Hazmat in Researcher’s Suitcase Costs College $56,000

Posted on 3/11/2016 by Roger Marks

The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued a $56,000 civil penalty against a Wisconsin university for hazmat violations after the TSA found “highly flammable” research-grade alcohol and corrosive epoxy resin in a student researcher’s baggage at the airport.  

$56,000 is a steep price to pay for what seemed like a simple mistake. The graduate student, who was unaware the materials were regulated as hazmat, is said to have undergone more intensive hazmat training since the incident took place.

As this incident shows, being unaware of the existing hazmat standards is not an excuse for noncompliance. Effective hazmat training is critical to ensure your employees make smart, informed decisions about the hazardous chemicals and materials they work with every day. 

TSA finds undeclared hazmat

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that UW-Madison had been fined twice for similar hazmat incidents, in 2015 and 2016. In fact, only one incident occured. A change in the civil penalty amount for this incident led the author to believe a separate incident had occured, when in fact that was not the case.

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