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. CANUTEC’s role is to provide technical and scientific advice in an incident involving dangerous goods and to bring together all persons involved in the incident. The CANUTEC’s staff handles nearly 1,000 emergencies and answers more than 22,000 phone calls every year!

Note that CANUTEC advisors do not go to the scene of an incident.

CANUTEC also provides a 24-hour emergency telephone service for registered Canadian shippers who enter the CANUTEC emergency telephone number (1-888-CAN-UTEC (226-8832) or 613-996-6666) on their dangerous goods shipping documents. The free online registration for this service is available on the CANUTEC website.

TDG Reporting Requirements

Newly amended, Part 8 (Reporting Requirements) of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations improves the data collection process, increases risk analysis capacity and specify the reporting requirements.

Part 8 of TDG requires that CANUTEC be contacted in the case of:

  • a Release or Anticipated Release Report (Road, Rail, Marine);
  • a Dangerous Goods Accident or Incident Report (Air);
  • an Undeclared or Misdeclared Dangerous Goods Report (Air);
  • a Loss or Theft Report (Road, Rail, Marine, Air); or
  • an Unlawful Interference Report (Road, Rail, Marine, Air).

Part 8 has three tier reporting for road, rail and marine:

  1. Emergency report to local authorities if the release endangers or could endanger public safety* consult 8.2;
  2. A Release or Apprehended Release report, only if special requirements are met consult section 8.4;
  3. A 30-day follow-up report, if a release or apprehended release report was required, consult section 8.6.

*Note that public safety refers to safety related to human life and health, property and the environment.

Transport Canada released Safety Awareness Kits aimed at target audiences – First Responders, Communities/Municipalities, Industry and the General Public – containing valuable information on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods. You can consult them at:
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Safety Awareness Materials and FAQ webpage

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 today for our Lithium Battery Multi-Modal transport course, packaging and marks and labels needed.

Source: http://www.recallowl.com/Consumer+Recalls/Recreational+Products/Toshiba+Expands+Recall+of+Laptop+Computer+Battery+Packs+Due+to+Burn+and+Fire+Hazards

New Requirements When Shipping Lithium Batteries

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 new hazard label comes into effect as of January 1, 2017 with a 2-year transitional period.

Buy the new required labels from ICC »

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 and understand how this will affect their business.

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

What Changed:

Previous version:No carrier shall be liable for any loss or damage or for any delay caused by an Act of God, the public enemy, the authority of law or the act or default of shipper.

Supplement 2:No carrier shall be liable for any loss or damage or for any delay caused by an Act of God, the public enemy, the authority of law, the act or default of the shipper, riots or strikes, or any related causes.

There were two additions to the list of conditions in this sentence. The first was that “riots or strikes” were added to the list of conditions. Another new addition is the phrase “or any related causes.” This is extremely vague in its meaning and application. Ambiguity in this sense could be harmful to shippers when trying to prove the carrier’s negligence. Again the shipper will have to negotiate a well-defined and protective clause in their contracts with carriers.

NMF 100 Item 360-B Uniform Straight Bill of Lading Terms and Conditions Sec. 2

What Changed:

Previous version:…carrier is not bound to transport a shipment by a particular schedule or in time for a particular market, but is responsible to transport with reasonable dispatch.

Supplement 2:…carrier is not bound to transport a shipment by a particular schedule or in time for a particular market, but will transport the shipment in the regular course of its providing transportation services.

“Reasonable dispatch” has been the standard for a century. It has gone from a standard that could be applied across all carriers to a more carrier specific time frame. This is holding shippers captive to the carrier’s chosen standards. We already see carriers offering different transit times for different prices. This leads shippers to start questioning whether this could become a big enough issue that they will be forced to pay more for services to ensure their shipments are being delivered in an acceptable time frame. Shippers will need to be vigilant, the more regulations put on carriers, the more likely that delivery times will become longer.

NMF 100 Item 360-B Uniform Straight Bill of Lading Terms and Conditions Sec. 3 (b)

What Changed:

Previous version:…except that claims for failure to make delivery must be filed within nine months after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed.

Supplement 2:Claims for loss must be filed with the carrier not more than nine (9) months from the date of the bill of lading.

There were a few wording changes that seemed less significant, i.e.: “failure to deliver” was changed to “loss.” However, there was a significant change made regarding the timeline for filing claims for loss. Previously, it was nine months from a reasonable delivery time frame; now it is “nine months from the date of the bill of lading.”

So shippers should be asking which bill of lading date is to be used. Is it the date the shipment was requested? Is it the date the bill of lading was created? Is it the date when the bill of lading was printed? Or is the bill of lading date the pickup date?

Who Will This Affect?

Virtually all major motor carriers in the US are participants to the NMFC, and freight charges based on rates dependent on classifications provided in the NMFC are required to use the Uniform Straight Bill of lading. The impact of the changes will impact most shippers and shipments [see NMF 100 Item 360-B Sec. 1 (a) and (b)]. If shippers so choose to use their own bill of lading, per NMF 100 Item 360-B Sec. 1(h), they are still bound to all of the provisions and conditions of the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading.

Since the Supplement Became Effective:

The Transportation & Logistics Council (TLC) filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for suspension and investigation of the Supplement on July 29th. The National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) then filed a petition in support of TLC dated August 1st. The STB released their decision on August 12th. The STB denied the request and stated parties should file supplemental pleadings by September 12th. There is an open comments period and shippers are urged to comment in support of Docket Number IMA 35008. Comments can be sent to:

Chief, Section of Administration
Office of Proceedings
Surface Transportation Board
395 E. Street, SW
Washington, DC 20423

Source; AMTR Inc. http://www.amtr.com/

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 a storage area. This reflects the image of a messy office area and it’s certainly not safe. Moreover, to reach items that are that high, why not use a stool or a bench that meets the safety standards?

Hitting Furniture

A better furniture arrangement could certainly help to avoid many bruises.

Electrocution or Burns

Occasionally, papers get stuck in the copier. There is risk of electric shock, burns, and cuts when you try to remove the paper sheets without following the proper safety instructions. By the way, have you read them?

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 new industrial and commercial opportunities. For example, it is estimated that carbon nanotube offers 100 times the strength of steel.

Included as Examples of Nanoparticles:

  • Fullerenes, they are spherical cages containing from 28 to more than 100 carbon atoms
  • Carbon nanotubes, they are carbon molecules coiled in a hexagonal network of carbon atoms to form the hollow cylinders with a single wall (SWCNT for Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes) or multi-walled (MWCNT for Multi Walled Carbon Nanotubes) cylinders coaxial with increasing diameters in the same axis
  • Quantum dot, they are formed of a colloidal core surrounded by one or more surface coatings
  • Nano capsules, Nano spheres, Nano shells, are insoluble organic polymers
  • Dendrimer, which are star polymers which contain multiple concentric branches (arborescence)

There are also many other organic nanoparticles (for example, polystyrene and doxorubicin) and inorganic nanoparticles (made of metals such as gold, of various inorganic compounds or alloys such as TiO 2).


Did you know that 573 industries identified within the United States and 51 in Canada use them in processes, manufacturing, research and development, etc.? Many products based on nanotechnology, made here or elsewhere, are already available and used. The development, manufacture and applications of nanoparticles and nanomaterials should diversify and grow over the coming years. They can be found in materials, which allows to manufacture products with new mechanical properties such as increased strength of glass to wear and tear or scratches, greater adherence of tires; in electronics, to develop data storage devices smaller, faster and more energy-efficient; in optics, for microscopes and new instrumentations, for example: Lithography Nano imprint; in consumer products such as sunscreen and anti-wrinkle creams, fibers to improve hockey sticks and golf clubs (durability, lightness, etc.), textiles with anti-stain, and wrinkle resistant properties, stains for wood more wear resistant, and anti-graffiti paints; in biology and medicine for improving design and targeting of drugs, for biomedical analysis to better characterize microorganisms for example Lab-on-a-chip (DNA chip), for better diagnosis by imaging, for the self-assembly of atoms and molecules to make Nano engines, Nano-objects, and Nano-robots for space exploration, oil fields, etc…

Toxicological Properties

Nanoparticles have different properties from those of larger particles of the same product. Generally, if they are smaller, they can be more reactive and can also be toxic. They can have a significant impact on any worker’s health. Being that small, the nanoparticles can easily enter the body and generate effects such as oxidative stress, protein and genetic interactions. Not too many studies can be found on the subject. There are very few in vivo animal studies and human data is almost inexistent. However, available data does cover only a fraction of the information required to conclude definitively on the toxicity or the safety of the product.


Production and usage of nanoparticles can cause different hazards: chemical incompatibilities, fires, explosions, electrical risks, health effects, etc. Development and implementation of a prevention program should cover various aspects like; identification and assessment of the risks specific to nanoparticles used or produced, the assessment of occupational exposure levels, criteria and procedures allowing the installation of engineering controls, information and worker training (hazards, work procedures, equipment use, how to handle nanoparticles, preventive measures and personal protective equipment) evaluation performance and the effectiveness of different exposure control.

If the material is a powder, suspension or inclusion in a matrix, specific known risks such as (toxicity, reactivity, flammability, and explosiveness) must be considered in a prevention program, including the ones from the SDS provider.


Federal and provincial health and safety regulations cover general aspects of the obligations in terms of developing occupational prevention programs and how to control contaminants in the workplace. The Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) is a Canadian system that requires suppliers to label chemical substances and to produce safety data sheets describing the various products, their main physical characteristics, and risks to health, safety and preventive measures put in place. Employers must make them available and train their workers. Several other provincial or federal laws, such as the transport of dangerous goods regulations, may apply to nanoparticles as they apply to other chemicals but no law as far as we know covers specifically nanoparticles.


The hazards during certain activities may appear to be less of a concern because they usually involve workers trained and informed, for example, those working in research and development. However, it’s different when it comes to activities such as bagging, transporting, construction, recovery, cleaning, maintenance, etc. There is little data available on the toxicity of nanoparticles and even less about commercial products and compounds in manufactured goods or from processes using nanotechnology.

To learn more:
Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance

National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT)

NIOSH. Interim Guidance on Medical Screening of Workers Potentially Exposed to Engineered Nanoparticles http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/archive/docket115.html

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 in Canada

Source: Hazardous Cargo Bulletin.

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.

Continue reading “ICAO Releases Corrigendum #1 for Lithium Batteries in their 2015 – 2016 Edition”