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: Nils Gibson

Biological: Tara Schell


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.

Biosafety 205 consists of multiple 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 Training Path (No renewal requirement)
  3. Toxins Extracted from Living Sources (Biological Toxins) Training Path (2-year renewal requirement)
  4. Dangerous Goods Training Path group (2-year renewal requirement)
    • GMO/GMMO Shipping Path
    • Biological Substance, Category B Shipping Path
    • Infectious Substance Category A Shipping Path
    • Dry Ice Shipping Training Path

Category A Training Update 2023 – Workshop Addition for new and renewal trainings

  • A Category A Workshop is now required in addition to the Category A training path & quiz completion
  • All Workshop information, session dates, & sign-up info located in the Biosafety 205 Category A Training Path
    • Workshops offered twice monthly at 21 N. Park St
    • Wo
  • This update is to comply with IATA DGR training proficiency standards as of 01/01/2023
  • Workshop not required for Category A trainings completed prior to 2023; renew at your scheduled 2-year renewal as shown on your certificate. You will complete a workshop at that time
  • Need to schedule a large group workshop? Contact the Biosafety Trainer
  • Did the Category A Training Path not answer your questions? Contact the Biosafety Trainer biosafety@fpm.wisc.edu

Biological Toxins Shipping Training (toxins extracted from living sources)

  • This shipping training requires viewing of the online regulations training path and a consultation with a shipping trainer for specific packaging information for the specific material you need to ship.
  • Contact the Biosafety shipping trainer for additional information biosafety@fpm.wisc.edu

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

Biosafety does 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/ Dangerous Goods 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

Campus Transport of Biologicals

Transportation of Hazardous Materials by Vehicle (on or off campus)

The movement of hazardous materials on public roadways is regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT).  UW-Madison employees specifically operate under 49 CFR 171.1 (d), to comply with DOT hazardous materials regulations as a governmental entity.

The Materials of Trade exceptions (MoT), 49 CFR 173.6, allows for the safe transportation of small amounts of hazardous materials for business or campus related activities without burdening the transporter with transportation documents or vehicle placarding.

A hazardous material is defined as a substance capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety, or property when transported, as outlined in 49 CFR 172.1.

University Requirements

In order to transport hazardous materials, an employee must 1) be paid by the university and 2) be acting within the scope of their employment. In order for a student, undergraduate or graduate, to be covered they would have to be clearly acting within the scope of their paid duties. Volunteer students would not be employees.

  • Only university vehicles (i.e., not personal vehicles) can be used for the transportation of hazardous materials.
    • Per Risk Management: It is a requirement that all authorized drivers complete a Vehicle Use Authorization and be approved to drive by the Office of Risk Management before driving any University/State-owned vehicle or any other vehicle on official University business.
  • The employees involved in moving the hazardous materials should be trained and familiar with its hazards and basic handling properties.
  • Before moving the material, one should plan for an emergency release which will likely require, at a minimum, a compatible spill kit.
  • Appropriate containment must be used
    • Secondary containment must be used for all materials where there is a potential for a spill.
    • Containers must be securely closed, protected against shifting during transportation, and protected against damage.
  • Safety data sheets must be readily available for all materials.

It is also important to note that 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.

If you cannot meet the above guidelines to safely move hazardous materials, contact EH&S. EH&S can assist with packaging, documentation, training, and in some cases may be able to transport the chemicals.

Cryogenic liquids and dry ice

Cryogenic liquids in non-pressurized Dewar flasks or tanks are not subject to DOT regulations. The container must be clearly labeled with its contents, e.g. “liquid nitrogen”.

Dry Ice, when transported over the roadway, is not subject to the regulations; however, the container must be designed and constructed to permit the release of carbon dioxide gas in order to prevent a buildup of pressure that could rupture. Also, the package must be marked “Carbon dioxide, solid” or “Dry ice”.

In both cases, non-passenger compartments should be used whenever possible. If dry ice or cryogenic liquids must be put in a passenger compartment, windows must be opened to allow for adequate ventilation.  Failure to allow for adequate ventilation can rapidly lead to an oxygen deficient atmosphere with the potential for catastrophic results. For further considerations see our Cryogen Safety Training.