ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: June 11

Segregating Flammable Gas and Explosives, WHMIS/OSHA labeling, Lithium Batteries, Orientation marks, and Net vs Gross

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

WHMIS/OSHA labeling

Q. Is a WHMIS 2015 compliant label going to be compliant within OSHA HazCom2012?
A. Maybe. While both the Canadian and US version of the GHS are very similar there are some differences in phrases used in regards to precautionary phrases. Also, WHMIS 2015 has the additional possibility of classifying something as a biohazard that is not found in the US standard. The best course of action would be for ICC to review your label for compliance within the 2 regulations.

Segregating Flammable Gas and Explosives (TDG)

Q. Is it okay to ship a class 2.1 dangerous good with a class 1.4 explosive in the same box shipping ground in Canada?
A. While the TDG and TP14850 do not have a segregation table, TP14850 12.89 states that Dangerous goods must not be offered for transport together with other dangerous goods or non-dangerous goods in the same container or overpack if the combining of those goods could:

  1. result in an evolution of heat or gas, or produce a corrosive effect or the formation of unstable substances that could endanger the integrity of the package or overpack; or
  2. cause a Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: June 4

Variation packaging cushioning material, excepted quantity packaging, UN packaging testing, distributor deadlines for WHMIS 2015, Mexico GHS, and compatibility

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Variation Packaging (4GV) Cushioning Material

Q. Can I substitute a different cushioning material in a variation box?
A. In general: “No.” When a UN-standardized package is specified. The various regulations (49 CFR, IATA DGR, IMDG Code, and TDGR), or the standards referenced within them, restrict the user to assembling the package according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These instructions are based on the components used in the submitted test/design reports on which the approval is based. 49 CFR §178.601(g)(4)(iv) even goes to the point of specifically requiring the same type of cushioning as was used in the submission.

Excepted Quantity Packaging

Q. Is it always necessary for the shipper to have performance test results on packaging used to ship “excepted quantities”?
A. This depends on the mode or jurisdiction of transport. 49 CFR [§173.4a(f)], IATA DGR (§2.6.6) and IMDG Code (§3.5.3) all require that the shipper ensure that testing has been done and documented. This doesn’t need to be externally certified or approved. TDGR [§1.17.1(3)] does not require specific testing, only that packaging is “… designed, constructed, filled, Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: May 21

Limited quantities, manufacture expiry dates, regulated or not regulated, and reclassifying flammables to combustibles.

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Limited Quantity Limits (TDG)

Q. Customer called and asked if he can ship a box with 16 liters of UN1219 in inner containers as a limited quantity through ground in Canada.
A. The max according to the TDG is 1 L for limited quantity, so they can’t ship limited quantity.

Manufacture Expiry Dates

Q. Can you tell me if both the manufacturer and expiration dates are required to be on each label? Or if we have the option of just stating the manufacture date and verbiage that states the product is good for two years after the manufacture date? Also, would you happen to know which regulatory agency monitors these types of things?
A. The expiration date or manufactured date are not requirements of a GHS label. OSHA and The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals considers this supplementary Information, which is permissible as long as it doesn’t contradict any other information on the label, but they are not required components of the label.

Combustible materials (49 CFR)

Q. We have some drums of a material classified as NA1993 Combustible Liquid and only ever Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: May 14

Classification, Personal Electronic Devices, Consumer Commodities, and Preparing Hazardous Materials for Transport

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Classification Question

Q. I’m trying to verify how to ship a drum that has a flashpoint of 170° F and is a marine pollutant to Japan. My company has to get it to the port and then it will go on a boat. The SDS says it is a combustible liquid NA1993 but Japan doesn’t have that designation.

Do I ship this product as UN1993?

A. No. The flashpoint of 170° F puts you well beyond the limits of any packing group for a Class 3 flammable liquid, n.o.s. under UN1993. The flashpoint does qualify as a combustible liquid but it would only be regulated in a bulk packaging.

Your drum is not bulk. Technically the “flammability” aspect of this is now a moot point. Since you know the material is a marine pollutant, shipping it as UN3082 would be the best bet.

Personal Electronic Devices

Q. I have an employee flying from the US to Greece with a satellite phone so he can have access to the office and home while he is on vacation. Does he need to do anything different or follow any regulations?
A. No. Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: May 7

IATA declaration, limited quantity labels, training requirements, and placarding

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Listing Overpack on a Declaration (IATA)

Q. Caller needed to clarify what should be listed on an IATA declaration for an overpack.  I have 2 overpacks of the exact same thing. The overpack is 2 drums inside an outer overpack box. Each drum holds 18.9 L. I have it listed as “Overpack Used x 2”. For the alphanumeric identifier for each it is “Box 1” and “Box 2”. How do I list the “total quantity per overpack”?
A. Take a look at Figure 8.1.L. It shows multiple identical overpacks. The example shows 200 boxes each with a weight of 0.2 kg in each overpack. It then lists the total quantity per overpack as 40 kg, which is the result of the 200 boxes multiplied by the 0.2 kg.

For her question then it would be 2 drums multiplied by the volume of 18.9 L. The total quantity per overpack is then 37.8 L.

Limited Quantity Labels

Q. Caller was on our website and had a question about LQ marks/labels. He has a distributor in Canada that will be shipping fire extinguishers to a location in the US from Canada. They use the LQ label in Canada Continue Reading…
Countdown to WHMIS Deadline: Safety Data Sheets

WHMIS Update Man reaching across table with SDS

WHMIS 2015 SDS Requirements

Next in our WHMIS 2015 series we’ll discuss the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formerly known as the Material Safety Data sheet or MSDS.

There were significant changes to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) when WHMIS 2015 was adopted including the WHMIS 2015 classification and label elements in section 2. In addition, the SDS must be provided in English and French.

The required elements on a WHMIS 2015 SDS are outlined on Government Canada’s Website

Note that when preparing the SDS, each section, heading and specific information element is mandatory, even if you do not have the information to go into that section. When that is the case, “not available” or “not applicable” can be used in place of the data.

The SDS must be available and accurate at the time of sale. The good news, is under the federal rule, the SDS no longer expires. However, provincial rules may require that the SDS is updated every 3 years; this is true for British Columbia and the Yukon territory.

However, there is a requirement to update the SDS when new significant information becomes available. The question becomes, how do you know if new information is available, if you don’t review your SDS on a regular basis.

A few other points of interest regarding the SDS include:

  • The SDS must have the identity of the Canadian supplier. The exception to this Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: April 23

Using absorbents with variation packaging, UN marking height, limited quantity, and de minimis quantities

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Absorbent Materials in Variation Packaging

Q. Can I use absorbent padding instead of the vermiculite as the absorbent in a 4GV package that was tested with vermiculite?
A. Per the 49 CFR §178.601, the packaging must meet the standard to which it is certified and the material must be of the same type or design as used in the tested design type, in this case vermiculite. Therefore vermiculite would have to be used to comply with the regulations.

UN Number Height

Q. Is there a minimum size requirement for the UN number on a lithium battery mark?
A. The only place that a specific size requirement is referenced regarding the UN number on a lithium battery mark is in the IATA DGR – §7.1.5.5.2(b)- which states that the UN number “should be” at least 12 mm high.

None of the other common (49 CFR §173.185(c)(3)(i); IMDG §5.2.1.10; TDG §4.24; or UN Model §5.2.1.9) regulations quote a minimum UN number size specifically for the lithium battery mark. All of the regulations referenced allow for proportional reduction, of features without specified dimensions, when the authorized Continue Reading…

Countdown to WHMIS 2015 Deadline: Training Requirements

WHMIS 2015 update man working at oil refinery

WHMIS 2015 Training Requirements

Next in our WHMIS 2015 countdown series, we will discuss training requirements under the new regulation.

With the WHMIS deadline fast approaching and workplaces updating their labels and safety data sheets, one must not forget that employees will need to understand what the changes all mean.

In Canada, if a workplace uses hazardous products, then the worker must be educated and trained on the hazards of those products. This would apply to workers who are exposed to the products during their day to day work routine, anyone who stores, handles or disposes of hazardous products, supervisors or managers who meet the above criteria, and anyone involved with emergency response.

Education vs Training

What is the difference between education and training? Let’s look at the definitions, courtesy of CCOHS:

Education
Refers to general or portable information such as how WHMIS works and the hazards of the products. For example, you will learn about the hazard classes (e.g., why a product is called a corrosive, and what information you can find on labels and SDSs).
Training
Refers to the site- and job-specific information to employees that will cover your workplace’s procedures for storage, handling, use, disposal, emergencies, spills, and what to do in unusual situations.

Suggested topics for education and training include:

  • Information on the supplier label, such as the signal word, hazard and precautionary phrases and pictograms; what do they mean?
  • Information on the workplace Continue Reading…
WHMIS Logo
Countdown to WHMIS 2015 Deadlines

WHMIS Update

Compliance Dates are Right Around the Corner

Are you truly ready? There is only a month left until the WHMIS 2015 deadline for Manufacturer’s and Importers to comply with the new requirements. Distributors have just a bit longer with a compliance date of August 31, 2018.

Phase Timing Suppliers Employer*
Manufacturers and Importers Distributors
Phase 1 From February 11, 2015 to May 31, 2018 WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 Consult F/P/T regulator
Phase 2 From June 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018 WHMIS 2015 WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015
Phase 3 From September 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018 WHMIS 2015 WHMIS 2015 WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015
Completion December 1, 2018 WHMIS 2015 WHMIS 2015 WHMIS 2015
* Consult appropriate FPT OHS regulator to confirm requirements and transition timing.

The Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) were published in the Canada Gazette on February 11, 2015. This amendment aligned the HPR with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The GHS system, which is being implemented around the world effects the classification, labeling, safety data sheets and worker education and training.

The HPR set out specific classification criteria. If a product meets the definition of a hazardous product, then the workplace is covered by the WHMIS regulations and a WHMIS program must be in place.

Hopefully by now, you are well under way to ensure compliance with the deadline. ICC Compliance Center’s checklist is a useful tool to make sure you have all of Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: April 16

WHMIS 2015 concentration ranges, training, overpacks, segregation and non-DG in DG packaging

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

New WHMIS 2015 Concentration Ranges

Q. There is a very specific list of approved concentration ranges listed in the CA regulations.  We had previously set up our ranges to be .1-10%, 10-20%, 20-30%, etc. (groupings of 10) and always included the “trade secret” caveat after our concentration list. Would this still be considered “compliant” for Canada, meaning using our ranges vs. their list of ranges?
A. There is a Regulatory Impact Assessment file that was sent out to stakeholders by Health Canada a couple days before the new amendment appeared in the Gazette II.

Under the comments received section of that file was the following:

Use of the prescribed ranges

One stakeholder agreed with the proposed amendment as it read in the context of the CGI publications, but asked for the following clarification: can smaller ranges be used if they (1) fall within an existing range, e.g. using 3.8-4.5% rather than 3-5% (as listed), or (2) when combining up to three prescribed ranges, e.g. combining ranges (e), (f), and (g) would be 5-30% but using 6-28% instead. Health Canada clarified that the prescribed concentration ranges are Continue Reading…