Black steel drums
What Does that Word Mean? (Chime)

Blue Hazmat Drums

Updated Training

ICC Compliance Center constantly evaluates our courses to be sure they are the most up-to-date with current versions of the regulations.  Our Regulatory Team works hard to make sure the information we get you is complete and correct. In that regard, I am in the process of revising and updating our course on shipping reduced amounts of materials. It will focus on the options outlined in the US 49 CFR and the IATA regulation. We are talking about a focused course on the topics of small quantities, excepted quantities, limited quantities and consumer commodities.

During the course of the update, I came across an odd word in regards to drums under the Excepted Quantities exception. It was one not familiar to me at all even after 10 years of being in the “business.” Of course, my first thought was to look in the definitions or glossary section of the regulations. It wasn’t there. Then I tried to Google it. No luck. At this point, it was time to reach out to the Team. Sure enough, within minutes there was the answer and even where I could find it for future reference.

Defining “Chime”

What was the word? It was the word “chime.” In both 49 CFR and IATA for Excepted Quantities is the package test requirement that must be met for drums. It says that when the package is in the shape of Continue Reading…

Close up eye rainbow color
National Eye Exam Month and PPE

Snellen Eye Chart

August is National Eye Exam Month

It is always a great time when a bunch of safety professionals get together to chat. This happened this past weekend when several of us in the field ended up on someone’s back patio. There were five of us discussing what we see at various facilities. A topic that was recurrent throughout was Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) particularly eye protection. This got me to thinking about how ICC can help get the word out about this. Oddly enough, August is National Eye Exam Month. Let’s put these two together and see what happens.

Back in 1989, Sears Optical created National Eye Exam Month. Many ophthalmologists and optometrists take this time to focus on eye safety. Just for general knowledge, an ophthalmologist is someone who specializes in medical and surgical eye disease, whereas an optometrist is a medical doctor who specialist in eye and vision care. Most of us spend at least 40 hours at work a week with many doing more. A large number of us work at computers, outside or even near chemicals. This puts stress on our eyes. Depending on your age, an eye exam could be useful even if you have no symptoms. The American Optometric Association provides some basic guidelines around when to get an exam.

Eye Exam Schedule

Airplane Icon
National Aviation Day – Aug 19th

Celebrate the History and Development of Aviation

Airplanes are a great way to reach far away locations. This wouldn’t be possible without Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first powered flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. To honor this great accomplishment President Franklin Roosevelt declared August 19th as National Aviation Day in the United States. Many use this day to honor other pioneers in aviation and space exploration. It also happens to be Orville Wright’s birthday.

National Aviation Day can be celebrated in any number of ways. Schools dedicate lessons to air travel. Discussions focused on the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart or Charles Lindbergh and their accomplishments is another. People interested can explore the history of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which started as the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Visits to museums that have dedicated exhibits to aviation and aeronautics are another possibility. Build a model airplane. If you are stuck in an office, make a paper airplane and fly it around the office during your next break or lunch.

You could also take advantage of our pre-sale for the 60th edition of the IATA. This new version goes into effect on January 1, 2019. While that sounds far away from August 2018, it bears thinking about now. This 60th edition will incorporate the changes from Revision 20 of the UN Recommendations on the Transportation of Continue Reading…

DOT 49 CFR USA
Updates to PHMSA HM-218H – New Compliance Dates

Winston Churchill and the 49 CFR

As a former high school science teacher, I had a few choice quotes posted around my classroom.  Some were motivational while others were thought provoking. One of my favorites was by Winston Churchill.

“All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.”
-Winston Churchill

Granted I tweaked it from “men” to “people” so as not to exclude the other genders in my class. My purpose for that one was to prevent frustrations over calculations, lab results, or high school in general.

On June 2, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule on Docket No. HM-218H. That docket number had some as miscellaneous amendments to Hazardous Materials Regulations. Now, two years later we have a corrective rulemaking to HM-218H. Published on June 18, 2018 with an effective date of July 18 and compliance date of September 17, it addresses some appeals and comments to that previous rulemaking. Let’s see what changed or was corrected.

Updated/Changed Sections

  • 604 Emergency Response. Emergency response telephone numbers must be displayed in numerical format only. A shipper is no longer allowed to use alphanumeric phone numbers for the emergency response number. For example, 1-800 CLEAN IT is no longer an acceptable emergency response phone number. It must be listed as 1-800-253-2648 going forward. No enforcement actions will be taken from July 5, 2016 to Continue Reading…
Friday the 13th square icon
Superstitions in Reference to Safety

Black cat on a beach

We have another Friday the 13th in July. Let’s take a look at a few more superstitions to see how they might impact safety in the workplace and home. As a reminder, a superstition for the purpose of this blog is a belief or notion that while irrational and not scientific seem to persist in society.

Superstition #1:
A black cat crossing your path brings bad luck

While many ancient civilizations held cats in high esteem like the Egyptians, there are others who feared them. In the Middle Ages people were very afraid of witches and magic. Throughout that craze, the belief was a witch could disguise or transform herself into a cat. The cat could then move more easily around a town causing mischief and mayhem. Cats were often blamed for disease outbreaks such as the plague.

Many sites have certain cleanliness standards. Those standards could include washing hands before and after work or leaving contaminated clothing at the facility. Now those rules don’t speak specifically to black cats, but you get my meaning. There is certainly nothing in any regulations in regards to having animals at home where they are often kept as pets. Certain city rules may limit the number of animals you can have or bans against certain breeds. I won’t go into my personal opinion on that topic. Animals at home just need to be taken care Continue Reading…

Help Make the ERG Better

Emergency Response Guidebook

Calling All ERG Users

Many have heard the phrase, “Calling all cars” used in an emergency situation. The phrase references back to the old police radio days. It was used to call all patrol cars to help other officers. The phrase was the title for an old radio show back in the 1930’s, but also more recently as an episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos”.

How is that phrase being used here? The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has put out the call for input on ways to improve the Emergency Response Guidebook, or ERG. The new version is due for publication in 2020. To see the full notice go to https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-23/pdf/2018-11055.pdf

What is the ERG?

It is a booklet that provides technical information and advice for those responding to emergencies involving hazardous materials as defined in 49 CFR. It is used mainly by emergency personnel such as police, fire-fighters, paramedics or other emergency responders. First issued in 1973, PHMSA’s goal is for all emergency response folks to have immediate access to it. As time has progressed there is a free online version and a downloadable app. Other countries may also have their own versions of the ERG. It is updated every 4 years.

It is broken down by the following color-coded sections:

  • White pages – At the start of the booklet, gives the instructions for how to use it and Continue Reading…
June is National Safety Month
NSC National Safety Week 2018
No 1 Gets Hurt Campaign

If you have followed my blogs for any length of time you know both my husband and myself are in the safety field. Several of our friends are as well. Inevitably when we are together the talk will come back to work. Of particular interest are the safety issues we notice on a daily basis. It could be people not wearing the appropriate PPE or standing on a stool to reach something in a cabinet. We then get into some of the unsafe things we see outside of work. This includes drivers on cell phones. By the end of the conversation, we are simply bewildered at how unaware people are about safety.

Take heart though, there is a month dedicated to the safety cause. June is National Safety Month. This year’s theme is “No 1 Gets Hurt”.

The National Safety Council (NSC) has outlined topics for each week of the month to be used at work and home. They even provide free downloadable resources in English and Spanish for each topic upon signup. I encourage you to do so as the resources are great. The link to the NSC site can be found here. Right in the middle of the page is a link for you to get your own materials. All you have to do is register. Let’s take a look at each Continue Reading…

2018 Safe + Sound Week
2018 OSHA Safe + Sound Week

2018 Safe + Sound Week

OSHA Safe + Sound Week Set for August 2018

Back in the 14th century, sailing ships were a primary means of trading goods. To protect goods on these vessels they were insured against loss or damage. The best news for the insurance companies was to receive word that the ship had returned “safe and sound”. The word “safe” was an indication of all crew members were accounted for without injury. The word “sound” told the company the ship had not suffered any serious damage. Since then we continue to use the phrase in our daily life.

The week of August 13-19 has been designated as Nationwide Safe + Sound Week for 2018. The week is presented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Safety Council, American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) just to name a few. The goal is to “raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs“. All business and companies are encouraged to participate because “safe workplaces are sound business“.

The Core Elements of Safe + Sound Week

The focus of the week is on three core elements. It covers management leadership, worker participation and find and fix hazards.

  • Management leadership is a demonstrated commitment at the highest levels of an organization to safety and health. It means that business owners, executives, managers, and supervisors make safety Continue Reading…
OSHA Electrical Shock
May is National Electrical Safety Month

National Electrical Code infographic

Here are three new acronyms for you to keep in mind during the month of May. There is NEC which is for the National Electric Code.  Next is ESFI an acronym representing the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). Finally, there is NESM used for National Electrical Safety Month which just so happens to be in May.  Now that we know what they stand for, let’s talk about what they do or mean.

The NEC is a standard used for safely installing wiring and equipment. Many people know it as NFPA 70 – a part of the National Fire Protection Association. While not a legally binding standard it is used by many to set safe practices for those using or working with electricity. The NEC is updated every 3 years and is usually adopted by a state or city.

ESFI is a foundation that was created in 1994 to promote electrical safety in all areas of life including the home and workplace.  They work with corporations and the public to prevent electrical fires and injuries.  This is done by providing educational tools, materials and resources.  They have information on general electrical safety, electric shock drowning and overhead power lines.

Check out their website at https://www.esfi.org/.
There is even a kid’s page at http://kids.esfi.org/

National Electrical Safety Month – NESM is observed every year in May. This year’s theme is “Understanding the Code that Keeps Us Continue Reading…

IATA
IATA 800 Series of Special Provisions

Learning New Regulations

Learning a new transport regulation is tough. Even if you are familiar with other modes, learning the intricacies of a new one is difficult. In our courses, we spend a good deal of time going over a basic shipping description (ISHP) and breaking down each part of it.

Time is also spent on UN versus ID numbers, proper shipping names, hazard classes, and packing groups. We also bring in the Dangerous Goods List (DGL) and talk about where to find the ISHP. This leads to a discussion on technical names, aircraft types, and other symbols shown in the DGL. Eventually we land on the topic of Special Provisions in Column M.

We explain these are additional requirements for any given entry or as I like to call it – the curve balls. Some are helpful and relieve parts of the regulation while others complicate it.

Note – If you ship dangerous goods and are having some trouble with the terms used above, you may need training.

New Special Provisions

IATA added some new Special Provisions a few years ago that cause additional stress for new shippers. I am referring to the A800 series. There are 5 special provisions there starting with A801 and going up to A805. So, what is the big deal with these and new shippers? If we take a moment to look at each one, you’ll see why Continue Reading…