What are the guidelines for the use and handling of hazardous chemicals? 

If you have a 3PL company or work in it, you should know the guidelines for handling hazard shipping because of many big and small untoward incidents caused by hazardous chemicals. Only because of such guidelines have many such incidents have reduced in the past except for significant incidents like in Beirut in 2020. Hundreds died, billions of dollars were lost, thousands were injured, and 300,000 became homeless because it exploded the stored hazardous chemical TNT of 1.1 kilotons. It only increased the severity of the penalties and even closures of companies that handle hazmat violating the rules in the US and worldwide.  

So, you must know the many guidelines that govern the use and handling of hazardous chemicals to be safe and without paying fines. 

12 Guidelines for handling hazardous chemicals and hazmat shipping

Upon classifying many substances as hazardous chemicals, the UN or United Nations categorized them into 9 classes. Most of the classes have many sub-divisions depending on their dangerous nature. Also, the UN recommended many regulations for all countries to follow for the safe use and handling of hazardous chemicals. Based on those recommendations, many countries have strict rules and guidelines. There are many federal rules and state rules to follow in the US. Failing to do so will pay even five-digit fines or even ban further hazmat shipping

12 top guidelines to use and handle hazardous chemicals

Since improper use and handling of hazardous chemicals will first affect the employees, it is essential to be aware of “their procedures” rather than “our procedures”. It will increase their responsibility by recognizing the risks, even life-threatening to them. Hence complying with regulations will become easy to avoid any hefty fines and legal issues. Also most important is it will help in using and handling hazardous chemicals. A few guidelines for it include. 

  1. The first and most important guideline is to assess the potential risks in using and handling the hazardous chemicals in the 3PL companies and their warehouses apart from other workplaces.
  2. Empower the employees with proper training in technical handling of hazardous chemicals along with updating their training every three years for road transport and three years for air transport
  3. Apart from the training pre-requisites for minimum obligation, expand the safety guidelines and procedures beyond the requirement of regulations for additional safety.
  4. Ensure all employees follow all the guidelines by owning responsibility rather than as a mandatory duty by explaining the risks involved from drowsiness to death
  5. Plan well ahead for the potential hazards and make arrangements and procedures to handle even emergencies because of leakage, spilling, splashing, and other dangers of hazardous chemicals.
  6. Provide enough emergency equipment like fire extinguishers ventilation hoods and ensure their work periodically. 
  7. Have proper emergency procedures for fast evacuation, first-aid skills, clean up, and others to help any injured persons and for other purposes
  8. You always use PPE or personal protection equipment, but you also ensure to replace worn-out or damaged PPE kits without fail.
  9. Conduct periodic checks on the stored hazardous chemicals to check for any leaks as it could avoid any unexpected events that could cause massive damage
  10. Keep the hazardous chemicals in proper containers depending on their dangerous nature to avoid leakage or breakage.
  11. Label all containers having hazardous chemicals for the employees to know the dangerous nature of the hazardous chemical content
  12. Avoid eating and drinking while using and handling hazardous chemicals, and even after leaving warehouses and other places, wash your hands and face. 

The above facts and guidelines for the use and handling of hazardous chemicals will surely help you be safe and avoid any fines or legal issues for complying with the regulations for hazmat shipping.

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