


Class 7: Radioactive Materials – These materials emit radiation in the form of alpha, beta and gamma rays as well as neutrons which can damage cells and tissue. Examples include uranium ore and nuclear fuel rods.


Class 8: Corrosives – These substances can cause chemical burns to humans or other materials when it comes into contact with them. Examples include sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide.


Class 9: Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials – This class is for hazardous materials that don’t fit into any of the above categories. Examples include dry ice and magnetized materials.  It is important for individuals who handle hazardous materials to be aware of these nine DOT hazmat classes so that they can take proper precautions when handling them.


Safety Rules For Hazmat Transportation


It is important to note that when transporting hazardous materials, there are certain rules to be followed in order to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Here are a few key points to remember:


  1. Classification: Ensure that the hazardous material is properly labeled and classified before it is loaded onto a truck or other vehicle. This includes labeling goods with their UN number, as well as any special warnings associated with them. You should also make sure all relevant paperwork is filled out and submitted according to regulations.


  1. Training: Drivers who are transporting hazardous materials must receive training on how to handle these materials safely and understand what to do in an emergency situation. This includes knowing how to read labels, recognizing hazards and being familiar with response procedures should an incident occur.  


  1. Regulations: All vehicles must meet the required safety standards as set out by your country’s relevant regulations. This includes ensuring that they are equipped with the proper fire-fighting equipment, and verifying that any necessary licenses or permits have been obtained.


  1. PPE: In order to ensure that all personnel engaged in hazmat operations are appropriately protected, it is essential that appropriate PPE be provided to them by the organization responsible for the transport. 


  1. Plan Your Route: It is important to check routes before transporting hazardous materials, especially if you are crossing state lines or international borders. You should always ensure you will not be traveling through any restricted areas where certain goods are prohibited from being transported.


  1. Keep Records: Finally, it is essential to keep track of all hazardous material shipments during transit. This includes filing regular reports and keeping records of any incidents that may have occurred during transport. 


With years of experience in the freight industry, Liquid Trucking has developed the most reliable and efficient system for hauling hazmat cargo. We have a highly skilled team of drivers that are specially trained to handle hazardous materials, ensuring that your shipment is safely delivered from point A to point B. Get a quote today and let us help you haul your freight!