Department of Transportation (DOT) Affirms Right to Maintain Emergency Restrictions on Violators

Last month it was announced that an emergency restriction order filed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration against a hazardous materials transporter, effectively shutting down its ability to do business, has been upheld following a challenge by appeal.

This emergency order stemmed from a cargo tank explosion that left one worker fatally injured, and another seriously injured. Following the explosion, a DOT investigation found that the condition of the hazardous material cargo tanks was not in compliance with mandated federal safety regulations. Consequently, the DOT issued an emergency restriction barring the company from transporting any hazardous material in its entire fleet of cargo tanks. The company filed a challenge to this restriction in September, but last month the DOT order was upheld.

This level of censure indicates that the DOT is serious about erring on the side of caution, and is willing to — at least in some cases — shut down violators on a massive scale. Obviously, this kind of penalty could be potentially ruinous for a business that regularly transports hazardous chemicals.

With the DOT flexing its regulatory muscles, it’s more important than ever for businesses to ensure they’re in compliance with all DOT-mandated safety regulations. MSDSonline’s suite of online trainings helps businesses do exactly that. Our trainings include a series of DOT-specific modules that provide powerful, expert-reviewed guidance on staying safe and compliant when transporting hazardous materials. Related courses include:

  • DOT Security Awareness. An overview of the DOT Security Requirements rule, including security risks related to hazmat transport, evaluating potential threats to security, the DHS warning system, and secure transport practices.
  • DOT Shippers Training. A training for shippers of hazardous materials on hazmat shipping paperwork, labeling, placarding, and how to use a hazardous materials table. It also gives a general understanding of what exactly constitutes “hazardous material.”
  • DOT Transporters. This training provides drivers and other personnel who transport hazardous materials an overview of the requirements they must follow under federal law, including how to distinguish between non-hazardous and hazardous regulated material, how to identify hazard classifications and divisions, emergency response procedures, and more.

This latest affirmation by the DOT of its right to level emergency restrictions against violators should be a wake up call for transporters of hazardous chemicals to get serious about compliance. Luckily, our workplace training solutions can help businesses work to satisfy all DOT-mandated compliance requirements.

For more information on MSDSonline’s comprehensive library of flexible eLearning courses — covering numerous federal and state regulations, including DOT regulations — visit the workplace training page on our website.

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