Verify Package Contents Prior to Shipping

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID


Topics:  Transportation and Packaging

A package was inadvertently shipped containing hazardous material that was not prepared or shipped in accordance with applicable Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Hazardous shipping paperwork was submitted late Thursday afternoon with the following Friday being a day off. Due to the pre-weekend work load, resources were not immediately available to process the hazardous shipment that day. The shipper had travel plans that weekend and prepared the package for shipment prior to leaving on travel. When the shipper did not receive confirmation of the package's shipment, they contacted a coworker for assistance. The coworker completed a non-hazardous shipping form for the box without verifying the box's contents. The coworker assumed the box contained nonhazardous items based on previous discussions with the shipper and was unaware that an item classified as "hazardous" by DOT was also part of the shipment. The package was shipped out under the non-hazardous shipping request instead of the original hazardous request.

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