The Safest Way to Transport Hazardous Materials


The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a report that revealed there are more than 800,000 shipments of hazardous materials made every single day. Fortunately, accidents involving these shipments are relatively rare, but the risk of incidents still exists. To account for this risk, carriers must invest in a transportation insurance program policy and continuously develop strategies to improve safety. Cochrane offers the best solution for any risks your client may endure. Likewise, we help overcome the various risks faced by the transportation industry. 

Hazardous Materials and Safety Protocols

The following are some of the best methods for safely transporting hazardous materials.

Provide Clients With a Transportation Insurance Program

Brokers who serve clients in the hazardous material industry can be valuable for creating a transportation risk management plan. Although transportation professionals are the experts in managing hazardous materials, insurers are familiar with the breadth of liabilities that this line of work can incur. Cochrane supports insurers by collaborating on risk management plans for the hazardous material transportation industry.

Ensure Carriers Are Using the Right Type of Container

A common mistake that some make when transferring hazardous material transport is using the wrong kind of container. It can lead to incidents that result in a transportation insurance program claim. Suitable materials for containers include polyethylene, plastic-lined metal, and in some cases, steel. In all cases, the material should be wholly noncorrosive and securely sealed. The container must also feature a noncorrosive lid that prevents leaks. Ultimately, if a container has any visible defects, such as rust or dents, it is unsuitable for transport.

Classify and Label Materials According to DOT

In addition to storing materials safely in the correct container, carriers must carefully label the materials in each receptacle. It is essential because accurate labeling can reduce the risk of accidental exposure, prevent leaks, and maintain low transportation insurance program rates. Most importantly, the label on a container will communicate its risks so that handlers may exercise appropriate caution. Carriers should follow the Department of Transportation’s guidelines for labeling these materials.

Document All Hazardous Materials in a Shipment

No industry can be free from errors, and mistakes happen when transporting hazardous materials. To prevent these mistakes and enable fast action when they occur, carriers must carefully document all hazardous materials within a shipment. The most important documents for this purpose include Hazmat shipping forms, transportation insurance program documents, and a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest. The latter is mandatory per the DOT and the Environmental Protection Agency if a carrier is shipping hazardous waste.

Customize a Transportation Insurance Program for Your Clients

Insurance carriers must know the liabilities frequently emerging for their clients in the hazardous materials sector. Transportation is dangerous because materials are vulnerable to mishandling. You can help your clients address these risks by acting as a transportation risk specialist and connecting your clients with Cochrane for premium coverage options.

Our commercial transportation team can help you devise a solution for your problem and provide your clients with a plan that works. A transportation insurance program, in conjunction with an effective risk management plan, can shield your clients from the liabilities of their industry.

Cochrane & Company

For more than six decades, Cochrane & Company has been proudly at the forefront of the insurance industry. Our experience has enabled us to innovate in powerful ways, reimagining the E&S market, and providing technology solutions that make it easy to do business with us. Licensed in all 50 states, we proudly serve clients across the nation, providing personalized and powerful solutions to help you become an even better partner for your clients. Speak to one of our experienced professionals today by calling (855) 967-0069.


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