DOT Issues Tougher Hazmat Shipping Rule

The new authority allows Department inspectors to close down shipping companies with poor safety records. It also specifically authorizes inspectors to take immediate action when there is a significant safety problem with a package in transit.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced that Department inspectors will now have greater authority when it comes to ensuring the safety of hazardous materials in the stream of transportation. The new rule, which implements authority granted by Congress, allows inspectors to investigate shipments of hazardous materials during transport and take tougher enforcement action against companies shipping in an unsafe manner.

“Safety is the Department’s number one priority, and this rulemaking will give our inspectors the tools they need to ensure hazardous materials are packaged correctly and reach their destination safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The new authority allows Department inspectors to close down shipping companies with poor safety records. It also specifically authorizes inspectors to take immediate action when there is a significant safety problem with a package in transit. This includes ordering restrictions, bans, or immediate recalls of faulty packages. With these new provisions, inspectors will be able to temporarily detain and inspect packages that may pose a serious threat to life, property, or the environment.

Department inspectors will also be able to immediately open packages even if the request to open them is refused. However, if a particular package is detained, the rest of the shipment may continue in transit.

“This rulemaking is another step in ensuring the safe transportation of hazardous materials by providing our inspectors the authority to conduct thorough investigations, to remove non-compliant packages from transportation, and to recall packages that could pose a significant threat to the public and the environment,” said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman.

The rule applies to U.S. Department of Transportation inspectors in PHMSA, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration. The final rule is scheduled to become effective May 1. The final rule, and the related internal operations manual, is also available on PHMSA’s website: www.phmsa.dot.gov.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue