Home Podcasts THMG051 – 49 CFR, Part I

THMG051 – 49 CFR, Part I


In part one of this two-part series, we review the federal codes and regulations surrounding transport and placarding.

Complete Show Notes

2:00 Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and Hazmat

  • We’ll be referencing a lot of points in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) – only parts 180-185 pertain to hazmat response
  • As per the CFR, a hazardous material is defined as any material or substance that poses an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property while being transported
  • A few things to keep in mind with the CFR:
    • All words that are singular are also plural
    • All words that are plural can also be singular
    • Masculine words are also feminine
    • “Must” means required
    • “Shall” means required
    • “May” means permitted, but not required
    • “Should” means recommended, but not required
    • “Includes” means includes, but not limited to
    • “No person may” means no person is required, permitted, or authorized to

6:25 Classifications

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has adopted the United Nations (UN) numbering system, which is why we see the common four-digit numbering on placards and labels
  • Hazard classes and divisions are also discussed (i.e. Class 3 flammable liquid or Division 2.3 poisonous gas)
  • They also list packing groups – we have Groups 1, 2, and 3, with 1 being the most dangerous and 3 being the least dangerous
  • More on packing groups
    • A packing group is a way of explaining how dangerous this substance is to move about the world
    • You may have different packing groups for materials with the same class or division – so, you could have a Class 3 flammable that could be assigned to Group 1, 2, or 3
    • You can read more on packing groups in 173.2
  • Multi-class materials
    • Frequently, materials will have properties that meet the definition of more than one hazard class
    • We can use the words “primary” or “subsidiary” class or even a division to help us further define the hazard(s)
    • The subsidiary hazard may not always be evident – you may only learn about it by looking at paperwork with the driver
    • The primary hazard is the one used to determine placarding
    • You can read more on multi-class materials in 173.2a

13:30 The Hazardous Materials Table

  • Table in section 172.101 that shows everything that can be transported and a bunch of other useful information
  • Doesn’t only pertain to the road – also includes things that can be moved via pipelines, airplanes, railways, boats, etc.
  • Columns in the chart
    • Column 1: symbols
      • We can have 5 different letters and symbols – important to know where to find the key to interpret them
      • Learn more in 172.101b
    • Column 2: shipping names
      • Contains the proper shipping name of the products in question
      • Proper names are in Times New Roman font, rather than italicized
      • They can be very specific (i.e. “gasoline”) or more vague (i.e. “flammable liquids N.O.S.”)
      • N.O.S. means “not otherwise specified” – you may also see “N.O.I.”, which means “not otherwise indicated”
      • It’s not feasible to assign a number or proper shipping name to the million-plus known chemicals – read more about this in 172.101c(12)(ii)
  • The other columns in the table don’t really need any explanation
  • Includes hazard classes, UN numbers, and a few more that don’t need any explanation – read more in 173.2 and 172.101

19:10 Shipping Paper Requirements

  • Refers to the paperwork that accompanies the products regardless of the method of travel
  • All of this information is found in 172.200 through 172.205
  • Shipping papers are intended to inform anyone involved in the transportation of a product about its potential hazards
  • There are exceptions, including ORM-D, which means “other regulated material transported domestically”
  • There is no official “form” for shipping papers – shipper usually just makes a form that MUST include the following:
    • The proper shipping name
    • The hazard class
    • The ID number
    • The packing group
  • The things we just listed are known as the basic description of the product and must be in that order
  • The total quantities expressed in weight, volume, or anything else must appear before or after these basic descriptions
  • You can read more about this topic in 172.203

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