Hazmat Shipping and Transportation

In order to protect the public at large, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the shipping and transportation of hazardous materials on roadways and airways. Failure to comply with the latest regulations can result in rejected shipments and civil penalties nearing $80,000 per day, per violation. If you are involved in the packaging, shipping, or handling of hazardous materials, you need to be trained and certified.


Chemical shipments: Nils Gibson, nils.gibson@wisc.edu, 608-225-9257

Biological shipments: Tara Schnell, biosafety@fpm.wisc.edu

Radiation shipments: radiationsafety@wisc.edu

Shipping by Hazards

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Chemical Shipping & Training

Shipping Hazardous Chemicals

UW employees that load, unload, prepare, or ship hazardous chemicals are subject as “hazmat employees” to DOT regulations and must receive training every 3 years. This training must be function specific depending on the employee’s role in affecting the transportation of the hazardous chemical. In addition, workers shipping materials for air transport must receive IATA training every 2 years.

All employees that perform shipping must be trained on how to identify, mark/label and package hazardous chemicals as well as security and emergency response information.

The Office of Chemical Safety provides training and consultation for shipping hazardous chemicals. Topics covered include proper classification, packaging, shipping, and documentation.

Contact Nils Gibson for training: Nils.Gibson@wisc.edu

Biological HazMat Shipping & Training

Initial and Renewal Training for Bio HazMat Shipping Training

Biosafety 205 available on Learn@UW Canvas is used for initial training and renewal training for shipment of biological materials and dry ice for campus users.

We no longer offer a separate course for Recertification Training (Biosafety 207), this has been incorporated into Biosafety 205

Due to COVID-19 campus adjustments, we are not offering an in-person Packaging Workshop (Biosafety 206).  The packaging information is now incorporated into the Biosafety 205 course.

Biosafety 205 consists of 6 Training Paths for transport/shipment of different material classifications.  Each Training Path has a separate quiz, certificate and renewal period.

  1. Campus Transport of Biologicals and Dry Ice Path (No renewal requirement)
  2. Exempt & Unregulated Biological Shipping Path (No renewal requirement)
  3. Dangerous Goods Training Paths (2 year renewal requirement)
    • GMO/GMMO Shipping Path
    • Biological Substance, Category B Shipping Path
    • Infectious Substance Category A Shipping Path
    • Dry Ice Shipping Path

Certificate = Printout of your quiz score/results page for that training path.

  • You must pass the quiz for the certificate to be valid
  • Each quiz results page is formatted to be used as a training certificate for your records, containing: your name, date completed, quiz score, description of training and regulation references
  • We will no longer send separate certificates by email

We do not send reminders to renew shipping training.  This training is not tracked in BioARROW.  Please refer to the specific training path for renewal period information



Certification of a HazMat employee is granted by the employer not the training entity.
The certificate issued by EH&S’s Office of Biological Safety (OBS) certifies completion of compliant training on a specific date by the employee; your individual employer (e.g. department, group, laboratory, manager, PI, etc.) may accept this training as adequate for your designation as a certified hazmat employee. Each Hazmat employer is responsible for compliance with the requirements of DOT regulation 49CFR Part172.700 regardless of whether the training required by these regulations has been completed.

Any Hazardous Materials Shipping Training program (here at OBS or through an external agency) provides compliant materials and information which are adequate for hazmat shipping certification. The training program will issue documentation to confirm training has been completed; this documentation must be supported by your employer’s consent that you are a certified hazmat shipping employee.

HazMat Shipping training is available from many sources outside the UW–Madison.
Federal law requires training in the regulations so your employer can certify you to ship hazmat. You and your employing department or laboratory group may choose training outside of UW. For more information, go to the US DOT HazMat Transportation Regulations webpage


Radiation Shipping & Training


DOT Shipper’s training is offered on an as-needed basis to those who will need to ship radioactive materials. Most such shipping is completed by ORS staff, however there are a few groups outside of ORS who require this training. If you think you need this training, please contact radiationsafety@wisc.edu.

Format: In-person course. You will be instructed how to access the quiz during the course. A score of 80% is required to pass

On-Campus Movement of Hazardous Materials

For transportation of Biologicals on campus or in a campus vehicle:

Biological Materials Transport on UW Campus Guidance(PDF)

For training and additional campus transport guidance please complete the “Campus Transport of Biologicals & Dry Ice Training Path” in the Biosafety 205 course https://canvas.wisc.edu/enroll/AJPKFR

For transportation of Chemicals on campus or in a campus vehicle:

Under the current regulations, UW-Madison is considered a government agency; therefore university employees transporting hazardous materials are not technically placing the materials “in commerce.” As a result, university employees transporting hazardous materials between campus buildings on public roadways are exempt from the DOT Hazardous Material Regulations (i.e. the normal packaging, labeling, placarding, and documentation do not apply). However, individuals who move hazardous chemicals on campus are still subject to the following university requirements:

  • The employees involved in moving the hazardous materials should be trained and familiar with its hazards and basic handling properties.
  • Before moving the material, an emergency plan and spill kit must be available in case of an accident or environmental discharge.
  • Secondary containment of hazardous materials must be used for all materials where there is a potential for a spill.
  • Only university vehicles (i.e., not personal vehicles) can be used for the transportation of hazardous materials.
  • Items of a dangerous nature are not allowed on any Madison Metro bus. These could include but are not limited to: flammable liquids; dangerous, toxic or poisonous substances; storage batteries; vessels containing caustic materials, chemicals, acids or alkalis.

See the EH&S Chemical Safety website for additional guidance on transportation of chemicals between campus buildings. Arrangements can be made with the Chemical Safety Office for transportation of large quantities of chemicals between buildings. Hazardous waste is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 40 CFR 260-265. The transportation of waste requires special marking, training, and documentation. Hazardous waste can only be transported by UW EH&S employees and approved contractors.