Shipment of Hazardous Materials

Purpose and Scope

Hazardous materials are substances, materials or chemicals capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety,  and property when transported in commerce.  Transportation of hazardous materials in regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 49CFR Parts 107, 171-180, and 390-397.  

Regulated materials are classified according to their hazards, then properly packaged, labeled, documented and handled by trained staff.  Some helpful information can be found here.

Types of Hazardous Materials

  • Laboratory chemicals
  • Radioactive Materials
  • Compressed Gasses
  • Biological Agents
  • Diagnostic Specimens
  • Refrigerants
  • Equipment that contains hazardous materials
  • Instruments that contain hazardous materials

Shipments Covered by DOT Regulations

  • Materials shipped to a lab for testing or analysis
  • Materials sent to a colleague for collaborative research
  • Materials shipped to another research facility
  • Materials returned to the manufacturer
  • Materials sent to a field research site

Preparing Hazardous Materials for Shipment

  1. Obtain required training. Contact Bates EHS for assessment.
  2. Collect hazard information on the material being shipped.
  3. Ensure that the off-campus recipient has any necessary permits or authorizations to receive the material.
  4. Obtain approved packaging.
  5. Package the material according to packing instructions and DOT Hazardous Materials Guide.
  6. Retain copies of paperwork for the duration of the shipment.