How Hazmat Freight Carriers Stay Safe

January 7, 2022

Transporting hazmat freight in Alaska is a serious business. Hazardous materials require great care, thoughtfulness, safety, and preparedness. Certified hazmat carriers like Carlile follow all federal and state guidelines and use industry best practices to transport hazardous materials safely and securely.

Why is Hazmat Safety So Important?

Protecting Alaskans from hazardous materials in transit requires much planning, training, and forethought. With hazmat carrier best practices to guide their work, certified hazmat freight providers like Carlile can ensure their loads stay safe while mitigating potential dangers.

What is a Hazardous Material?

The US government broadly defines any hazardous material as exactly what it sounds like: anything that could cause harm or damage to people or property. If an object or substance is potentially dangerous, it must be handled with special care and strict protocols.

The most common hazardous materials are:

  • Disinfectants
  • Petroleum products (oil, gas, etc.)
  • Acids
  • Glue
  • Pesticides
  • Heavy metals (like mercury and lead)

What Regulations Do Hazmat Freight Carriers Follow?

Because there are so many types of freight that fall under the category of “hazmat,” rather than enumerating each possible material and describing the methods Carlile and other carriers use to ship them, it’s worth the time to look at the regulations themselves. All shippers should follow these guidelines, and you can be assured that every driver and operator working for Carlile is trained and certified. No matter who you hire to move freight, either in Alaska or outside it, make sure they are certified, too.

What Are Some Basic Safety Procedures for Hazmat Freight?

Proper Signage

Most loose packaging should have hazard warnings attached to it. These color-coded and symbol-coded labels immediately warn of material hazards. Primary labels indicate the most dangerous properties of a material, while secondary labels indicate other less dangerous properties. Hazardous materials shipped by road also require placarding on all four sides of the container.

Knowledge of Hazard Zones

Transporters must also know the applicable hazard zones for the materials they carry. Hazard Zones are applied to certain hazardous materials to indicate the degree of danger that exposure to the materials might pose. For instance, there are four levels of hazard for gases and two levels of hazard for liquids–each level describes a different severity of the exposure.


Education, knowledge, judgment, and experience are the most important elements required to deal with accidents and/or incidents involving hazardous substances. All carriers of hazardous freight must know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency. Part of that is also knowledge of how to maintain the security of the shipment itself in potentially hazardous conditions like strong weather.

Flexible Routing

Shippers must not only transport the material but also carefully monitor their routes and practice proper safety at all times. Some hazardous materials are time-sensitive, so HAZMAT truckers sometimes must adjust their routes based on traffic and road conditions to make sure their goods get to their destination in time.

It’s important that everyone is educated about hazmat safety and take precautions when in contact with hazardous materials carriers. When hiring trucking companies for hazmat freight transport, it’s good to ask what hazmat carrier best practices and compliance regulations they follow.

The hazmat team at Carlile are certified experts when it comes to keeping freight safe while following all regulations and laws regarding hazardous materials. To learn more about our hazmat services, contact us today!