Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

If HAZMAT is Shipped Without Proper Warnings

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Any shipper who offers hazardous materials for transport must provide properly filled-out shipping papers to accompany the shipment.

The shipping paper must show the proper name of the hazardous material.  It must also list a telephone number where there is a person available at all times to provide information about the health and safety hazards of the materials, and proper precautions to use in clean-up of any spill or leak.

In most cases, the shipper must also apply proper DOT HAZMAT labels to the packages.

This information is important for the protection of our members who handle hazardous materials, as well as the general public.

If you believe that a shipper has offered hazardous material without proper shipping papers or labels, you should report this to the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Write or call:

                                                             Special Investigations

                                                          RSPA/OHME, DHM-41

                                                  U.S. Department of Transportation

                                                              400 7th Street, S.W.

                                                          Washington, D.C.  20590

                                                            (202) 366-4700

In your complaint, note:

  • Shipper's name and address;
  • The nature of the HAZMAT, and what warnings were not provided; and
  • The date shipped, and the motor carrier.

This DOT office is required to investigate complaints by citizens, including union representatives.  To protect individual members from possible retaliation, complaints should be signed by Teamster Business Agents.

DOT does not automatically report back to the complaining party on the outcome of their investigations.  A copy of your complaint should be sent to:

                                                      Safety and Health Department

                                              International Brotherhood of Teamsters

                                                        25 Louisiana Avenue, N.W.

                                                          Washington, D.C.  20001

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