Trucks are the lifeblood of America’s shipping industry. They transport everything from consumer goods to medical supplies. They also transport hazardous materials needed by hospitals, gas stations, oil refineries, and more.
Some hazardous materials are extremely dangerous and require special preparation and equipment to transport safely. Here we discuss some of the most dangerous cargo for truckers to haul and what their employers must do to ensure a safe journey.
Federal Regulations for Transporting Hazardous Materials
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) classifies hazardous materials based on their volatility and lays out regulations for trucking companies to transport these materials safely. The nine classifications of hazardous materials include:
- Class 1: Explosives
- Class 2: Gases
- Class 3: Flammable liquids
- Class 4: Flammable solids
- Class 5: Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
- Class 6: Poisonous, toxic, and infectious substances
- Class 7: Radioactive material
- Class 8: Corrosives
- Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous goods
The FMCSA places certain responsibilities with shippers and carriers transporting hazardous materials. These responsibilities include:
- Drafting required shipping papers
- Marking the vehicle with the applicable placards
- Loading and unloading
- Blocking and bracing during transport
- Reporting incidents in a timely manner
- Training employees in handling hazardous materials
Trucking companies that violate the FMCSA and U.S. Department of Transportation’s requirements may face the following penalties:
- Civil charges: Up to $79,976
- Criminal charges: Up to $250,000 for an individual and up to $500,000 for a corporation
Additionally, trucking companies that do not adequately prepare hazardous materials for transport may be found liable for any resulting accidents and injuries through a personal injury or wrongful death claims. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident involving hazardous materials, the lawyers of Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman are here to help.
Accidents involving trucks, especially big-rigs and those carrying hazardous materials, are complex and require seasoned legal representation. Our law firm’s truck accident lawyers have four decades of experience holding negligent trucking companies accountable for their actions.
Baum Hedlund has won settlements and verdicts collectively exceeding $4 Billion, a testament to its ability to serve your best interests.
Call Wisner Baum at (855) 948-5098 to schedule a free consultation.