Moving Hazmat materials safely and economically!

17 Jun by Dr Dan Amzallag, PhD (Expert Mover)

Moving Hazmat materials safely and economically!

Have you ever thought about dangerous goods? Probably not. Many of us focus on this topic only once we are obligated to do so. It can be quite a surprise how many people do not know what dangerous goods are. There is a great possibility that you have at least a few dangerous and hazardous goods in your home.

Don’t worry. If treated correctly, dangerous goods will not be harmful to you or your family. To help you, we will explain what dangerous goods are. When you have a better understanding, you will be equipped to handle hazardous materials if you get in contact with them. In addition to learning about dangerous goods, we will also go through 5 steps for dangerous goods safe transport.

What are dangerous goods?

Have you heard of hazardous materials or hazardous substances? This is just a different term for dangerous goods. As mentioned, you have numerous encounters with these goods every day. Namely, the most important thing to know is that these items are dangerous. Some dangerous goods can have an immediate negative effect, and some can manifest later. For example, mishandling some goods can cause a fire. This would be an immediate effect. We would have a different outcome if poison gets mishandled. The negative effect would not manifest right away but later down the line.

Symbols make it easier to spot dangerous goods. Alt text: 9 dangerous goods symbols.

Why do we need to transport dangerous goods in a different manner?

After learning what dangerous goods are, there is no surprise that they need to be treated with more care. If mishandled during transportation, there can be unforeseen and major consequences. In the United States, these types of shipments are regulated by the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA act). This act is a part of federal law. Consequently, this act regulates and enforces the same regulations for everybody. Which means, that the same rules apply for everybody. In addition to special transportation, dangerous goods must be packed with special packing materials.

All this being said, it is always good to ask for professional help during your move. Especially if you are not certain that you have all the information and means to pull off the move. My advice would be to look for affordable moving assistance in your area. This way you will find the best solution for you.

The most important steps for dangerous goods safe transport

These steps will help you navigate your move. Also, they will highlight the most important phases that you will have to go through. Not only will this be useful for your home relocation, but even if you are planning on relocating your business facilities.

Step 1  – classification

Before you do anything, you must know which dangerous goods you will be handling during your move. Depending on which hazardous materials you must transport, you will determine which type of packaging you will need. In addition to packaging, the classification of goods goes with several transportation ways that you are authorized to use by law. For example, certain batteries for network equipment are not allowed to be transported via air. In case you cannot find appropriate transportation for some dangerous items, you might want to consider some storage options.

Step 2  – packaging

As mentioned, to get to step two, step one must be completed. Therefore, once the classification is done, you can focus on packaging. Packaging options vary, but they must be carefully considered. Choosing inappropriate packaging for hazardous items can provoke major complications. In some instances, it can cause life-threatening situations. There are trained individuals that you can hire to help you with understanding your dangerous substances. In addition to guidance, they can explain what type of packaging is needed. In the end, they can also pack the goods and provide a complete service.

Step 3  – labeling

You are almost half way there. So, after you are done packaging, you must focus on labeling. It is not enough to package dangerous goods appropriately. Individuals that will be handling the package, must know what they are dealing with. On the package, there must be clear labels indicating the type of hazard that the package contains. Some boxes/packages must have multiple markers if there are extra requirements during the transportation process.

Paints are one of the most common dangerous goods found in regular households. Alt text: Cans of different paint colors.

Step 4  – loading the goods 

This step might not necessarily pertain to the owner of the transported dangerous goods. This step of the process pertains to the personnel that will be handling and loading the cargo. What does this mean? Classification, packaging, and labeling will not mean a thing if the process is not followed through the end. Therefore, the loading, transportation, and unloading of the shipment are just as important as any other step of the process. The way cargo will be treated depends on the dangerous good.

Step 5  – prepare the documentation

This step might not be needed in all instances. Some dangerous materials will require additional paperwork. On the other hand, some will just require the first four steps we went over. For example, the leftover paint that you have in your garage will not require any additional paperwork, just safe packaging and handling during the move. Certainly, there are many hazardous items that will require tons of paperwork.

Fire is one of the possible outcomes if hazardous goods are not treated properly. Alt text: Fire flames.

It is unfortunate that we cannot dive dipper into this topic. The reason being that there are many ways to transport hazardous goods. In addition, there are even more hazardous goods and materials that might need transportation or moving. Consequently, we cannot cover them all. Anyhow, depending on the type of dangerous goods, it is important to pay attention to transportation logistics.

Since this entire process can be tricky, it is always recommended to hire professional help. In the end, the best advice we can give you is to take your time when dealing with dangerous goods safe transport. It takes time, research and careful planning to pull off this type of move. Foremost remember that yours, your family’s and your moving team’s safety comes first.

ByDr Dan Amzallag, PhD (Expert Mover)

20 years experience in the field of moving and relocation. Sharing tips and expertise in the proper ways to move, pack, and arrive at your destination. Managing Moverzfax.com, the leading consumer protection portal for the moving industry

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