Every day of the week, all year, thousands of large trucks like 18 wheelers transport million pounds of materials across the country. They ensure that people get the mail, and fruits and vegetables reach grocery stores where so many people get food. Something else that they transport the dangerous cargo.
dangerous cargo is cargo of hazardous substances. A hazardous material is any item or agent (biological, chemical, physical) that has the possibility and probability of causing harm to humans, animals or the environment if not handled properly. It can do this on your own or through interaction with other factors.
There is an entire profession dedicated to the handling of hazardous materials properly. Hazardous materials specialists are responsible for and the ability to control these substances. This includes management and consulting other management of hazardous wastes throughout their life cycle. This leaves the process of planning and development of new products through the production, distribution, use, disposal, cleaning and improvements.
Hazardous substances are defined and regulated in the US by law. These rules are administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Each agency has its own definition of what hazardous materials.
OSHA has a definition of “hazardous substances” which includes any material or chemical that is “harmful” or “physical danger.” This includes chemicals that are carcinogens, toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers. It also includes drugs that act on the hematopoietic system and the materials that damage the lungs, skin, eyes or mucous membranes. Combustible, explosive, flammable, oxidizing agents, pyrophoric, unstable-reaction or water-reactive materials are all also included. Basically, OSHA has the broadest definition of hazardous as they are dealing with the safety of workers everywhere, rather than a specific field.
The Environmental Protection Agency has adopted the definition OSHA but added product or products that can damage people, plants or animals when it is out of spills, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, escaping, leaching, pumping, dumping, or disposing of the substance in the environment. List of hazards contains over 350 hazardous and very hazardous substances.
The Department of Transportation defines hazardous material as any object or material risk to public safety or to the environment when it is being transmitted or transferred. These items are controlled under the Hazardous Materials Regulations, International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, Commodities Rules International Air Transport Association, the technical guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the US Air Force Joint Manual Preparation of hazardous materials to military Air Shipping.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commision board items or materials that are “special nuclear source” or by-product materials or radioactive substances from the “special nuclear.”
For more information on the risk of dangerous goods transport, please visit http://www.truckaccident-lawyers.com .