Hazardous materials are any materials that have the potential for health, environment, or safety hazards during transportation. There is a wide range of products and chemicals, as well as waste, that are considered hazardous by the transportation industry, also called hazmat transportation. While they are labeled as hazardous, they still must be safely transported throughout the nation and globally. The most common forms of transporting these types of materials are as follows, each with the regulations for the transporting hazardous materials as outlined by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR):
- Rail: Carriage by Rail
- Air: Carriage by Aircraft
- Water: Carriage by Vessel
What Are Hazardous Materials?
The federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act of 1975 defines hazardous materials as any substance or material that if not properly regulated can pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property when transported in the commerce industry. As of today, the Department of Transportation has identified some 3,000 materials, naming them as hazardous materials, making them subject to specific regulations. There are thousands of other additional materials that are unnamed but are also part of the regulations because they are explosive, infectious, corrosive, flammable, or hazardous in some other way.
What Are The Responsibilities of Hazardous Material Transporters?
If you have ever thought about becoming a transporter of hazardous materials, it’s important to understand the responsibilities that come along with the job. The following are the most important duties associated with the transport of hazardous materials:
- Classification of hazardous materials
- Employee training on the methods of safe transport
- Identifying a proper shipping name
- Packaging the product to be transported or during transport
- Labeling, marking, and placarding to ensure safety while transporting
- Shipping papers and emergency response information
- Security plans
- Loading and unloading
- Incident reporting
- Oversight of logistics contractors
Apply to be a Hazardous Materials Truck Driver
Many truck drivers embrace the increased challenge of becoming a hazardous material or hazmat driver as a way to advance their careers. The demand for this type of driver is greater than for a standard truck driver and therefore, the work is more consistent and the pay is better. Consequently, many truckers find this a great next step in their transportation career. If you possess the following qualities, you might be a good fit for the Hazmat industry:
- Give attention to detail. Hazmat drivers must check for labels and inspect their vehicles, always keeping accurate records of all movements. If you have a natural attention to detail, this could be the right career move for you.
- Organized. You should also have good organizational skills to be a productive hazardous material driver.
- Good time manager. You must follow a strict schedule for deliveries and pick up of these hazardous materials, so being a good time manager is a must.
- Reliability. All hazmat drivers must be reliable as many other industries depend on them to meet deadlines and get the products from point A to point B safely, so reliability is a must.
- Embrace safety. Perhaps above all other qualities, you as a hazardous material driver must know the safety standards of the product you are transporting and adhere to any regulations about its transportation.
Becoming a Hazardous Material Driver: Transport Hazardous Goods
When answering the question of what modes are used to transport hazmat obviously there are more than just highway transport. However, if you would like to become a hazmat driver, you can enter this interesting field that also includes transportation via hazmat rail cars, vessels, and aircraft. Doing so can increase your income as well as provide a steady amount of work for you in this vitally important industry.