When packaging and shipping hazardous materials, you need to obtain competent authority approval. Substantial fines, as well as liability from accidents, may result if you do not have proper inspections. Uninformed individuals may be surprised that many common everyday items are dangerous when shipped.
Common Dangerous Materials
Medical, pharmacy, and technology industries need to be particularly careful about shipping. Biological materials, infectious substances, lithium batteries, liquid nitrogen, compressed gases like oxygen tanks, and cleaning chemicals all must be properly packaged and declared.
The public should be educated about common household items that are dangerous to ship. Vanilla extracts, perfumes, alcoholic beverages, and mouthwash are all flammable liquids. Consumers also need to consult with a shipper for advice before mailing mobile phones, laptops, and any other electronic devices with typical lithium rechargeable batteries. Spray paint and aerosol whipped cream need special handling.
The best way to be sure about a product that you are packaging and shipping is to consult the materials safety data sheet for the item. The sheet should provide you with detailed instructions and cautions.
Consequences of Improper Handling
Improper packaging and shipping exposes companies to severe civil penalties, as well as liability for damages. Spills and fires damage property and the environment, and people could be hurt or killed. When a news organization reports on the case, a company's reputation may suffer. Consumers may lose trust in the company and cancel contracts.
All employees should be regularly trained. Records should be kept of the type of training, location, and test results. In addition, the shipping process needs supervision from managerial staff. The federal government may impose fines for failure to train and test employees.
All companies and individuals that package and ship products need to become familiar with hazmat guidelines. If unsure about a product, an expert should be consulted.