Keeping Chemical Packaging Compliant
Transporting products is difficult enough to do properly. It becomes even more so when transporting hazardous chemicals. Companies that transport chemicals have to be compliant with both state and federal shipping regulations. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines, not to mention company backlash and potential damage to the environment. There have been dozens of companies put out of business with a single incidence of improper transportation of hazardous materials. Any company shipping those types of material need to rely on specialty packaging solutions to ensure they arrive safely and securely.
What Constitutes Hazardous Chemicals?
The definition of hazardous materials provided by Department of Transportation is any material unreasonable threat to the environment or the public. While this is an understandable definition, it is not the only one out there. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), hazardous chemicals are known as a mixture of elements or any compound which can potentially cause a physical hazard or a health hazard when handled. It is a perfect example why specialized packaging services are a vital component of any chemical company.
Examples of hazardous chemicals are listed below:
- Chemicals which could harm skin, eyes, mucous membranes, or lungs
- Hepatotoxins, neurotoxins, and toxins
Types of Hazardous Chemicals
When it comes to transporting chemicals and chemical compounds regulations and rules change from state to state. There are nine classes of hazardous materials according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They are listed below:
- Class 1: Explosives
- Class 2: Gases
- Class 3: Flammable Liquid and Combustible Liquid
- Class 4: Flammable Solid, Spontaneously Combustible, and Dangerous When Wet
- Class 5: Oxidizer and Organic Peroxide
- Class 6: Poison and Poison Inhalation Hazard
- Class 7: Radioactive
- Class 8: Corrosive
- Class 9: Miscellaneous
Communications Regarding Hazardous Chemicals
It is incredibly important when shipping hazardous materials that communication is clear. This includes labeling products which is where packaging assembly services can help. You can click here for more information on chemical storage requirements, marking, and signage. It is vital to include the chemical solution’s potential dangers in four areas. Those are:
- Shipping Papers
Offerings in specialty packaging solutions can simplify the complicated arena of hazardous material shipping regulations. It doesn’t matter if the delivery method is by air, rail, or roadway. There are always regulations and laws, however, the following are all required:
- Proper Shipping Name
- The Hazard Class
- Identification Number
- The Packaging Group
- The Number of Packages
- The Weight
- Emergency Contact Available the Entire Time Shipment is enroute.
There are a few important notes concerning labeling which kit assembly services can take care of for your chemical business. Those are listed below:
- All labeling needs to be correct. This includes the shipping name and ID which needs to be unobscured, in English, and long lasting.
- ID Numbers need to appear on all four sides if containers have a capacity of over 1,000 gallons.
- The label needs to include the hazard class of the materials stored inside.
- Placard requirements include attaching signage to the vehicle’s front, side, and rear. They need to be clearly visible.
Employees who handle hazardous materials are required to complete thorough training. This can be anyone who do the following:
- Repairing Chemical Containers
- Inspecting Hazardous Materials
- Manufacturing Chemical Solutions
- Designing Chemical Compounds
- Testing Chemical Solutions
It is required the training be completed in three months of the employee’s start date. There are five types of training to be a HAZMAT certified employee. The list below includes the different types of training:
- Safety – Emergency Response
- Security Awareness
- Transportation Considerations
- General Knowledge in classifying, packaging, and identifying hazardous materials.
Any chemicals packaged need to meet specific requirements to be considered safe. Specialty packaging solutions can help your company abide by those requirements. It is important, the packaging company you choose can properly classify the chemical. The following classifications are used:
- I (Great Danger)
- II (Medium Danger)
- III (Minor Danger)
There are criteria used to determine the classification. There are also very specific requirements with regard to safely packaging specific chemicals and chemical solutions. Manufacturers are required to provide instructions on proper handling for the chemicals. The handling instructions will include directions on the following:
- Filling Limits
- How to Properly Secure the Chemical
- Cushioning Requirements during Packaging
It is important to only use packaging materials and regulations that have been designed and tested for specific applications. It is also important to properly test those packaging materials in controlled environments to ensure that they will perform as expected.
Vetting Hazardous Materials Handlers
Your company has decided to outsource your specialty packaging solutions needs. It will help cut costs and allow reallocation of resources to other areas of your business. How do you choose your 3pl to handle this? It is important the hazardous material handler has all of the following:
- Required Insurance Coverage
- Aware of Safety Protocols
- Appropriate Licenses
- Hazardous Material Safety Permits
- Check Safety and Performance Data
Maintaining Proper Records
Any company handling and shipping hazardous materials is required to keep shipping records for at least two years after the material has been shipped. Also, Hazardous waste documentation needs to be kept for three years.
When considering hazardous material handlers to provide packaging for your chemical needs, think of OctoChem. A leader among specialty packaging companies, we can provide solutions for all of your packaging needs. OctoChem specializes in chemical handling and packaging. Reach out to us today to find out more.