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Employees may hand-carry small quantities of hazardous materials between adjacent buildings and in connecting spaces (i.e., hallways, stairs, etc.) within buildings, provided it can be done safely and without spilling the materials. Staff must use hand carts, drip trays, or another type of secondary container to contain any spills should they occur during self-transport.  

Hazardous materials hand-carried between non-adjacent buildings should be packaged to a higher level of integrity. As a best practice, package these substances following the General Requirements listed under the Self-Transport by Vehicle.

As with any work involving chemicals, staff must also have completed EHS0348, Chemical Hygiene & Safety Training or an equivalent course.

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Self-Transport by Vehicle

Staff are authorized to personally move (self-transport) small quantities of most hazardous materials in a vehicle provided simple controls are used to minimize the likelihood of spills. Use the flowchart below and follow the applicable restrictions and guidance.


Controls & Limits for Self-Transport of Chemicals by Vehicle

General Requirements
General requirements are designed to minimize the likelihood of spills and leaks and to communicate important hazard information to others. General requirements must be followed and include:

  1. Check to see if there is a viable alternative such as using Shipping resources.
  2. Modify your Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) to indicate that you self-transport small quantities of hazardous materials by vehicle.
    1. Simply add a sentence to your description of work until new JHA questions reflect this activity.
  3. Complete EHS0657, Self-Transporting Haz Mat.
    1. Currently under development and as of May 2013, this is a recommended course only.
  4. Complete EHS0348, Chemical Hygiene & Safety Training or an equivalent course.
  5. Package, mark and secure chemical containers as described below.
  6. Inform drivers/passengers of the hazardous materials being transported and the safety controls in place.
  7. Include a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet during transportation.
  8. As a best practice, print a copy of the LBNL “Materials of Trade” disclaimer and keep it with the hazardous material during transportation.

Packaging and Marking
Hazardous materials need to be packaged to protect it from damage and to contain leaks, and to communicate information to the public. To achieve these goals, packaging needs to include:

Primary receptacles that are:

  • Leak tight for liquids and sift proof for solids
  • Securely closed
  • Marked with the full, non-abbreviated common name of the hazardous materials (equivalent methods may be used for primary receptacles that are too small for this)

Outer packaging that is:

  • Packaged to secure the primary receptacles against shifting and protect it from damage
  • Equivalent in strength and integrity to the manufacturer’s original packaging
  • Marked with the full, non-abbreviated common name of the hazardous materials
    • As a best practice, staff should also label the receptacles with the owner and recipient’s name and number
  • In addition, sufficient (non-reactive) absorbent materials should be included in the outer packaging to absorb the entire contents of the primary receptacles should a spill occur

Outer packaging is not required if the primary receptacles are secured against shifting in cages, carts, bins, boxes or compartments.

Primary receptacle with Positive Closure and Label Secondary containment for spills and leaks Outer Packaging

Secondary containers should be used to help contain spills and leaks from the primary receptacles. When used, secondary containers need to be chemically compatible with the hazardous materials.

Staff need to use their best judgment on where to place the completed package within the vehicle. Ideally this will be in the bed of an open pickup truck provided the package can be adequately secured. In some cases however the optimal location will actually be inside the cab of the vehicle as it is easier to monitor the package, windows can be rolled down for ventilation, and there are “nooks” between the front and back seats that may be used to help secure and protect the package.

Self-transportation of any hazardous materials on the shuttle bus is prohibited.

Resources Available to Staff
Contact Shipping (x5084, x4388 or to review options for self-transporting larger quantities of hazardous materials. It is possible in some cases for staff to self-transport quantities above 0.5 kg or 0.5 L without additional training and controls. Shipping can help determine this. If it turns out that it is possible to self-transport larger quantities, follow the General Requirements documented above.

In any case, Shipping can help arrange for transportation of hazardous materials. This may be completed by Shipping (via Facilities Transportation) or in some cases by Waste Management. Shipping requires 72 hours advance notice. Waste Management will work with the staff to determine a timeline for the move which will depend on the scope of the request and Waste Management’s schedule.

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Ship by Common Carrier

Shipping requirements are different from self-transportation requirements. Some items like dry ice and lithium batteries that are not regulated for self-transportation in a vehicle are regulated when shipped in commerce.

Contact Shipping (x5084, x4388, or to arrange for shipment including pick-up and same day shipments. Please note that same day shipments must be at Shipping before 12:00 P.M. Shipments requiring next day delivery in the U.S. must be at Shipping on or before 2 P.M.

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Conduct Field Work

Self-transporting hazardous materials to or from the field follows the same requirements documented under Self-Transport by Vehicle.

Shipping to the field follows the normal shipping process. However, if hazardous materials must be shipped back from the field, contact Shipping (x5094, x4388, or as early as possible to plan for this activity. Depending on the specific activity, additional training and controls may be required.

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