Lithium
Lithium Battery Labels as of August 1, 2017

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

The A-Team and Lithium Battery Marks / Labels

An iconic show from the 1980’s was “The A-Team”. It was about a group of former military men who worked to help those in need by using their former skill set. A famous line from it was often said by John “Hannibal” Smith, played by George Peppard. At the end of many episodes he would say, “I love it when a plan comes together”. With the publication of Transport Canada’s Amendment TDGR SOR2017 – 137, we finally have a plan coming together for the transportation of Lithium Batteries.

Finally, all transport regulations – 49 CFR, TDG, IATA .and IMDG – are on the same page regarding the necessary marks and labels needed for transporting Lithium Batteries. All of the regulations even have the same transition times for when the new Class 9 Lithium Battery Hazard Class Label and new Lithium Battery Mark will be mandatory.

New lithium battery label     New Lithium Battery Mark and Pictogram

Download Our Lithium Battery Labels Guide

 

Let ICC Compliance Center be your “A-Team” for shipping Lithium Batteries. Call us today for packaging, training, labels and marks.  We have it all.

Shipping by Road
FMCSA Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Requirements

Red semi truck on highway

FMCSA Goes on Tour

The Eagles, a popular band for several decades, broke up back in the 1980s. A famous quote from one of the band’s members is that they would play as a band again “when Hell freezes over.” Interestingly enough in 1994 the band got back together and went on tour. Of course, the name of the tour was “Hell Freezes Over”. I mention this because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is also about to go on tour.

The tour known as the “ELD Implementation National Tour” is a way for FMCSA staff members and experts to present, discuss, and help with the new Electronic Logging Devices or ELDs. An ELD is a device designed to sync with an engine to record driving times. This recording will make for easier and better tracking of a driver’s hours of service (HOS). These ELDs will replace the paper logbooks that certain drivers are required to maintain. To access the Federal Register for the full Final Rule, click here.

The ELD Final Rule was published in December of 2016 and has a 3-phase implementation. Each phase has its own time frame, objective(s), and device requirements.

ELD Rule implementation phases:

  • Phase 1: Awareness and Transition
    • Dates: February 16, 2016 to December 18, 2017
    • Objective: Learning the requirements of the new rule and planning for compliance
    • Devices allowed: paper logs, logging software, “Automatic On Board Recording Devices (AOBRDS)”, or certified and registered ELDs
  • Phase 2: Phase-In Compliance
    • Dates: December 18, 2017 to December 16, 2019
    • Objective: Carriers and Drivers begin to comply with the new rule.
    • Devices allowed: AOBRDS installed before December 18, 2017 and ELDs that are certified and registered.
  • Phase 3: Full Compliance
    • Dates: After December 16, 2019
    • Objective: All drivers and carriers must comply with the new ELD rule.
    • Devices: only ELDs that are certified and registered.

The FMCSA’s website has great resources regarding this new rule. Click here to access the site. The website has specific information on the rule, how to access it, and a link specifically set aside for Drivers and Carriers. The website even has a link for how to register an ELD with the FMCSA.

If you aren’t sure if you are required to have an ELD or have general questions about it, check out one of the tour sites and talk to FMCSA directly. The dates and locations are as follows:

FMCSA Tour Dates

  • Aug. 24-26: Great American Trucking Show, Dallas
  • Sept. 25-27: North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Atlanta
  • Oct. 14-15: California Trucking Show, Ontario, CA
  • Oct. 21-24: American Trucking Association’s Management Conference & Exhibition, Orlando, FL
  • Nov. 6-8: Women in Trucking Accelerate! Conference & Expo, Kansas City, MO

The best way to comply is knowing and planning in advance. Don’t get stuck on the wrong side of the law or Hell when it freezes over because the Eagles proved that it can. As always for all your transportation needs – training, hazmat packaging, labels, etc. contact ICC Compliance Center.

PHMSA
49 CFR – There’s an App for that?

oCFR Regulation Smartphone app

We’ve Come a Long Way

Technology is everywhere we look now. Think about some of the advertisements on television you see for what is available today in the realm of technology. There is the refrigerator that sends you pictures of its insides and keeps your grocery list. A device that can regulate your thermostat, turn on your lights, and send you reminders about events. Cell phones can now stream videos, search the internet, pay your bills, and still make calls. All of these are just in the past year.

Think back about ten years ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago, now does it? It is around this time that the iPhone craze was starting. In 2008 the iPhone 3G was released. As the second generation of iPhone, it came preloaded with such features as a GPS, special email capabilities, and the App Store. App stands for Application. It is from the App Store that people could download various tools, games, and software. Around this time, Apple began to advertise with the slogan, “There’s an App for that”.  You can watch one of the original commercials here.

So, why all the history? Because there is a new app available from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). This app called “oCFR” (Online Code of Federal Regulations), which allows access to a simplified, mobile version of the Code of Federal Register (CFR). The app works on both Apple and Android devices. Also, it is FREE!

What can I do with the oCFR app?

From the app, a user can access the 49 CFR parts 100-180 for transportation including classifying and packaging for hazardous materials by highway, railway, aircraft, and boat. There is also access to the minimum safety standards for liquefied natural gas facilities found in parts 190-199.

After playing around with it some, here are some of my general comments.

General Comments:

  • The app was easy to download and find in the App Store.
  • If the user knows the exact section needed, the Section can be entered directly into the search bar and it takes you directly there. Each paragraph of that section is then listed as individual links.
  • For directions on how to use the App, users should click on the “About” link at the bottom of the opening screen. This will take you to another link that I would call the overview.
  • On the overview page for the oCFR tool there are links to access the following:
    • the oCFR Tool itself
    • A direct link to the Hazardous Materials Table and Appendices
    • A direct link to “All Interps” which is a way to search all of the letters of interpretation.
    • Chapter I PHMISA DOT Parts 105-199 divided by Subchapters A-D including 2 Subchapter Cs. One is for Parts 170 – 177 and the other is a continuation with Parts 178-185.
  • From the overview, a user can download the “oCFR Quick Reference Guide”. This Guide describes how to use the online application and some general features of it. You can also access the guide while on the oCFR tool overview page.
  • It will take some time to use the app proficiently.

This is a great way to gain access to the regulations during transport of hazardous materials. Stay tuned to ICC Compliance Center’s blogs for other great applications and regulatory updates.

Single Packaging
Latin, Vince Lombardi, & Packaging Selection

Man preparing shipment

Practice Makes Perfect

Most of us have heard the phrase, “Practice makes perfect”. I did when learning my multiplication tables. Others hear it in reference to playing sports. What is interesting is the phrase originates from the 1500’s. In Latin, it is ‘Uses promptos facit‘ which translates to ‘use makes mastery’. Vince Lombardi, American football player and coach, said it differently. For him, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect” was the correct way to say it. The intent is the same. The only way to get batter at something is to practice it.

So how does that relate to making the correct packaging selection for shipments of hazardous materials? A shipper should practice using the regulation and the UN Specification Markings together before making any decisions on packaging. When working with clients in transportation training sessions I always remind participants that packaging is two-fold. You have to use what the regulations say and what the marking on your packaging allows. Let’s do a practice problem to show what I mean.

Steel Drum MT0M502

Practice Problems:

Problem #1:

Can a shipper put 16 Liters of UN1114 Benzene into a steel drum with a non-removable head for a US Ground shipment using 49 CFR? Benzene has a specific gravity of 0.876 g/ml. The drum has the code 1A1 / Y1.8 / 250 / 16 on it.

Solving Process/Logic: First, the shipper has to understand what the specification marking means. It is a steel drum with a non-removable head single packaging for liquids. The drum is rated to hold Packing Groups II and III materials if their specific gravity measurements are 1.8 g/ml or less.  The 16 Liters makes it a non-bulk shipment. This means column 8B of the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) of 49 CFR is checked. The HMT sends the shipper to Section 173.203 for authorized packagings for that description. A steel drum with a non-removable head as a single packaging is listed in Paragraph (c).

Final Answer #1: This shipment is acceptable per the regulations and for the packaging.

Problem #2:

Using the same setup as Problem #1, let’s change the Specification code to 3H2 / Z25 /S/ 17. Is this allowed?

Solving Process/Logic: Again, the shipper has to understand what the specification marking means. It is a plastic jerrican with a removable head. It is rated to hold Packing Group III materials only and the maximum gross mass allowed is 25 kilograms. Check the regulations to see if the shipment is allowed by 49 CFR. The full shipping description is still UN1114 Benzene Class 3 Packing Group II. At this point, the shipper can stop. The jerrican is only rated to hold Packing Group III materials. Benzene is in Packing Group II.

Final Answer #1: This shipment is acceptable per the regulations. However, it is NOT for the packaging.

These problems are not easy. Try some on your own using the materials shipped from your location and the packaging you have on hand.  Remember, the only way to have your decisions be perfect is to practice.

For all your training and packaging needs, contact ICC Compliance Center today.

World Hepatitis Day Logo
World Hepatitis Day

Eliminate Hepatitis Banner

Are your Signs Accurate?

Since 2010, World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28th. The goal is to raise awareness of hepatitis as well as the prevention and treatment of the disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.34 million people died globally from this disease in 2015. In comparison, numbers that high match those caused by tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. According to the World Hepatitis Day website, “Currently, 90% of people living with hepatitis B and 80% living with hepatitis C are not aware of their status.” We all need to be educated. This is not a disease found in just one country or in one particular ethnicity. Here is the chance to educate ourselves. Check out the website dedicated to the even this year at http://www.worldhepatitisday.org/en/about-us

Hepatitis is the inflammation of liver tissue. It is most commonly caused by a virus and there are five main ones commonly referred to as Types A, B, C, D and E. Types A and E are usually short-term (acute) diseases. Types B, C, and D are likely to become chronic. Note that Type E is very dangerous for pregnant women.

Listed below are some key facts about each type of Hepatitis taken from the WHO website. For more information visit http://www.who.int/hepatitis/en/

Key Facts of Hepatitis Types

  • Type A – transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Almost everyone recovers from this Type. There is also a vaccine.
  • Type B – transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. This is a chronic infection with no cure. There is a vaccine for this Type.
  • Type C – transmitted through exposure to small quantities of blood. This can happen through injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, and unsafe health care. Certain individual’s own immune system will clear the infection. For others, antiviral medications can cure about 95% of others. Hepatitis C has no vaccine.
  • Type D – transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. There is no effective treatment and no vaccine. Infection with this virus cannot occur in the absence of the Hepatitis B virus. However, vaccinations against Hepatitis B is a good preventative measure to infection by Type D.
  • Type E – transmitted mainly through contaminated drinking water. It is a self-limiting infection that resolves itself in about two to six weeks. There is a vaccine developed in China, but is it not available elsewhere.

What does this mean for workers? Since many of these types are transmitted through bodily fluids including blood, they fall under OSHA’s purview. Under 29CFR 1910.1030, the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, and the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000 there are specific safeguards, trainings, labels, and signs that must be used in the workplace to prevent exposure to potentially infectious material. 

A link to the standard: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=10051&p_table=STANDARDS

ICC Compliance Center offers a full line of biohazard labels and signs that meet the OSHA standard. We also offer a training and full packaging line for shipments of these biological substances. Check us out today!

Safety
National Forklift Safety Day – June 13

Forklift

Forklift Safety

There’s an old joke out there about what happens when you play a country song backwards. According to the joke you get your girl, dog, and truck back. Rascal Flatts even did a song about it. It is a pretty good tune. Take a listen here.

So, how does a song about getting a truck back relate to forklifts and forklift safety? Well, by definition a forklift is a powered industrial truck. Since the joke and song talks about trucks you can see the connection. Forklifts are used to lift, move, and place various materials weighing anywhere from a few thousand pounds up to 90 tons. These powered industrial trucks must comply with OSHA standard 29CFR 1910.178. You can access a copy of the standard at this link.

National Forklift Safety Day

In 2016, accidents and incidents involving powered industrial trucks were listed in the top ten OSHA violations. To stress the safe use of the vehicles, need for operator training, education of non-users the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) has set aside Tuesday, June 13 as National Forklift Safety Day. This is the fourth year for such an event. Having a written standard, good safety policies and regulations surrounding the safe use of these machines isn’t enough. It requires every day awareness and commitment from drivers, managers, and other personnel in the areas with these trucks to stay safe.

If you are in the Washington, DC area check out the free activities ITA has planned.

  • Monday, June 12 from 3 to 5 p.m.: Education session for ITA members and invited quests
  • Tuesday, June 13 morning: Speakers from industry and government, including elected officials
  • Tuesday, June 13 afternoon: ITA members will visit their congressional representatives to convey our message about the critical importance of workplace safety and discuss how elected officials can help to support that

For information regarding your area, contact your local forklift dealer. 

A few ideas from other locations include the following:

  • Safety pledge signings
  • Open houses and plant tours
  • Safety demonstrations / Safety Awareness classes
  • “Train the Trainer” classes
  • Operator training sessions

If there is any way ICC Compliance Center can help make your National Forklift Safety Day a success, contact us. We are here to help.

PHMSA Penalties Increase

Chemical Drums Disposal

Enforcement of Hazardous Materials Program Procedures

Many have heard the phrase, “money makes the world go around”. The phrase was made popular by the stage and film show “Cabaret”. In fact, that phrase is the name of one of the songs in the show. For a snippet of the song featuring Liza Minnelli, listen here.

What does this phrase have to do with the US transport regulations you may ask? It comes down to a particular section of 49 CFR. In Subpart D of Part 107 Hazardous Materials Program Procedures is a section entitled “Enforcement”. Within that subpart are the possible penalties a company could be assessed for violations to the requirements of 49 CFR. In particular, take a look at Sections §107.329 regarding the maximum civil penalties which could be assessed to a company.

Maximum Penalties Increase

Here’s where things get tricky. Anyone working with these regulations is familiar with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.  Quite a mouthful, I know. This act basically requires federal agencies to adjust civil penalties each year to account for inflation. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is a federal agency. As such, on April 19, 2017, those penalties increased. Per the announcement:

The maximum civil penalty for a knowing violation is now $78,376, except that the maximum civil penalty is $182,877 for a violation that results in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property.

Also, there was an increase to the minimum penalty for violations related to training. The new value is now $471. To see the full ruling in PDF form, go here. These new penalties are effective immediately.

Why is this tricky? If you have the hardbound/paper copy of the regulations published in March of 2017 – it won’t have these increased penalties in it. If you use the electronic Code of Federal Regulations the changes are there.

So, take note! Things change fast in this world and you have to stay aware. For help with all of your regulatory needs including training contact ICC Compliance Center today.

Safety
OSHA Safe + Sound Week

Safe + Sound Week 2017

Safe + Sound Week is June 12 – 18

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 June 12-18 has been designated as the inaugural Nationwide Safe + Sound Week. The week is presented by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Safety Council, American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), American Society of Safety Engineers, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health just to name a few. The goal is to “raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs”. All businesses and companies are encouraged to participate.

The focus of the week is on three core elements. It covers management leadership, worker participation and find and fix hazards. Here is a brief overview of each taken from the OSHA website.

Core Elements:

  • 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 and health a core organizational value, establish goals, provide resources, and set a good example. Because managers and workers take their cues from leadership, it’s important that all leaders throughout an organization show a visible commitment to safety and health.
  • Worker participation is meaningfully engaging workers at all levels in establishing, implementing, evaluating, and improving safety and health in the workplace. This means workers understand they are a valuable partner in making their workplace safer and are encouraged and able to communicate with management about hazards on the job. Workers are the experts when it comes to the tasks they do and the tools and equipment they use, which makes them a key resource for knowledge and innovative ideas that can improve safety and health.
  • Finding and fixing hazards is a proactive, ongoing process to identify and control sources of potential injuries or illnesses. This means establishing {systemic} procedures to collect and review information about known or potential hazards in the workplace, investigating the root cause of those hazards, and prioritizing hazard controls. Identifying and correcting these hazards before someone gets hurt ensures that workers go home to their families safe and sound after every shift.

Participate in Safe + Sound Week

To prepare your location to participate in the week it is a simple process.

  1. Step 1:  Select or plan activities under each of the elements shown above.
  2. Step 2:  Plan and promote your events
  3. Step 3:  Recognize participation. The website (here) under each element lists a few activities. You just have to click on each topic and decide.

Make the effort to make this week a success for your company. Good business involves keeping workers safe. Use this week to bring new life to your existing safety and health programs or get yours started. If there is anything ICC Compliance Center can do for you to help keep your workers safe, give us a call today.

Airplane Icon
FAA Short Audit Answers

Cargo loading on aircraft

Common Errors When Shipping by Air

At a recent training, the group hosting invited someone from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to come and speak. Throughout the brief discussion, the speaker mentioned things she sees most often while doing site audits. Listed below are a few of the main items. See if you can guess what the officer sees during audits that is not accurate.

  1. Retention of Shipping Papers: In IATA, the retention of documentation is found in Section 8.0.2.2. According to this section the declaration of dangerous goods “must” be maintained for a minimum of 3 months. There are no state or operator variations attached to this section which may be why people get caught. In United States’ variation USG-01 it clearly tells shippers the document must be maintained by not less than 2 years.
    • Error Found: Only 3 months’ worth of documentation can be produced during an audit.
  2. Use of Technical Names: Entries in the blue pages listed with a star (*) symbol tells the shipper a technical name is needed.  Section 4.1.2.1(d) outlines how to determine the name, the number or names, and the type of names allowed. “The technical name must be a recognized chemical or biological name or other name currently used in scientific and technical handbooks, texts and journals. Trade names must not be used.
    • Error Found: The trade name or retail name is listed on the packages and shipping papers.
  3. Classification: The same 9 hazard classes are used in all transport regulations. The classification of materials into those hazard classes is also the same. However, there are some items that are country specific.
    • Error Found: The shipper tried to put an ORM-D package on an air shipment.
    • Error Found: A shipper packaged, marked and labeled a bulk package as Combustible under the DOT regulations and then attempted to send it via air where it is not regulated.
  4. Training Records: There is a very clear listing of what records of training should include. This information is in Section 1.5.5. It includes the employee’s name, the completion month, the name and address of the organization providing the training and some evidence that a test was completed satisfactorily.
    • Error Found: The certificate shown to the auditor had no indication of being tested.
    • Error Found: There was no address for the training organization.
  5. Emergency Response Phone Number: Another country specific requirement found in the state variations for the US is specifics for the emergency response telephone number. In USG-12 is the statement, “… the number must be monitored at all times… .”
    • Error Found: The emergency response number was disconnected and no longer in service.

These are just a few of the incidents noticed by the FAA inspector. The speaker mentioned her team does checks at all times of the day and night. This is not to “catch” you but to ensure hazardous materials/dangerous goods are being properly handled for transport. Interestingly enough, if your site completes a DOT Form 5800.1, a visit from the FAA is likely.

The point is, review your location and process. Just because you haven’t had a visit in a while or had a package refused doesn’t mean you are in the clear. ICC Compliance Centers offers a variety of auditing services. Contact us today to see how we can help you prepare for your next “visit” from the FAA.

OSHA Safety
Compliance Language

Current Dangerous Goods Regulations

Terminology in Regulatory Manuals

Language, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the formal system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings. Learning a new language is often a complex undertaking. It is also a time that lends itself to funny stories. While living in Austria for a few years taking German lessons was part of our visa process. We were encouraged to practice often. On one of my first attempts was to buy a certain pretzel. Somehow my request came out as asking for the “slow one” rather than the “long one”. My husband told a co-worker he “believed” he was a pencil. While neither request caused harm, it was confusing to the German speakers who heard us. I mention this because the language of transport regulations can be confusing as well until you have a good handle on the language used in them.

Let’s take a look at two simple words. We will compare their “everyday” usage with how they are used for transporting hazardous materials or dangerous goods. The two words will be “should” and “may”.

Word #1: Should

In normal usage, this word indicates certain obligations or expectations. Take for example the statement, “John should be ready by now.” By using the word “should” in the sentence, the expectation is that John is ready or prepared for whatever situation he finds himself. In transport, this word takes on some slightly different meanings depending on the regulation.

  • 49 CFR – US Ground: Per 171.9, the word “should” is used in a recommendatory sense. Meaning the shipper is not required to do what is listed in the regulation. It is encouraged or recommended, but it is not enforceable.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA): Per Section 1.3.1.3, the word “should” is a preferred requirement. This means the section is not binding for a shipper, but there is a suggestion to follow whatever is listed.
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG): It is in the Forward that we find this definition. For “should” again the word is used in a recommendatory sense. Items in the Code with this word are not required, only recommended.
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) – Canada Ground: Oddly enough, this term is not defined in Section 1.3 of the regulations.

Word #2: May

This word is used for possibilities or options even permission when used in daily language. An example here is the statement, “John may be ready by now.” In this case, the statement conveys the possibility that John might be ready, but again there is the option that he is not. Again, for transport, there are different meanings.

  • 49 CFR – US Ground: Per 171.9, the word “may” is used in a permissive sense. Meaning the shipper is not required to do what is listed in the regulation.  The item is simply allowed or permitted.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA): Per Section 1.3.1.3, the word “may” is listed as a preferred requirement and not binding for a shipper. Again, as a preferred requirement there is the suggestion to follow whatever is listed but no requirement to do so.
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG): Again it is in the Forward that we find “may”. Here “may” is used to indicate optional provisions. Items in the Code with this word have no preferred or recommended parts. The shipper can choose to either do what is listed or not.
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) – Canada Ground: In Section 1.3, the word “may” is listed as permissive. This aligns with the US Ground requirements and indicates things that are allowed or permitted.

Be sure to know the language of the regulation you are following before attempting to make a shipment of a dangerous goods or hazardous materials using it. You may be “believing” something that is not actually true or required by the regulation. For all of your transport needs, contact ICC Compliance Center today.