Recognizing Technological Evolution while Maintaining Safety & Security
Explosives Regulations (ER) – Ports & Wharves
The Explosives Safety & Security Branch (ESSB) of Natural Resources Canada, and Transport Canada, have issued a Gazette I (CG I) proposal to amend their respective Explosives Regulations (ER, under the Explosives Act), and the Cargo Fumigation and Tackle Regulations (CFTR, under the Canada Shipping Act).
The initial reason for the proposed amendment is to remove reference to the express requirement to use quantity/distance principle (QDP) restrictions and ESSB Inspectors from the CFTR. A more modern approach of quantitative risk assessments (QRA), based on actual probable hazards following, methodology authorized by the ESSB (Chief Inspector of Explosives), would replace the more rigid QDP.
QDP, currently covered in CAN/BNQ 2910-510/2015, were established mainly for fixed manufacturing/storage facilities and specifically exclude transportation activities from the scope of the standard.
The proposal also provides for having qualified individuals, not just ESSB Inspectors, determine the risk following an approved QRA methodology. The requirements will appear in a new ER section 203.1 instead of the current CFTR section 155(2) & (3).
It is expected that international trade and commerce will be improved without sacrificing safety or security under this proposal.
Explosives – Other Amendments
The CG I amendment proposes to also include ER changes under the topics of:
- Eliminating or relaxing license requirements for certain “low risk” explosives (7 components);
- Clarification of wording (13 components); and
- Increasing Continue Reading…
IATA DGR PI 967 & PI 970 Confusion
The wording in recent, current and upcoming editions of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) has some potential to confuse the regulated community, especially regarding shipping lithium batteries.
Exemptions Restricted or Not?
The paragraph providing an exemption from the lithium battery mark (pka “Handling Label”) is found in the last sentence of the second paragraph in Section II “Additional Requirements”, for the packing instructions (PI) for both UN3091 and UN3481 “contained in…” lithium battery entries:
This requirement does not apply to:
- packages containing only button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards); XXX
- consignments of two packages or less where each package contains no more than four cells or two batteries installed in equipment.
The “XXX” is the key that led to this discussion.
2016 as the Baseline:
In the IATA DGR 57th (2016) Edition, both PI 967 and PI 970 (“contained in equipment”, ion and metal respectively), the “XXX” in each case read “or”.
In other words, whereas cells/batteries other than button cells were limited to 2 packages per consignment, the number of packages per consignment were not limited when there were only button cells (of course, the maximum net battery weight per package restrictions in Table II of each PI must also be met).
Looking Forward to 2017?
Things then look as though they’re changing when reading the Appendix H (Intended Changes for Continue Reading…
When Can I Use UN3363?
What does one do when there is device or piece of equipment (“apparatus” or “machinery”) that is not intended to consign dangerous goods or hazmat (DG) specifically, but requires a certain quantity as part of its function or as a residue from earlier use or testing?
Many consignors can take advantage of UN3363, Dangerous Goods in Machinery (or Dangerous Goods in Apparatus), Class 9 – with (depending on the mode) a potential relaxation of packaging, marking, and documentation requirements.
There are basic conditions that must be met, however, to use this entry. Restrictions on using this entry exist in special provisions (SP) or packaging requirements in national and modal regulations.
Function – Not “Deus EX Machina”
This term is derived from the classical theatre world- but could represent an effort to use a “loophole” or take advantage of an unintended provision – for a discussion of the term see:
The apparatus or machinery’s primary function cannot be to “deliver” the DG in question. That is the item must have a purpose other than solely to act as a container to get the DG to the destination; and it must not be intended that the DG is discharged from the item.
Exclusions – Wisdom Begins in Calling Things by Their Proper Name
… with apologies to Confucius
Any article which has an appropriate UN number/shipping name already assigned must be shipped Continue Reading…
Updates to Packaging Standards for Explosives & Drums
In keeping with the move to ambulatory references to quoted standards, Transport Canada has recently published notice that the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) is undertaking consultation on a review of the packaging standards for Class 1 (Explosives) and Reconditioning/Remanufacture/Repair of Drums used in dangerous goods (DG) transportation.
The current edition of the former, CGSB-43.151, is dated Oct., 2012 (with a Jan., 2013 corrigendum). The latter, CGSB-43.126, is dated Sep.2008 (reaffirmed Jan. 2013).
This represents the last of the five CGSB packaging standards cited in the s. 1.3.1 Safety Standards Table of the TDG regulation.
Interested parties have until Oct. 31/17 (explosives) and Nov. 15/17 (drums) to submit comments for consideration in the preliminary drafts of the updated standards.
The Notice, which contains links to the free access copies of these standards is available here:
Or: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, … “it means just what I choose it to mean …”
Lewis Carrol “Through the Looking Glass” in Bartleby’s “A Dictionary of Quotations”:
Health Canada provided an FAQ presentation at a recent CIC (Current Issues Committee) meeting that may provide a useful lead in to the more detailed Guidance document published in December 2016.
The latter, “Technical Guidance on the Requirements of the Hazardous Products Act & Hazardous Products Regulations – WHMIS 2015 Supplier Requirements”, provides (at 540 pages) a detailed review of the content of the law and various aspects of guidance/interpretation. This document is available for download at:
The length of the document may be daunting to the casual user, so the FAQ presentation attempts to present Health Canada’s position on items that are of current concern.
The CIC is a multi-representative committee that meets several times a year to review, as it’s name implies, issues that can be improved to increase the effectiveness of WHMIS in helping to protect workers. Currently there are representatives from various government levels (Federal/Provincial/Territorial), Health & Safety organizations (e.g. CCOHS), industry organizations (e.g. RDC, CIAC, etc.) and Labour (CLC, Unifor, etc.).
One of the current issues being addressed is to form sub-committees that may streamline the effectiveness of the committee in considering jurisdictional issues; in addition to establishing a working group to look at Continue Reading…
Changes in Special Provision 23
One aspect of the International Harmonization amendment (SOR/2017-137) of the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) that did not receive a lot of attention is the change in Special Provision 23. This special provision (SP) deals with the assignment of markings on containers and descriptions on shipping documents for entries related to goods which exhibit inhalation toxicity. Although the basic concept for classification remains the same- i.e. gases in Class 2.3 and Class 6.1 with associated inhalation toxicity. The majority of the latter are in PG I, but there are several PG II entries invoking SP23).
Marking – Keep It Simple?
A significant difference is the change in wording applied to means of containment (MoC). Following the transition period, markings required under SP23 must read “inhalation hazard” for all entries except UN 1005 (anhydrous ammonia). This eliminates the previous options of either “toxic by inhalation” or “toxic-inhalation hazard” (TBI or TIH).
UN1005 retains the previous wording “Anhydrous Ammonia, Inhalation Hazard” when the option of using the ammonia placard (rather than Class 2.3) is chosen. However small MoC of UN1005 will use the standard Class 2.3 label and “inhalation hazard” wording.
The new SP23 simplifies things somewhat by referencing the specific sections of Part 4 that apply- i.e. 4.18.2 for UN1005 and 4.23 for the rest. These sections include specifications for the height and Continue Reading…
News From the Provinces
Alberta Labour Announces Comprehensive OHS Review – Invites Comments by October 16
Taking Alberta workplaces a little closer to heaven:
The province of Alberta is inviting stakeholders to get involved in a comprehensive review of its occupational health and safety (OHS) system. Although there have been some amendments (e.g. to the OHS Act in 2012, with an update to the OHS Regulation in 2013), the system was established in 1976. The operating OHS Code, containing details (such as WHMIS requirements) has not been updated since 2009.
[Note: Alberta Labour has also posted an update to their WHMIS 2015 transition policy following the extension of Health Canada’s deadline to 2018 for suppliers:
In addition to general regulatory updates, the review will also look at improving the fundamental aspects of the system under the key themes of responsibility, worker engagement and prevention.
This topic will examine potential enhancements to the internal responsibility system that may include tools such as prescribed joint health and safety committees or other programs, and enforcement options.
Worker engagement is dependant on protected rights- i.e. the right to: know about hazards; freely participate in OHS decisions or to refuse unsafe work, without fear of reprisal. Education and training of workers can assist in promoting worker engagement.
The main focus of this theme in the review seems to be examining current programs to determine their effectiveness, as well Continue Reading…
It’s Here, It’s Here! Feast Your Eyes on TDG International Harmonization 2017
(with apologies to “Genie” – aka the late Jim Backus …)
As predicted in last week’s blog on adoption of 2016 editions of CGSB standards, and reviewed in the Canada Gazette I (CG I) blog referenced therein, today’s Canada Gazette II (CG II) formalizes a variety of changes to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR).
The amendment, despite the “International Harmonization” working title is officially referenced as SOR/2017-137 and essentially follows the CG I proposal reviewed in earlier blogs. However, as expected, there have been some changes.
See our earlier articles on the CG I proposal:
An observation on the contents of this amendment – it appears that a rumoured dropping of italicized “guidance” text has begun in SOR/2017-137. The TDGR have been somewhat unique in this approach, but the word is that it is not in keeping with justice department philosophy that guidance material should be separate from the mandatory regulatory text – e.g. in an FAQ or other separate guidance document. This amendment incorporates several instances into the regulatory text and removes several others. Fortunately, the very useful listing of UN numbers pertaining to SP are retained at the end of each SP.
By the Numbers – TDG Parts Amended
PART 1: Interpretations, General Provisions, Continue Reading…
IBC and Bio/Infectious Substances
Transport Canada (TC) published information on some significant changes to the latest editions of standards for design/manufacture/use of packaging for bio/infectious substances and Intermediate bulk containers (IBC); CGSB-43.125-2016 and CGSB-43.146-2016 respectively.
The notices are presumably to give advance warning of changes to ambulatory (“dynamic”) references as indicated in the CG (Canada Gazette) I “International Harmonization Amendment” to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) expected, according to usually reliable sources, to be formalized by publication in the July 12 edition of CGII.
See also the author’s earlier Blog on the CGI proposal »
These will replace the currently references, in TDGR Part 1.3.1, to the 2002 and 1999 editions respectively. TDGR 5.16 will also be amended as the information appears in the 2016 edition of CGSB-43.125.
Transport Canada qualifies their information, cautioning the regulated community to carefully read the standards themselves to ensure they are aware of all changes as some may not be covered in the TC summaries. Although not mentioned directly in this TC material, rumour (again the “usually reliable sources”) has it that there will be a 6-month transition to comply with new editions of revised standards that have ambulatory references in the July 12 amendment.
The summaries highlighting changes in the standards are available on the TC website:
Access to CGSB Standards
Fortunately (unlike other and earlier versions), the actual pdf of these standards Continue Reading…
Transport Canada, in what has become a series of proposed amendments, has issued a consultation White Paper on updates to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations (TDGR) Part 12 Air.
This part references the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions (TI) along with TDG-specific supplemental requirements and exemptions. Some ICAO references date back to 2002 and changes to the TI have made some TDG provisions redundant or in need of updating. Also, there are some clarifications proposed to better align with the Canadian Aviation Regulations under the Aeronautics Act.
In the interest of clarification, Transport Canada hopes to increase the “one window” approach, wherein material is incorporated into the Part 12 TDGR rather than simply referencing an external document. This self-contained approach will still have to consider that changes to external documents might make references a more practical approach in some areas. The objective is also to harmonize this proposal with the “dynamic” (aka “ambulatory”) approach taken with the TDG International Harmonization Amendment.
TP14850 Update Consultation – May 2017 Draft
The Clock is Ticking – 3 Recent TDG Proposals
TDG Update: Proposed Harmonization/
Geography Counts – Limited Access Exemptions
A potential improvement to Part 12 includes adding a definition of “Limited Access”. The proposed definition reads:
“a location to or from which the transport of dangerous goods by means other than by aircraft is not reasonably possible, for at least Continue Reading…