Oil drum spill
What to Do – Accidents/Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods

Hazmat Incident

Unfortunately, Accidents Do Happen

Dangerous goods, necessary for Canadians’ quality of life, are transported from one area to another across the country every day. These goods, which travel by road, air, rail, and sea, leave Canada by the same routes, railway stations, airports, and ports. All these displacements increase the risk of incidents harmful to human beings and the environment. Therefore, it is essential that manufacturers, shippers, carriers, terminal operators, users, and governments strive to minimize the risk of incidents and the damage they can cause.

Approximately 30 million shipments of dangerous goods are shipped annually in Canada, and 99.998% of them travel to destinations without any incident!

When a dangerous goods incident occurs, the person in possession of the dangerous goods at the time of the incident must call the relevant competent authority (usually the local police, or call CANUTEC at *666 / 613-996-6666 / 1-888-CANUTEC, or call the 24-hour number that appears on the transport document or in the case of an ERAP call that activation number).

When first responders arrive at the scene of an accident involving dangerous goods, they will consult the Emergency Response Guide (ERG). They may also contact CANUTEC for assistance.

CANUTEC is Transport Canada’s Canadian Transport Emergency Center where bilingual scientists are always ready to answer. They are trained in emergency response and are ready to assist when an accident happens involving dangerous goods. Continue Reading…

Electric Tractor Trailer
Electromobility Becomes a Reality!

The Rise of Electromobility

Not long ago, no one believed in the arrival of electric or hybrid road tractors. No one also believed that a fully electric car offering performance and autonomy would arrive on the market as fast as the Tesla vehicle did. The Tesla, a car which proves that electromobility is progressing in a dazzling way.

Last December, Nikola Motors realized what was unthinkable just three years ago, by unveiling a class 8 road tractor with an all-electric 320-kilowatt powertrain powered by high-density lithium batteries. (https://nikolamotor.com/).

It’s an all-electric class 8 road tractor with a sleeping compartment, capable of traveling up to 1,900 kilometers with a single filling of the hydrogen fuel cell system. It has no conventional transmission: each of the six wheel positions has its own electric traction motor which are controlled independently.

Will we soon see electric trucks on the roads to transport our freight?

More broadly, Navigant Research forecasts suggest that sales of electric trucks could reach 332,000 units globally by 2026. Sales were 31,000 in 2016. These are sales of trucks Medium and Heavy hybrid, hybrid rechargeable, electric battery and hydrogen fuel cells.

Electromobility seems to be a solution when National and regional governments keep imposing increasingly stringent emissions standards on commercial vehicles but are also looking for ways to encourage fleets to invest in energy-efficient technologies and cleaner fuels.

Another Lithium Battery Recall

New Recall of Laptop Computer Battery Packs

An expanded recall of laptop computer battery packs for Panasonic battery packs used in Toshiba laptop computers was made on Wednesday January 4th, 2017.

The lithium-ion battery packs can overheat and cause burns and fire hazards.

This expanded recall involves Panasonic lithium-ion battery packs installed in 41 models of Toshiba Satellite laptops, including the Satellite models affected by the March 2016 recall. Toshiba has expanded the number of battery packs to include those sold between June 2011 and November 2016. The battery packs also were sold separately and installed by Toshiba as part of a repair. Battery packs included in this recall have part numbers that begin with G71C (G71C*******). Part numbers are printed on the battery pack.

If your battery pack is part of the recall, power off the laptop, remove the battery and follow the instructions to obtain a free replacement battery pack. Until a replacement battery pack is received, you should use the laptop by plugging into AC power only. Battery packs previously identified as not affected by the March 30, 2016 recall are included in this expanded announcement.

To see if your device is eligible for exchange, go to http://go.toshiba.com/battery or call Toshiba America Information Systems toll-free at 866-224-1346 any day between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. PT.

As always, ICC is here for all of your safety needs. Contact us Continue Reading…

New Requirements When Shipping Lithium Batteries

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

New Lithium Battery Labels

The working group of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel agreed on a number of changes to the ICAO-TI, which will be incorporated into the 2017-2018 Edition, effective on January 1, 2017. The changes will be incorporated into the 58th Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

A new mark and a new label are introduced for shipments of Lithium Batteries.

New Lithium Battery Mark and Pictogram

New Lithium Battery Mark

The current lithium battery handling label will be replaced with a new lithium battery mark for lithium batteries (under Section IB or Section II of Packing Instructions 965, 966, 967, 968, 969, and 970, and Section IB of Packing Instructions 965 and 968). The new mark comes into effect as of January 1, 2017 with a 2-year transitional period. Therefore, the current lithium battery handling label may continue to be used until December 31, 2018.

New lithium battery label

New Class 9 Label for Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries that do not qualify for the exceptions (under Section IB, or II of Packing Instructions 965, 966, 967, 968, 969, or 970) must be shipped as Class 9 dangerous goods and meet extensive requirements. The provisions on additional text on hazard labels have been revised to identify that for the new Class 9 – Lithium Battery hazard label the only information permitted in the bottom half of the label is a pictogram and the class number. The Continue Reading…

Uniform Straight Bill of Lading
US Bill of Lading New Requirements

NMFC Supplement 2

Supplement 2 to the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) version NMF 100-AP, became effective on August 13th 2016, which updates the standards of the US Bill of Lading.

Included in this supplement are drastic changes to the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading, Straight Bill of Lading–Short Form and the NMFC rules in Item 360 regarding bills of lading. These changes were made without notice and without a comment period for shippers. See below for the most significant changes and the impact that shippers will incur:

NMF 100 Item 360-B Uniform Straight Bill of Lading Terms and Conditions Sec. 1 (b)

What Changed:

Previous version:…The burden to prove freedom from negligence is on the carrier or the party in possession.

Supplement 2:…The burden to prove carrier negligence is on the shipper.

This is in regard to loss or damage due to negligence of the carrier. Previously, the carrier—or the party in possession—had to prove they were not negligent. Carriers are actually in possession of freight when shipping damage occurs. Now the burden of proof has shifted to the shippers. This becomes exceedingly difficult because the shipper did not possess the freight at the time the damage occurs. They are not knowledgeable about the movement of the shipment from origin to destination, and therefore are at an unreasonable disadvantage. Shippers have to be aware of this change and protect themselves Continue Reading…

Accidents Can Happen at the Office!

The risk of accidents in an office are negligible … it usually results in very minor injuries and it’s not really worth it to be concerned …

If this is really what you think, there is an important perception problem. We would like to show here some dangerous situations where you will see that using common sense, will help to avoid injury and accidents. Security measures are to be respected both in the offices, on construction sites, or in plants.

Tripping Over a Cable

In addition to being dangerous, it can also be annoying … And all there is to do, is to simply fix the wire or the cable on the floor using adhesive tape or a wire floor guard.

Bumping or Tripping Over an Open Drawer

Often, we leave a file cabinet drawer opened mainly because we only need to use the document for a few seconds before putting it back. This is enough time to create a hazard. A very simple way to avoid this scenario is to close the drawer immediately after you get what you need from the file cabinet.

Hurting Your Back While Carrying a Heavy Object

Weight handling techniques should be used by both office and plant workers. In addition, the use of a dolly would be appropriate or ask help from a colleague.

Objects Landing on Your Head

Top of the cabinets are often used as Continue Reading…

Where Are We With Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is fashionable, but fashion is transient. Is it going away or is it here to stay? We now know that yesterday’s science fiction is already in our lives, you only have to think of cell phones, micro-computers, etc. Nanotechnology involves design, characterization, production, and application of structures, devices, and systems by controlling shape and size as per the nanoscale.

The nanoparticles (NP) can be described as particles having at least one dimension less than 100 nanometers (nm). The nanometer unit is used to denote a measure of the order of billionths of a meter (0.000000001 or 1 x 10^-9). More specifically, a diameter of 30,000 times smaller than the thickness of one hair. The nanoparticles (NP) are new particles yes, but not all of them are new! Some have indeed been issued for a long time even if we do not realize it, they can be of natural origin, since they are present in the environment, for example, through combustion products released during forest fires or volcanoes; they can be caused by human activity, for example, products of combustion and exhaust gas coming from diesel engines; they can be manufactured by man, for example: Carbon black (tires), titanium dioxide, or TiO2 (white paints, toothpaste, sunscreen).

However, the current craze is mainly with the new particles whose production is based on the properties of their smaller size allowing Continue Reading…

GHS Pictogram - Flammable
Flammable Liquids Response Tool

A new online awareness tool designed by The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) is for first responders that are faced with incidents involving flammable liquids. This tool was developed by Inform, Canada’s oil and natural gas safety association, in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and Transport Canada.

This tool helps first responders assess hazards at the scene, to know who to contact and what resources are available, and understand how to respond appropriately and safely. Furthermore, the tool addresses knowledge gaps brought forth by Transport Canada’s Emergency Response Task Force based on feedback from municipalities and first responders arising from the Lac-Megantic incident. The awareness tool, is available free of charge in English and French.

The response tool has been endorsed by Transport Canada, with the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, saying: “Training is the backbone of any emergency response, and this new tool will help guide first responders in these critical situations.” The Emergency Response Task Force brought together the parties needed to make this tool a reality and brought forward many recommendations that will continue to make transporting dangerous goods by rail safer. The Task Force has worked diligently to examine 650 flammable liquids in Canada and has provided over 33 safety recommendations to date, with more expected this year.

Online Awareness Tool available at: Emergency Preparedness for Rail Incidents Involving Flammable Liquids Continue Reading…

Error in TDG Schedule 1!

It was brought to our attention that the entry for UN2809 in Schedule 1 was incorrect.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, Schedule 1 lists:

UN2809 with the proper shipping name MERCURY, class 8, Packing Group III.

It seems that there is a typo in Schedule 1 which Transport Canada will correct it in an upcoming proposed regulatory file.
The entry should be:

UN2809, MERCURY, class 8 (6.1), Packing Group III.

In the meantime, it is allowed to use the classification from the international recommendations as per subsection 2.2(4) of the TDG regulations.

ICAO Releases Corrigendum #1 for Lithium Batteries in their 2015 – 2016 Edition

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) announced on December 10, 2014, the release of Corrigendum #1 to their 2015 – 2016 edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Handling of Dangerous Goods.

The corrigendum is brief and addresses the issue of the ability of a state to grant an exemption from the prohibition of the carriage of Lithium Metal Batteries aboard passenger aircraft. (Reference: 1;1.1.3)  This is stated in a revised version of Special Provision A201.


States concerned may grant an exemption from the prohibition to transport lithium metal batteries on passenger aircraft in accordance with Part 1;1.1.3.

Lithium Metal (i.e. “primary” or non-rechargeable) batteries are considered to present a more severe risk of hazard than Lithium Ion (i.e. rechargeable) batteries due to their higher Lithium content, and under normal circumstances they are banned from carriage aboard passenger aircraft. They are however normally allowed aboard cargo aircraft.

ICAO estimates that this new exemption, which was created to address potential emergency requirements for the transport of such batteries, will be invoked only rarely due to the ready availability of cargo aircraft to carry such goods under most circumstances.

Read the corrigendum now (PDF) »