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Causes of Violations
In our penalty mitigation work we get to see a lot of hazmat fines and penalties and have identified the most likely causes of most hazmat enforcement actions.
A company doesn't normally ship hazmat but has to return a product to a vendor.
The trained employee called in sick.
An untrained person was driving the forklift, marking the package, or performing some other hazmat function for which they weren’t certified.
There were no trained employees at all.
The shipment is not regulated by ground, but is by air.
And it absolutely, positively had to get there quickly so in an effort to accommodate a customer a company ends of with a $50,000 fine.
The information from the manufacturer was just plain wrong.
(This happens more than you think). Many manufacturers are not familiar with any regulations other than ground shipping.
The MSDS was in error.
In our estimation, more than 10% of the MSDS we review are incorrect or incomplete when it comes to Section 14 – Transportation.
An employee was trained for a mode of transport other than the one used.
The regulations had changed and the company didn't know it.
Someone in the company was trained 5 years ago, and since then the regulations changed (if it’s lithium batteries that may happen every year!).