The Dangers of Hazardous Materials & The Trucking Industry

The Dangers of Hazardous Materials & The Trucking Industry

Tractor trailers often cause harsh damage and injuries when they crash. Depending on what the semi-truck is hauling, the damage can be drastically increased. The federal government has produced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations which is a set of laws that govern the trucking industry. The Regulations cover many topics, from hours of service to hazardous materials. Commercial motor vehicles (tractor trailers) carrying hazardous materials (hazmat) must carefully follow the Regulations to curtail increased damages from truck accidents involving hazardous materials.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, by the Regulations it has produced, detail different classes of hazardous materials. The classes range from explosives and gases to radioactive material. The FMCSA mandates certain practices for both shippers and carriers of hazardous materials. The following are some of the practices:

Hazardous Material Shipper Responsibilities:

* Determine whether a material meets the definition of a “hazardous material”;

* proper shipping name

* Class/ division;

* danger warning label;

* Packaging;

* Marking;

* Employee training;

* Shipping papers;

* Emergency response telephone number;

* Certification;

* Compatibility;

* Security plan; and

* Incident reporting.

Hazardous Materials Carrier Responsibility:

* Shipping paper;

* Placard and mark means;

* Loading and unloading;

* Compatibility;

* Blocking and bracing;

* Incident reporting;

* Security plan; and

* Employee training.

A recent Missouri truck accident case involved an accident with a liquid spill. Although the liquid that spilled was not a flammable or radioactive material, the spill nevertheless produced certain problems. The spill released 5,200 gallons of liquid asphalt. This was one of about 1,600 spill incidents reported to the Environmental Emergency Response department every year, some of which create fires and cause deaths and injuries.

When a tractor trailer accident occurs, it is necessary to contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible, especially if a spill was involved. When products leak or spill during an accident, it could be a sign of a Federal Regulation violation. When the Regulations are violated, trucking company liability is often proven; meaning the trucking company will likely be held responsible for the resulting damages.

In the event of a tractor trailer accident, obtaining a personal injury lawyer skilled in this niche area is one of the most advantageous thing you can do. Experience is meaningful when dealing with legal processes and an attorney with the know-how will be able to navigate a tractor trailer crash lawsuit with precise accuracy.

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