Hazmat Personal Protection Equipment
What if Chicken Little Had INFOTRAC?

Little chicken in a dandelion field

INFOTRAC 24-Hour Emergency Response System

My family has always been made up of people who like to read. It starts with the little ones being read to by others and generally leads to a love of independent reading later in life. I saw the process start with the next generation during the recent United States’ holiday of Thanksgiving. In order to get the 18-month old to settle down for a nap his father read to him. Funny enough, the story was that of Chicken Little. For those that don’t remember the story it is about Chicken Little getting hit on the head by an acorn and thinks the sky is falling. To protect friends and family the character decides to go tell the king. On the way, Chicken Little meets various friends and proceeds to tell each of them that the sky is falling.  Hearing the refrain of “the sky is falling” said throughout the telling of the story it got me thinking …

The Sky is… Not Falling?

What if rather than panicking about the event Chicken Little followed proper procedure? When handling hazardous materials there must be plans in place to handle accidents. This includes spills and injuries at your location and more importantly during transport. One such procedure is set in 49 CFR for US ground transportation. In Section 172.604 it states that an emergency response telephone number must be Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
UN Specification Packaging Mystery

UN Specification Packaging Mystery

We Got a Mystery to Solve

One of my favorite childhood shows was “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”. How he and his group of friends could solve all those crazy hauntings and monsters always amazed me. Nothing made me happier than when the culprit was discovered and he uttered the words, “If it weren’t for you pesky kids, I would have gotten away with it.” After all I was only a kid and catching the bad guys was a big deal.

Occasionally during a training class odd questions or little mysteries arise. In those times I can feel like Thelma from my childhood show tracking down the clues and getting an answer. Here is one from one mystery from a recent training. It came about after our discussion on United Nations (UN) Specification Packaging. We had just finished reviewing all the parts of the packaging codes and discussing the manufacturer’s packing instructions as they apply to 49 CFR – US ground regulations. This lead to talking about their actual facility. Below is a picture of a box they have on site for use. They wanted to know if it was in compliance.

Ah, a mystery I can solve.

UN Specification Packaging Mystery 2

In case you didn’t catch why they asked about this particular box and compliance, take a look at the FOUR package specification codes on the box. For most boxes, there is only one code derived from the Continue Reading…

Birthday truck
Happy Birthday DOT!

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

Happy 50th Birthday DOT!

Birthdays are important milestones and should be celebrated. One important one for parents is a baby’s first birthday. This is often followed by apprehension when a child reaches their teenage years. Many people in the United States enjoy turning 21 because that means alcohol is legal for us to consume. After that there are the “round” birthdays – those dreaded ones that have a zero after them. You know, turning 30, 40, 50, etc. We also celebrate the birth of nations. In the US it is every July 4th. For Canada the celebration is on July 1st. Many religions celebrate birthdays too. Christmas in the Christian faith is the birth of Jesus. Buddhists celebrate Buddha’s birthday on the 8th day of the 4th month in the Chinese lunar calendar.  Companies also follow this same practice. In fact, ICC Compliance Center just turned 30 last month.

What does all of this birthday talk have to do with the transport of hazardous materials? January 12, 1966 saw then President Lyndon B. Johnson declare in his State of the Union address his plans to create a Department of Transportation (DOT). It was on April 1, 1967 the DOT was open for business. Think about that for a moment. That means in the 1940s when the first atomic bomb was created, there were no regulations around the transport of Class 7 radioactive materials. Other materials such Continue Reading…

Hazmat Personal Protection Equipment
Warehouse Fire in St. Louis – Still Burning

Hazmat Incident

A warehouse in South St. Louis caught fire on Wednesday and is still burning today.

Listed as a five-alarm fire by some media outlets has caused major problems for the St. Louis area for several reasons. First, multiple-alarm fires are ones where multiple fire stations, firetrucks and firefighters are called in to battle the fire. This number can increase or decrease depending on just how much equipment and manpower is needed to contain the situation. The scale general ranges from one to ten, so a five-alarm fire is of definite concern. The next concern is over the decay of the building as the fire continues to burn. Yesterday, the roof collapsed forcing the fire higher and spreading debris. Following that collapse a section of wall came down damaging one of the trucks. Most alarming is the need for a HazMat Team.

Why a HazMat Team?

Check out these links to see pictures and videos showing the extent of the fire:

http://fox2now.com/2017/11/15/crews-battle-3-alarm-fire-at-south-st-louis-warehouse/

http://www.kmov.com/story/36851034/fire-crews-battling-3-alarm-warehouse-fire-in-botanical-heights-neighborhood

http://www.ksdk.com/article/news/st-louis-warehouse-continues-to-burn-24-hours-later-smoke-considered-hazardous/63-492028403

Tweets from St. Louis Fire Department

Would You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?
Would You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

Would You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

Take the Quiz! See if you would survive!

The idea of zombies, the undead, and those things that come back from the grave have been around in society as far back as 1932. That was the year Bella Lugosi starred in the movie “White Zombie”. This was followed by other classic horror movies such as “Night of the Living Dead”, “The Serpent and the Rainbow” and “World War Z”.  Zombies have even moved into mainstream TV. We now have “iZombie”, “The Walking Dead” and “Z Nation” to name a few. In each of those, zombies are created by a virus, radiation exposure, mutations or even voodoo curses. What makes for good entertainment are the stories of people evading or escaping from them. After all, the main source of food for a zombie is the human brain.

It begs the question then, could you survive a fictional zombie apocalypse?

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Quiz

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What started as a joke with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) back in 2011 is now a way to discuss emergency preparedness. Zombies are not real. Our questions and answers should not be used as an actual guide or techniques to use in a natural disaster. For real and in-depth information on emergency preparedness check out Barbara Foster’s recent blog At ICC Compliance Center we want you to be safe at home and in your workplace. Give us a Continue Reading…

ICC Top 10 List
OSHA’s Top 10 Most-Cited Standards for 2017

Young female Industrial Worker

Top 10 OSHA Violations 2017

At the end of September every year several things happen. It is the official start of autumn. All of the children are back in school. Pumpkin spice everything is available. OSHA publishes their list of top ten most-cited standards. These are always announced at the National Safety Council’s Congress and Expo. The timing fits with OSHA’s fiscal year that runs from October 1 through September 30. So, without further delay….

Most-Cited OSHA Standards for Fiscal Year 2017

  1. Fall Protection – Standard 1926.501 with 6,072 violations
  2. Hazard Communications – Standard 1910.1200 with 6,072 violations
  3. Scaffolding- Standard 2936.451 with 3,288 violations
  4. Respiratory Protection – Standard 1910.134 with 3,097 violations
  5. Lockout/Tagout – Standard 1910.147 with 2,877 violations
  6. Ladders – Standard 1926.1053 with 2,241 violations
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks – Standard 1910.178 with 2,162 violations
  8. Machine Guarding – Standard 1910.212 with 1,933 violations
  9. Fall Protection: Training requirements – Standard 1926.503 with 1,523 violations
  10. Electrical Wiring Methods – Standard 1910.305 with 1,405 violations

Here are some things I notice about this year’s list. First of all, four of top ten are related. By this I mean, items 1, 3, 6 and 9 are related to falling.  Next, take note that the top five violations are the exact same and in the same order as the past four fiscal years. Almost every other standard listed for 2017 is also on the 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 lists. The only Continue Reading…

Fire Safety
NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week 2017

Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has designated the week of October 8th as Fire Prevention Week. This date was chosen as the Great Chicago fire started on October 8, 1871. Each year a theme for the week is chosen in an effort to keep fire safety present in people’s minds. This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” An explanation of the theme is best explained by a video from Sparky, The Fire Dog.

Here are some statistics from a recent survey conducted by the NFPA. About one in every 338 homes had a fire each year from 2010 to 2014.  For most of those years the second leading cause of fires in homes and fire deaths/injuries is heating equipment. In terms of escape planning, only about a third of the US has developed and practiced a home escape plan. Also, many people believe they would have 6 minutes before a home fire could become life threatening when in reality the time is much shorter. The most shocking statistic of all was that only 8% of those surveyed indicated that when hearing a fire alarm their first thought was to leave the home or building. These are numbers we cannot deny and should all consider.

So, what can you do?  Here are some ideas from NFPA to use during Continue Reading…

Prop 65
Proposition 65 List – Updated

Foggy California bay at sunset

What a Difference A Day Makes

Recently at a ballroom dance lesson, I heard the song “What a Difference a Day Makes”. A young couple is using it as their wedding song. They were learning a dance using it for the reception. Listen here to the 1959 version by Dinah Washington. Not only did the melody and words stay with me, but so did the title. Keeping in mind how things can change in a day I wanted to follow up on my blog “Extra! Extra! Read all About it: California Proposition 65 List Updated” from April 2016. A bit more than a day later but you get the point.

It turns out the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 or as it is more commonly known Prop 65 was updated seven times since my blog in April. The list has to be revised and republished at least once per year. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is the agency responsible for Prop 65 implementation. They consider adding chemicals to the list when some other “authoritative body” makes a determination regarding a substances ability to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Shown below are all of the new substances that were added by month. They are listed by name, type of toxicity and Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS).

Proposition 65 – New Substances

May 2016

Safety
Flood Water Safety

Wearing yellow flood boots walking through flood water

How to Stay Safe During Extreme Weather

Hurricanes bring about many emotions for me. You see, I have lived through a large number of them with varying impacts on my life. Here are just a few that trigger some strong emotions in me even after more than 15 years. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit. I was in college at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. What made it so scary was the fire alarm in the middle of it, which caused an evacuation from my dormitory. The wind and rain were so strong you almost couldn’t stand.

The next one that comes to mind is Bertha in in 1996. Bertha was memorable because we purchased our first home the day she hit. If we had stayed in our new home, we would have lost both of our cars due to a tree falling. The worst though came in 1999. That year brought us Dennis in August and Floyd in September. We survived Dennis with a few heavy rains and some minor damage to the neighborhood. However, Floyd hit just 2 weeks later! Again, there was little damage in our area but lots of rain. We cleaned up and prepared for work the next day. What we weren’t prepared for was the National Guard at our door at 4:00 am that next morning telling us to evacuate due Continue Reading…

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.