Update to Hazardous Materials Marking & Info You Need To Know

All motorist must be aware of flammable chemicals being transported, per the U.S. Department of Transportation. Without communicating the risks of hazardous materials on freight containers, first responders could enter into seriously dangerous situations if an accident occurred. DOT Placards permit emergency responders to instantly recognize crucial hazard information.

If you’re the transporter of hazardous materials – you need to know about the updates made by DOT. The recently updated information was made to DOT Chart 16 for the hazardous materials, labeling, and placarding guide.

The latest version of the Hazardous Materials Marking, Labeling, and Placarding Guide includes these following changes per Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA):

  • Effective December 31, 2018 – Addition to the Lithium Battery handling marking old and new, and the transition date of for the old version.
  • Effective January 2019 – Addition of the Class 9 Label for Lithium battery handling.
  • Replacement of the yellow Organic Peroxide 5.2 Placard with red and yellow Organic Peroxide 5.2.

The Hazardous Material Regulation (HM-181, along with HM-206) is specified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Standard 49 CFR Parts 171-180. This regulation includes the requirements for proper identification and classification of hazardous materials during transporting and shipping.

DOT placard requirements include classifying and affixing appropriate placards on transport vehicles to identify the proper hazards. There are nine main hazard classifications, in which many have divisions. These have specific color schemes, words, and number requirements for identifying hazards. 

Here’s information about what the nine hazard classifications are used for and where they should be placed on transport vehicles:

The nine main hazard classifications have mandated color schemes, symbols, words, and numbers to identify the hazardous material. These DOT placards are printed in a square diamond format. The actual placard size is at least 250 mm (9.84 inches) on all sides.

The nine hazard classifications are:

  • Hazard Class 1 = Explosives and Blasting Agents
  • Hazard Class 2 = Gases, Poison, Flammable, and Non-Flammable
  • Hazard Class 3 = Flammable Liquids
  • Hazard Class 4 = Flammable Solids
  • Hazard Class 5.1 = Oxidizer
  • Hazard Class 5.2 = Organic Peroxide
  • Hazard Class 6 =  Poisonous and Infectious Substances
  • Hazard Class 7 = Radioactive
  • Hazard Class 8 = Corrosive
  • Hazard Class 9 = Miscellaneous and Dangerous Goods

Where is the proper placement for DOT Placards?

The proper placement of labels is critical for the safety of others. DOT Placards must be printed on or affixed to a surface (other than the bottom) of the package and located on the same surface of the package and near the markings if the package dimensions are adequate. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires the proper identification and classification of hazardous materials during transporting and shipping. These regulations (HM-181 & HM-206) can be further explored on The U.S. Department of Transportation website.

DOT Shipping markings, labels, and placards ensure safe handling of hazardous materials.

Please note: The PHMSA document is for general guidance only and should not be used to determine compliance with 49 CFR, Parts 100-185.

ComploianceSigns.com has the DOT placards you need to stay safe and compliant with regulations.