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 – To receive a Bio HazMat Shipping training certificate for the first time through our training program:

  1. Complete Biosafety 205 online course through Learn@UW
    • Go to our training pages and select Biosafety 205 to find registration information
  2. After completing Biosafety 205, you will find information regarding how to register for a Biosafety 206 Workshop session. Complete the Biosafety 206 Workshop and you will be sent a certificate of training.
  3. The training is valid for 2 years. If you renew your training before the 2-year expiration, you need only complete the Biosafety 207 Renewal course and do not need to attend another workshop session (see below).

RENEWAL – If you hold a current shipping training certificate (2 years since your last shipping training) through the Office of Biological Safety and would like to renew:

  1. Complete Biosafety 207 online course through Learn@UW
    • Go to our training pages and select Biosafety 207 to find registration information
  2. If your training has expired by more than 3 months, please contact the shipping trainer to discuss if your renewal requires a Biosafety 206 workshop session in addition to the online Biosafety 207 course.
  3. If you have been previously certified for hazardous materials shipping through another agency and you want to renew certification through EH&S, you will be asked to complete the Initial training steps above.
  4. We offer concentrated infectious & biological hazardous materials shipping training as a service to UW employees, staff, faculty and students.

After completion of the training, individuals will receive a Bio HazMat Shipping Certificate of Training which is valid for 2 years. These individuals are eligible to be certified by their employers to ship these substances* in compliance with the DOT and IATA training requirements. Training Certificates will be sent via a PDF email attachment within 10 days of completion of required training elements. Date of the Certificate will reflect the date training is completed, not date the email is issued.


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:

Transport of Biologicals on Campus or in Campus Vehicle (PDF)

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.