Moreover, the shipper responsibilities shall not be underestimated. If we compare shipper responsibilities and the responsibilities that carriers have, we can see that here and their shippers are experiencing tasks with approximately the same difficulty and responsibility as carriers are.
Some people will agree with this, some will not, but this is my point of estimation.
The first and foremost shipper responsibility is to identify the type of hazardous materials in order to perform a safe hazmat transportation. This first step is also the most difficult one, and most important.
Later on, this step is the most important one because if the shipper does not identify the hazmat materials correctly, it will lead to an un-evitable damage.
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That is why when picking up or when hauling hazardous materials the shippers shall be very careful and to check every detail, because so far it has happened in the hazmat transportation that shippers make mistake in classifications, and believe me it did not end well.
Each hazmat shipper must work in compliance with the DOT which is located in the section 172.101. I must mention that shipper responsibilities do differ according to the destination of shipping. Is a shipper shall transport hazardous materials internationally then he must follow few different requirements.
Shipper responsibilities also include:
- Preparation of shipping papers;
- Emergency response information;
- Proper shipping name classification;
- Emergency response telephone number;
- Hazard warning label;
- Employee training;
- Security plan;
Let’s see a more precise description of each shipper responsibility:
HAZARD Warning Label
All hazardous materials that are being transported must be labeled with a specific element. That element shall indicate the type of hazmat transportation.
That is to say, the element can be in the form of pictograms, hazard and precautionary statements or signal words, all that with the aim for a safe hazmat transportation.
Since 2015, OSHA has issued and adopted new hazard warning labels. These new labels are considered to be part of the Hazard Communication Standard revision.
At the same time the hazard warning label not only that is contributing for a safe hazmat transportation, but as well are bringing into alignment the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling Chemicals.
Thanks to the hazard warning label nowadays we can witness an improved quality and consistency in the classification as well as in the worker comprehension. The percentage of injuries and illnesses caused due to exposures to hazardous materials is significantly lowered.
Hazard warning labeling can be divided into three steps:
- Step One: Performing the classification;
- Step Two: Gathering full label information;
- Step Three: Creating the label;
It is of a great importance that the chemical manufacturers, as well as the shippers, pay attention to ensure that each container of hazardous materials is entering the highways labeled.
HAZMAT Shipping Containers
Hazmat transportation can be performed by using different types of trucks; most commonly hazardous materials are being transported with hazmat shipping containers.
Thereupon, hazmat shipping containers are also called drums. The drums are in fact what most responders and most people in the hazmat transportation business are familiar with. The size of the hazmat shipping containers can vary from 1 gallon up to 95 gallons.
In general, the hazmat shipping containers are manufactured with fiberboard as well as with stainless steel. In addition to that, I will like to mention that the conventionally used hazmat shipping container holds 55 gallons and weight around 400 to 1.000 pounds.
Yet, we can notice that more and more trucking companies nowadays are performing the hazmat transportation with totes and bulk tanks. These trucks are very functional for the liquid hazardous materials. Also, bulk tanks these days are manufactured in a size that varies between the size of the drums and one of the totes.
The trucking companies that are performing the hazmat transportation process with bulk tanks shall be very careful not to perform transportation of for example food or industrial items with the same trucks.
That is prohibited because the bulk tanks are holding combustible, toxic, as well as corrosive materials. It is a rule no.1 among transportation companies, which they must follow.
All trucks that are performing hazmat transportation shall follow the rules and regulations that do apply for this type of transportation, and that includes an identification number. This identification number shall be placed on a hazard warning placard.
There are few strict rules and regulations that shall be followed when it comes to identification numbers. First I would like to start with positioning the identification number- it shall be placed and displayed in the center area of the placard.
It is really important for you to know that the identification numbers are chosen in correspondence with the hazard classification as well as with the hazardous material.
For example, if you are transporting hazardous materials that are combustible, then the identification number on these combustible placards shall be placed with white color, whereas in general on other types of hazardous materials these numbers are placed with black color.
While speaking of the identification numbers and placards, I must also mention that the name of the hazardous materials, as well as the hazard class of those materials, should be placed in the upper left border of the panel.
Emergency Response Telephone Number
When speaking about shipper responsibilities I must mention the emergency response telephone number.
Forthwith, the people that have hazardous materials for transportation have the responsibility to provide an emergency response telephone number to the carrier. Also, he shall include the area code altogether with the number.
As it is regulated with the §172.604 the emergency response number must be a person who is familiar and knowledgeable with the hazardous materials.
That is to say, the person who is behind that telephone number must be ready at any time to give a comprehensive emergency response and to provide the hazmat truck driver with an incident mitigation information.