The University of Memphis

Shipping and Receiving of Hazardous Materials


Issued: November 10, 2015
Responsible Official: President
Responsible Office: Vice President for Business and Finance

Policy Statement

Policy Statement

University employees who are directly involved in shipping and receiving hazardous materials shall comply with requirements found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. All such employees shall be trained and certfied as prescribed in Title 49 prior to commencement of these activities.



The U.S. Department of Transportation has enacted regulations designed to protect the public from undue risks associated with transportation of hazardous materials.  The objective of this policy is to ensure that University employees who are directly involved in shipping and receiving hazardous materials are adequately trained to meet these requirements.


Hazardous Material

A substance or material that has been determined by the Secretary of Transportation to be capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce, and which has been so designated. The term includes hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, and elevated temperature materials as defined in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulatons, Part 171, Section 8 (49 CFR 171.8), materials designated as hazardous under the provision of 49 CFR 172.101, and materials that meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions in 49 CFR 173.


Shipping and Receiving of Hazardous Materials

Administrative officials, chairs, and directors of activities shall ensure that all employees under their supervision, including faculty, who are directly involved in shipping and receiving hazardous materials are be trained, certified, and periodically retrained in accordance with criteria in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  Except for those specifically excluded by regulations, employees who perform any of the following functions shall be included in this requirement:

  • Load, unload, or handle hazardous materials
  • Manufacture, test, recondition, repair, modify, mark, or otherwise represent containers, drums, or packing as qualified for use in the transportation of hazardous materials
  • Prepare hazardous materials for transportation
  • Ensure safety of transported hazardous materials
  • Operate a motor vehicle used to transport hazardous materials

Upon completion of training, including periodic retraining, documentation of such training shall be submitted to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S).  The Director of EH&S shall be responsible for maintaining training records submitted and shall, following review of said documentation for compliance with regulatory requirements, certify that the employee has been trained and tested in accordance with the above requirements.



I received the wrong chemical with a recent order. Can't I just put it back in the box and return it to the vendor?Returning a chemical received in error requires that the employee shipping the material be trained and certified.  For a one-time need to ship a hazardous material, call Environmental Health and Safety for assistance.

Where can I get a copy of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations?


Whom do I contact with further questions?

Director of Environmental Health and Safety, 216 Browning Hall, 678-4672

I have a chemical that I would like to ship quickly by air. Can't I just call FedEx and have it picked up?Shipping by air requires special skills, and the shipper assumes additional civil and criminal liability risks.  Many chemicals are forbidden from air transport.  In addition to DOT and FAA regulations, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has rules that must be followed.

 It is best to avoid shipping hazardous materials by air; however, a properly trained and certified employee can prepare the shipment for transport by air.  Call Environmental Health and Safety for guidance.


U.S. Department of Transportation


Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations


Revision Dates

 UM1296 -- Revised November 10, 2015
UM1296 - Issued: July 2, 2003

Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyResearchStudent Affairs
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