Policy Steward: Director of Environmental Health and Safety


  • Purpose
  • References
  • Definitions
  • Policy
  • Responsibilities
  • Procedures
  • Further Information
  • Cross References
  • Attachment A - Determining When A Material Is Hazardous


    This policy provides proper procedures for the packaging, labeling, documentation, shipping, and transportation of dangerous goods or hazardous materials by faculty, staff, and students who transfer such materials from one location to another via University vehicles, the United States Postal Service, Fed Ex, United Parcel Service, Trucking Company, etc. This applies to all Penn State locations except the Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine. This policy does not address the handling of hazardous waste or radioactive materials as specified under policies SY20 and SY14, respectively.

    Hazardous materials for shipping may be generated by a variety of activities such as teaching, testing and research laboratories, maintenance, housekeeping and agricultural operations. These materials may cause severe illness or death or pose substantial environmental threat when improperly transported or shipped. .


    The University is required by regulation to ensure the proper handling, packaging, labeling and documentation of hazardous materials prior to shipment.

    United States Department of Transportation (DOT) 49 CFR 105-180

    U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

    U.S. Customs & Border Protection  15 CFR 30

    International Air Transportation Association (IATA), Dangerous Goods Regulations http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Pages/index.aspx

    International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. (Doc 9284) http://www.icao.int/safety/DangerousGoods/Pages/technical-instructions.aspx


    Hazardous Materials (HM) - Any substance or material that has been determined to pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported in trade, traffic or ground transportation within the United States.

    Dangerous Goods (DG) - Any substance or material that has been determined to pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported internationally or via air cargo. Examples as listed in 49 CFR are provided in Attachment A.

    HM/DG Shipping - The shipping of dangerous goods covered by this policy can be defined as any staff, faculty, student or agent of the University that offers a hazardous material for shipment via carrier such as, but not limited to, United States Postal Service (USPS), Fed Ex, United Parcel Service, Trucking Company, etc. or transportation by staff, faculty, student, or agents of the University in University or personal vehicles. The regulation applies to both domestic and international shipments regardless of mode of transportation, be it by land, air or sea.

    Activities that meet the definition of shipping hazardous materials are,

    Note: It is prohibited to carry an item with you when you travel, for example on an airplane, PSU shuttle, bus, etc.


    All PSU faculty, staff, and students shall comply with the established hazardous material shipping procedures outlined within this policy when shipping or transporting hazardous materials.

    All international shipments of hazardous materials shall be routed to the University Export Compliance Officer (export@psu.edu) for review and approval prior to submission of a request for shipment through EHS. Any questions regarding the applicability of U.S. Export Control requirements should be directed to the University Export Compliance Officer.



    For shipments of hazardous materials at non-UP locations, call EHS (814)865-6391.

    For shipments of hazardous materials at University Park campus:

    1. Review and comply with Hazardous Materials Shipping Guidelines ,
    2. Provide detailed, accurate information to assist EHS on the proper classification of the material in addition to making arrangements for times and locations to meet with EHS personnel,
    3. Fill out a Shipper's Certification Form,
    4. Establish an account with the shipping carrier that they will be using.

    The spill or discharge of any hazardous material must be reported to EHS immediately. In the event of an emergency, call 911.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.


    Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

    AD89 – University Export Compliance Policy

    RA18 - Compliance with Federal Export Regulations

    SY01 - Environmental Health and Safety Policy

    SY04 - Employee Accidents - Reporting and Investigation

    SY14 - Use of Radioactive Materials

    SY20 - Hazardous Waste Disposal

    SY24 - Use of Biohazardous Materials in Research and Instruction

    Effective Date: May 3, 2006
    Date Approved: May 2, 2006
    Date Published: May 2, 2006 (Editorial changes, August 7, 2015)

    Most recent changes:

    Revision History (and effective dates):

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