Unless an exception exists, each bulk packaging, freight container, unit load device, transport vehicle or rail car (see 49 CFR 171.8 – Definitions for a better understanding of these terms) containing any quantity of a hazardous material must be placarded on each side and each end with the type of placards specified in tables 1 and 2 found at 49 CFR 172.504(e). The DANGEROUS placard is a useful tool for carriers of hazardous materials because it allows them to substitute one placard for any two or more hazardous materials that require placarding. Two examples of the use of the DANGEROUS placard are below:
- A shipment of hazardous materials contains 1,500 lbs of a Class 8 Corrosive and 1,200 lbs of a Class 3 Flammable in non-bulk packaging. In this case the carrier must display either the separate CORROSIVE & FLAMMABLE placards, or he may display solely the DANGEROUS placard.
- A shipment of hazardous materials contains 500 lbs of a Class 8 Corrosive and 700 lbs of a Class 3 Flammable in non-bulk packaging. The aggregate gross weight of hazardous materials exceeds 1,001 lbs, therefore placards are required. In this case the carrier must display either the separate CORROSIVE & FLAMMABLE placards, or he may display solely the DANGEROUS placard.
Useful as it is, there are some situations where the DANGEROUS placard cannot be used; these include the following:
- On bulk packagings of hazardous materials such as a portable tank or intermediate bulk container. Its use is reserved solely for a freight container, unit load device, transport vehicle, or rail car.
- For shipments of hazardous materials in a bulk packaging contained within a transport vehicle. For example: several portable tanks of two or more hazardous materials loaded into a tractor trailer.
- When the shipment contains only one hazardous material. The shipment must contain at least two – and may contain more – hazardous materials that require a placard per Table 2 before the DANGEROUS placard option can be utilized. There is no upper limit of HazMat placards that may be replaced by the DANGEROUS placard.
- When the hazardous material to be shipped is found on Table 1 of the Placarding Tables. The use of the DANGEROUS placard is to be used for shipments of two or more hazardous materials found in Table 2 only.
- Finally, when 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs) or more of one category of material is loaded at one loading facility.
In each of the above situations, where the DANGEROUS placard cannot be used, the appropriate Table 1 or Table 2 placard(s) must be used in its place.
Make certain that your HazMat Employees have been trained to know their Function Specific job responsibilities. Contact me for a free consultation or to schedule your attendance at a public training workshop or on-site training.