4 Common mistakes in HAZMAT Shipping

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Will there ever be a day where you and HAZMAT get along? Maybe.

Actually, it’s completely possible. If you learn how to stay compliant with it.  

You’ll be shocked how easy it is to fall out of compliance, or maybe you’ve already dealt with the hassle of it.

We’re all human and mistakes happen, but if you’re aware of them beforehand you’ll have less of a chance to make them.

 1. Reading the wrong regulations

Picture this. You want to know how to ship lithium batteries as HAZMAT and you find this great video on youtube. You follow all the procedures it gives you.

Suddenly, it’s time to ship the batteries out and you discover that you didn’t meet the regulations. You’re confused.  You did your research and checked your facts. What could have gone wrong?

You failed to realize that you looked at a video for IEDA instead of IATA. Now you have to go back and do all that research again.

It is important to always make sure you are looking at IATA’s regulation for any shipping in Aviation. And FedEx only ships using IATA regulations even if it’s a domestic shipment.

2. Using the wrong software 

You know how carriers want the materials packaged.  But did you check if they had any software requirements?

Some companies require the usage of their own software when shipping dangerous goods. FedEx for instance, uses their own software, FedEx Ship manager software. If you are using a company such as FedEx or UPS make sure to always read their requirements with software.


3. Competency of HAZMAT employees 

Do you remember in when you would try to cram for an exam and then forgot all the information after the test?

Learning 1,300 pages of federal regulations in a 6-hour course is exactly like that.

Have your new employees shadow your experienced employees. This way they can use internal resources to actually see how your company ships HAZMAT.

4. Not knowing it was HAZMAT, to begin with

Batteries, magnetics, instruments with compressed gases... they’re all HAZMAT. Offering them as nonhazardous materials is a common mistake.

Lithium batteries, for example, need to be packaged separately because they are explosive.

The best way to avoid issues with HAZMAT is to have a checklist and proactively look at it. If there’s a mistake that you notice that your company is making more than once prioritize that one to the top of your list.

For more information download our HAZMAT checklist!