Posts Tagged ‘hazmat shipping’

7 Safety Pitfalls in Your Parts Department

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

How would your Parts Department fare today, if you received a safety inspection? Our engineers have found 7 common areas where things go wrong. Some are pretty easy to spot, but some are less obvious. Let’s take a look at a few:

1) Unsafe storage on shelves 
If you have sprinkler heads in your Parts Department, make sure items stored on the top shelf don’t obstruct the sprinkler heads. If you don’t have sprinkler heads, keep two feet of clearance between the roof and the top shelf of your storage.

2) Electrical panels
Make sure you have at least three feet of clearance around all sides of your electrical panels. You may want to use caution tape, or something similar, to mark the area that must stay clear.

3) Batteries
Do you have used or warranty batteries stored in the Parts Department? Most dealers do. Make sure that they are in containers that eliminate battery acid spill on the ground. It’s also best to have baking soda on hand to make sure that any acid spills can be quickly neutralized.

4) DOT hazardous materials training
DOT training is required and due every three years. This applies to your Parts Department if they ship any kind of hazardous materials like seat belt pretensioners or air bag modules.

Want to guess what the other 3 pitfalls are?… There are also numerous hazards related to light bulbs, upstairs storage areas and forklifts.

To get more information on all these safety pitfalls, watch KPA’s 3 minute video.

A Note About Hazmat and FAA

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Recently, we received this note from one of our clients. I’d like to thank them for the kind words, and share it with our online community because it has some helpful information about Hazmat shipping by air.

“Just a note to let you know, we had a visit from an FAA hazardous materials agent today. We shipped a used fuel pump back to Honda on the 11th per their request. We shipped it air per the Airbill info that Honda supplied. He said that they check all air shipments of Hazmat materials and needed copies of my training certification and asked a few questions, he had copies of the Airbill. Said he checks Fedex daily for all Hazmat airbills. He also said we should call the emergency response number that we are listing to make sure that it is valid and current, and that we are covered under their contract. I let him know that we use KPA for our training; he said they are the best. I asked and he said everything was okay, left a Hazmat transportation safety infopack. Also said they are focused on air shipments and not ground shipping, and was surprised that Honda did not ship the part by ground. He pretty much told me that I should refuse to ship by air.”

Who Needs DOT HazMat Training? It’s More Employees Than You’d Think!

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Under the DOT regulations (Title 49 Part 172.702) any employee defined as a hazmat employee is required to be trained.  So you ask what is a hazmat employee? The definition is found in (Title 49 Part 171.8) and includes employees that:
• Load, unload, or handle hazardous materials
• Prepare, package, label or mark hazardous materials
• Operate a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials

Now of course not all employees at your facility need to be DOT trained, but depending on who is responsible for different operations you may have to train more employees than you would like. So for an automotive service facility employees that need to be trained include:
• Parts management – they oversee the transportation of hazmat
• Parts shipping & receiving – they load & unload hazmat & might even prepare shipping papers

Additional employees that may need to be trained include:
• Parts drivers – they may transport hazmat
• Service employees – they may prepare & package hazmat (take for example a battery being returned to the manufacturer. The service employee prepares the battery for shipment and may even place it in the shipping container
• Service management – they may oversee hazmat employee operations and may sign for hazmat shipments with the disposal of their facilities wastes.

Learn more about KPA’s  hazmat training at

Join the conversation:   How are you providing required training in your dealership.

How To Ship Recalled Airbags

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Airbags contain hazardous materials. Requirements for commercial shipping of these materials vary depending on if your parts department will ship the airbags by ground or air.

Ground Shipments

  • Dealerships are required to provide DOT hazardous materials training for any employees involved with the activity of shipping airbags (or other DOT Hazardous materials such as batteries, lubricants, cleaners, additives, paint, etc.,)

Air Shipments

  • Shipping Hazardous Materials by air is inherently much more dangerous than ground transportation and involves more training, preparation and precautions.
  • Domestic shipments of hazardous materials require training that has an air shipment section that is DOT compliant as well as satisfying carrier specific requirements.
  • For international shipments air carriers are only able to accept hazardous materials packaged in conformance with the International Air Transport Association’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR).
  • To meet IATA DGR standards, any employees involved with the activity of shipping hazardous materials are required to maintain current IATA certification which takes at least 3 days of training to complete.

KPA recommends that all clients should review DOT certified employee status:

  • make sure that you have an adequate number of employees certified to cover all shifts where shipping and receiving activities occur, and that only certified employees engage in these activities;
  • ensure that all certifications remain current – certification is valid for 3 years, at which time employees must be recertified.
  • weigh the FAA audit risk and additional certification time and cost vs. the time savings in air shipment of hazmat.
  • Watch this 2 minute video “Air Shipping Protocols Auto Dealers Need To Know” also available at


Clients with additional questions on DOT hazmat certification, FAA investigations, and IATA certification are encouraged to contact their KPA engineer.

GM Temporarily Suspends DOT Hazardous Material Shipping

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

We learned from our GM dealer clients that they received notifications to temporarily suspend all Hazardous Materials shipments from GM dealers on Thursday, September 2, 2010. The communication also outlined the steps that GM dealers have to take to lift the shipment suspension. In order to be allowed to ship hazmat again, all GM dealers will have to declare completed HAZMAT Certification Training for all hazmat employees by Friday, September 17, 2010.

The regulations that apply to GM’s DOT training requirements are 49 CFR §172.704 “Training requirements”, and 172.702(a) “Applicability and responsibility for training and testing”. The requirements include general awareness/familiarization training, function-specific training, safety training, emergency response, measures to protect employees from exposure to hazardous materials, procedures for handling hazardous materials, in-depth security training, as well as OSHA, EPA, and initial and recurrent training.

Other requirements are items such as recordkeeping of hazmat employees’ training, compliance, and certification that the hazmat employee has been trained and tested.

If you’re concerned whether or not your dealership is meeting these requirements, KPA can help – please call us at (866) 356-1735. Contact us for more information about DOT hazmat training.

New DOT HazMat Rule Goes into Effect October 1

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Rule Summary

Starting on October 1, 2010 the Department of Transportation will begin enforcing a revised Hazardous Materials transportation rule. This rule amends the Hazardous Materials Regulations to clarify requirements for using a third-party 24 hour emergency number. In order for the emergency response operator to be able to link the materials you are shipping to your MSDSs and other emergency response information, the DOT is requiring that identifying information for your facility is listed on the shipping papers.

What you need to do

For most facilities, compliance with the new rule will be fairly straight forward. KPA recommends you take both of the steps below to ensure your materials are easily identified in case of an accident. However, to be in compliance you should ensure at least one of the following is listed in close proximity to the 24 hour emergency number:

  1. Your facility name is clearly identified on the shipping papers.
  2. Your 24 hour emergency number provider account number is printed on the shipping papers.

For example, to ensure the highest level of compliance, if your facility name is not listed elsewhere, you should list the following in the description section of the shipping paper:

Your Facility Name, 24 hour number, Acct#

If you have additional questions on this regulatory change or DOT hazmat regulations in general, talk with your current DOT hazmat provider to understand the upcoming changes in regulation.

For additional information, here is an electronic version of the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook.

By Peter Zaidel and Wendy Hudson

Who needs DOT training?

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Sounds like a simple question and you would expect a simple answer, doesn’t it? Yet, the reality is that many employees and employers alike don’t know the answer. Or worse, because they cannot readily find the answer, they assume they don’t need it. Unfortunately, in many cases they are required by DOT to have training.

Let’s review a few definitions and requirements.

Question: what defines a “hazmat employee”?

Answer: a hazmat employee is a person who is employed by a hazmat employer and who in the course of employment directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety. This term includes an individual, including a self-employed individual, employed by a hazmat employer who, in the course of employment: (1) Loads, unloads, or handles hazardous materials; (2) Manufactures, tests, reconditions, or repairs, modifies, marks, or otherwise represents containers, drums, or packages as qualified for use in the transportation of hazardous materials; (3) Prepares hazardous materials for transportation; (4) Is responsible for safety of transporting hazardous materials; or (5) Operates a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials.

Question: who needs DOT hazmat training?

Answer: all hazmat employees require training including the following: (1) General awareness/familiarization training, and (2) Function-specific training.

Question: when and how often do I need training?

Answer: Initial training by a new hazmat employee, or a hazmat employee who changes job functions must be completed within 90 days after employment or a change in job function. Recurring training is required at least once every three years.

Check out the DOT regulations for the 49 CFR, Part 172, Subpart H regulations or the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a less formal and more readable explanation.