Poll Shows Hazmat Rules Would Challenge Einstein

CHICAGO — Is complying with the multitude of regulations for the transport of hazardous materials – also known as dangerous goods (DG) – truly a challenge? Is it one so great that even Albert Einstein would have had problems figuring out some of the rules?

Yes, according to a non-scientific poll of U.S. shipping executives recently surveyed by Labelmaster, a provider of hazardous material transport compliance products. 

More than half of the 136 executives polled – 56 percent – said the brainy Einstein would have difficulties figuring out section 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, one of the government’s primary reference books that cover rules, requirements and standards for U.S. hazmat transportation via highway, rail, air and water.

The survey also revealed a majority – 59 percent – find it challenging to keep up with the ever-changing dangerous goods regulations.

“Between the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense, there are literally thousands of regulations governing the shipment of dangerous goods,” said Robert Finn, vice president of marketing with Labelmaster. “And, these complex regulations constantly change.”

When asked to name the challenging aspect of meeting dangerous goods transport regulations, there were several responses by those surveyed.

The number one answer was “the regulations change all the time,” cited by 18 percent. The fact that “regulations are different when using different transportation modes” ranked second at 15 percent, followed by “the regulations are confusing – everyone has a different interpretation,” cited by 14 percent.

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