The mail is a dangerous place. Many items get broken (or even lost) before they can reach their final destination.
So what does that mean for hazmat products?
In this case, damage or misplacement isn't an option for these potentially dangerous materials. To ensure this doesn't happen, you have to follow strict packaging and shipping regulations to make sure your product doesn't harm the health and safety of the carriers working with it.
Not sure what that looks like?
We've put together this guide to show you have to adhere to hazmat safety instructions and get your product through the mail without any hiccups. Keep reading below to learn more!
What Are Hazmat Products?
Hazardous materials are defined as any items or substances that put the safety of humans, property, or the environment at risk. These types of products often contain gases, flammables (either liquid or solid), poison, explosives, corrosive, radioactive substances, oxidizers, etc.
Many everyday items are considered hazmat products, meaning sending them through the mail is more common than you might think. For example, you have to ship these items as hazardous materials:
- Nail polish (and nail polish remover)
- Essential oils and fragrances
- Hairspray (and other aerosol spray receptacles)
- Alcohols (such as rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, spirits, etc.)
- Dry ice
- Lithium batteries (found in phones and laptops)
- Pest control products
- And much more
If your business handles these types of products, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the hazardous shipping regulations before you start delivering them to your customers.
Hazmat Safety: The Right Way to Ship This Material
It is your responsibility as the shipper to identify the hazardous material, find the right packaging, label it correctly, and send it off to your preferred courier service. Hazmat products can be dangerous if you don't ship them properly, so if you don't do this, you're putting other people at risk. You may also have to end up paying a hefty fine as a penalty.
But don't panic.
As long as you follow the right steps, your hazardous material should make it through the mail safely. Here's what you need to do to get started:
- The Classification
First, find the material on the Safety Data Sheet (or SDS). This will tell you the shipping name of the product, the four-digit ID number, the hazard class, and the packing group. You'll also be able to find out what labels and marks you'll need to put on the outside of the package and what you'll need to include on the shipping paper.
This makes the packing and shipping process much easier. All you have to do is follow these instructions.
- The Packaging
There are many different types of hazmat packaging, and they differ depending on what type of product you're shipping. For example, you can purchase steel of plastic pails for hazardous liquids, shipping boxes designed specifically for paint gallons, exempt packs for poisonous substances, etc.
Again, follow the packaging directions on the SDS.
Before you buy any packaging, though, make sure you know how much you'll need for your hazmat product. What you want to ship may not fit in one box or gallon container. And when it comes to hazardous materials, trying to cram is always a bad idea.
You also need to make sure the packaging you use follows all regulations. If you need performance packaging (inserts for specific products), follow the manufacturer's instructions when assembling them.
If you use the wrong type of packaging or don't follow regulations, the packaging may not hold up during the journey, and it could break or fail, which would release the hazmat.
- The Labeling
Carriers need to know what they're handling so they can transport it safely. That's why labels, markings, and shipping papers are so important.
Check the SDS to find out what type of markings and labels your packaging needs. You might need arrows that point to the top of the box, hazard class labels, etc. You'll also need to include a shipping paper that has all of the following information:
- Hazmat product ID
- The shipping name
- Hazard class
- Packing group
- Quantity of products
- Shipper's certification
- Emergency contact information
It's a good idea to talk to your courier services about your hazardous material before you ship it. They may recommend additional information or labels you missed.
Getting Your Hazmat Products in the Mail
Once your package is properly packaged, marked, and labeled, you can drop it off with your preferred courier service for the final check. They'll let you know if there is anything else you need to do to the package before shipping it then take care of the rest. Since they're trained to handle hazmat materials, you can rest assured your product will reach its final destination safely.
But you don't have to wait until the end to contact your courier service. If you have any questions about the packaging or shipping regulations, don't hesitate to ask. They'll be able to help you through the process every step of the way.
Not sure where to find the proper hazmat packaging?
We've got you covered. Our hazmat packaging meets all the right requirements, and it will keep your product (and the people around it) safe until it arrives at its last stop.
Don't hesitate to take a look at some of our products or to get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you.