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EHS - Box 1914
164 Angell Street
Providence, RI 02912
Office: (401) 863-3353
Fax: (401) 863-7676


The United States Department of Transportation’s Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, organizes programs for hazardous material safety in all modes of transportation including air, highway, rail and water. Information on RSPA can be accessed at:

Regulatory Applicability

Brown University is required by Federal Law to comply with various requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations including hazardous materials transportation.  If University faculty, staff or student’s duties at any time includes arranging or offering hazardous materials for transport by vehicle, consultation with EHS is required.  Appropriately trained EHS staff will determine what requirements must be met for hazardous material transport.

EHS has established a hazardous materials shipping procedure that summarizes the steps in the process.  In addition, EHS has developed a form to be submitted that will ensure that your materials are shipped safely and in compliance with all regulations.

Determining if a substance is a DOT Hazardous Material

The Department of Transportation has designated criteria in 49CFR, the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), for determining what is considered hazardous for transportation.  Definitions of hazardous material designations are included in 49CFR173 and the DOT Hazardous Materials Table 49CFR172.101 provides descriptions required for use during shipping.

  • Class 1 (Explosives)
  • Class 2 (Gasses)
  • Class 3 (Flammable liquids)
  • Class 4 (Flammable solids, Spontaneously combustibles, Water Reactives)
  • Class 5 (Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides)
  • Class 6 (Poisonous Material)
  • Class 7 (Radioactive Material)
  • Class 8 (Corrosive Materials)
  • Class 9 (Environmentally Hazardous Material)


Specific DOT training is required under 49CFR172.700 for personnel who perform any actions listed below regarding DOT hazardous materials. 

  • DOT hazardous material identification
  • Loads or unloads hazardous materials
  • Packages hazardous materials
  • Labels and marks packaging
  • Signs or prepares shipping papers
  • Placarding
  • Emergency response to hazardous material release
  • Operates a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials

Additional training is required under the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations for those offering hazardous materials for air transport.  Refer to the Research Sample Shipping Procedure for more information.


All shipping papers from hazardous materials shipped by the University are required to be kept on file for a minimum two years.

Contact Environmental Health and Safety Office for any questions.  863-3353.