As the east coast, and specifically the state of North Carolina, braces for Tropical Storm Florence later this week, it should come as no surprise that there are many emergency procedures in place and that the area Departments of Transportation (DOT) are doing everything they can to facilitate the safe and timely evacuation of more than 1 million people who have been asked to leave their homes. In addition to the people leaving the area, however, there are also many companies who are doing everything within their power to make sure that both dangerous and valuable inventories are also moved to much safer locations. For this reason, there are a number of DOT hazmat certifications that are in place and these still need to be followed even as the storm approaches.
Shipping hazardous materials always involves a number of permits and certifications, but in times of natural disasters, when there are so many private motorists on the road, DOT hazmant training is especially important.
Requirements for Handling Hazardous Materials Are Carefully Outlined According to Government Guidelines
In times of emergency and in times of a natural weather disaster, it is especially important that everyone, especially those carrying hazardous wastes, follow the DOT hazmat certification guidelines and regulations. For instance, knowing what is considered a confined space and when those guidelines must be followed is an essential part of making sure that both people and properties are as safe as possible.
Consider some of these facts and figures about handling hazardous waste and the required DOT regulations that are in place:
- The Department of Transportation has broken hazardous cargo into nine classes and every class has specific guidelines and requirements.
- Measuring as high as 2,647 million tons, natural gas, asphalt, and Coca Cola are the highest weight of commodities shipped in the U.S.
- Totaling 86.4% by value, 85.4% by weight, and 66.5% by ton-miles, flammable liquids, primarily gasoline, are the most transported hazardous materials in the U.S.
- In spite of their dangerous jobs, hazardous material removal workers make a median annual salary of $40,640 in the year 2016.
- In addition to some being required to have state specific licenses, most hazmat workers complete up to 40 hours of training mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
You should not have to wait for a natural disaster like Tropical Storm Florence to move your company’s hazardous materials to a safer location. In fact, in all likelihood, many companies that are located in the affected areas have already filed the necessary DOT hazmat certifications and relocated these materials earlier in the week.