Oil drum spill
When Are You Required to Report a Hazardous Spill?

Reportable Quantities & Environmental Release

Unfortunately accidents seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. Whether you fall, crash, slip, or spill, it is often the aftermath that defines who we are. After all, there is no use crying over spilled milk. However if you spill hazardous goods, the aftermath can be a bit more complicated.

It is important when hazardous materials are spilled that it is addressed in a way that prevents any further damage to the environment or health of the community. But when is it necessary to report a hazardous spill to the proper authority? The Federal Government has established Reportable Quantities (RQ) for instances when hazardous substances are released in the environment. If a hazardous substances released in the environment in an amount that is equal or exceeds its RQ, it is required that it is reported to the federal authorities. A list of Reportable Quantities san be found in the latest 49 CFR.

Chemical Spill Guidelines

Specific guidelines are in place if hazardous materials are spilled during transportation. Whether you are loading, driving, unloading, or storing hazardous materials, you are required to adhere to the same guidelines. There are times when hazardous goods are transferred from one carrier to another. According to the D.O.T, whenever material is being transferred from one carrier to another, the upstream carrier remains responsible until the material is fully in the possession of the downstream carrier, no matter who is unloading the material.

Once the material has been delivered to the final intended consignee and the goods are no longer in transit, the final consignee becomes responsible for filing the report for spills that occur during the unloading process. If during the transportation of hazardous goods a spill takes place that meets or exceeds the reportable quantity (RQ), immediately contact the National Response Center (NRC).

You will need to provide the following information per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • Your name, location, organization, and telephone number
  • Name and address of the party responsible for the incident; or name of the carrier or vessel, the railcar/truck number, or other identifying information
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Location of the incident
  • Source and cause of the release or spill
  • Types of material(s) released or spilled
  • Quantity of materials released or spilled
  • Medium (e.g. land, water) affected by release or spill
  • Danger or threat posed by the release or spill
  • Number and types of injuries or fatalities (if any)
  • Weather conditions at the incident location
  • Whether an evacuation has occurred
  • Other agencies notified or about to be notified
  • Any other information that may help emergency personnel respond to the incident

If you have questions about chemical spills or reportable quantities, contact us here at ICC Compliance Center at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-44834 (Canada).

Danger Placard
Does My Personal Vehicle Need Placards? – Answering Regulatory Helpline Questions

One of the great services offered by ICC Compliance Center to our customers is our Regulatory Helpline. Current customers can call in and have basic questions answered for free. Our Specialists are trained in all of the transport regulations for the US and Canada. We also answer questions surrounding HazCom2012 and WHMIS 2015. A great benefit of our service is getting the customer a “right” answer. Occasionally it may require some information gathering, but we still give you an answer. Being relatively new to our Helpline, I tend to take a bit longer to get an answer.

I mention this because of an interesting question that came in last week. A customer called and posed the following question:

If I want to move a container of oxygen in my personal vehicle, does [my vehicle] have to be placarded?

On the surface this seems easy enough to answer, but in reality that is not the case. As I discovered a good bit more information was needed to formulate a “right” answer.

Answer Step 1:

What is meant by “a container of oxygen”? This information is needed for several reasons. We have to determine if what the caller has is truly a hazardous material/dangerous good. For example, is it pure oxygen or is it a blend of oxygen and nitrogen similar to a SCUBA tank? One is much more dangerous in the event of a fire than the other. In this case, the container is of pure oxygen.

Answer Step 2:

What is the description of the container? The assumption is the container is a cylinder. If so, what size? There could be exemptions in place depending on how large or small the container is. The caller said it is a steel cylinder that weighs 15 kilograms and it has TC on the outside.

Answer Step 3:

Where is this person located? We need to have this information so that the proper regulations can be checked. If the caller was in the United States, but I used Canada’s transport regulation to answer that may not have worked. In this case the caller is from Canada. This is helpful because there was a mention of using a “personal vehicle”. In the U.S. this could have led to a discussion of Materials of Trade exemptions. Since Canada does not have that type of exemption it would make no sense to go over them with the caller.

Answer Step 4:

Now we almost have the whole picture. We have a steel cylinder full of pure oxygen that weighs 15 kilograms. It is being transported in a personal vehicle in Canada. With all of that information, the caller MAY meet the 150 kilogram Gross Mass Exemption in the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulations per Section 1.15. This prompted one more question. Was this cylinder purchased by the caller at a location open to the general public? The answer was “yes.”

Final Answer:

The final answer is “no”, the caller is not required to placard his personal vehicle to transport a cylinder of oxygen. Per the 150 kilogram Gross Mass Exemption, he does not need a shipper’s declaration, training or … any sort of “dangerous goods safety marks”. This section also includes placards. He may voluntarily display it per Section 4.1.1 of the regulation but there are multiple provisions.

So while this looks like a complicated process, it is in fact not. As long as we have all of the information, answering your questions can be quite easy. Give us a call today to see just how easy it is – ICC Regulatory Helpline 855.734.5469. We are here to help. As always, ICC Compliance Center is here to help you with all of your regulatory needs.

Single Packaging
Can You Spot the Errors on this UN Package?

Test your dangerous goods knowledge and see if you can find all five errors/missing information on this UN performance package.

Don’t be discouraged if you find this difficult — we can help! We have a dedicated regulatory staff available to our customers. Call ICC today!

Find out how your answers compare to the answer key next week!

 
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Lithium
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 BANNED

Don’t Bring Your Note 7 with You on a Plane

More bad news for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owners. Not only do you have to worry about them catching on fire, but now, you can’t even bring them with you when you travel by air.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), announced it is issuing an emergency order to ban all Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone devices from air transportation in the United States.

This emergency order bans all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices from “being on their person, in carry-on baggage or in checked baggage on flights to, from or within the USA.

The emergency order can be found here:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-25322.pdf

In September, Samsung announced the recall of over 1.9 million Galaxy Note7 devices. The Consumer Product Safety  Commission says that Samsung received 96 reports of lithium batteries overheating, including 13 burns and 47 reports of property damage. The CPSC recall notice can be found here: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/Samsung-Expands-Recall-of-Galaxy-Note7-Smartphones-Based-on-Additional-Incidents-with-Replacement-Phones


If you need to ship lithium ion or metal batteries by themselves, packed in equipment or  contained in equipment contact ICC for training and supplies to ensure that they are transported safely.

PHMSA Update
U.S. Publishes Proposed Rule HM-215N on International Harmonization

It’s autumn — we’re surrounded by orange leaves and orange pumpkins, and children are thinking about Halloween. Regulators, on the other hand, are thinking about something else orange. A new edition of the Orange Book (the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods) is out.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), has made a commitment that U.S. transportation will stay well-harmonized with international regulations. So, now that the 19th Edition of the Orange Book is upon us, we must prepare for changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR).

DOT’s rules on international harmonization can be identified by their HM-215 docket numbers. On September 7, 2016, PHMSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, HM-215N. This rulemaking is intended to harmonize the HMR with the latest regulations on hazardous materials, including:

  • 2017-2018 Edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI),
  • Amendment 38-16 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG),
  • Canada’s “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations” (TDG) up to an amendment incorporated on May 20, 2015,
  • 6th Revised Edition of the UN Manual of Test and Criteria, and
  • 6th Revised Edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

What changes can we expect?

As always, PHMSA does not simply cut and paste from the latest Orange Book. Instead, it reviews how international changes will interact with current U.S. regulations, and attempts to balance harmonization with international requirements against specific U.S. safety concerns. Some of the major changes proposed will include:

Provisions for polymerizing substances – PHMSA will add to the Hazardous Materials Table (HMR), section 172.101, four entries for a new type of hazard called polymerizing substances in Division 4.1. They will also establish classification criteria defining what are polymerizing substances, specific packaging authorizations and safety requirements for these unstable materials. These requirements will include stabilization methods and operational controls.

Polymeric beads – PHMSA proposes to add a procedure for declassifying polymeric beads if they don’t give off dangerous amounts of flammable gas, based on the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria.

Modification of the marine pollutant list – The list of marine pollutants in Appendix B to the HMT is a remnant of an earlier system under which aquatic hazards were determined by environmental authorities such as MARPOL. The Orange Book has for some time used a system of classification criteria instead of the list. In other words, a marine pollutant in the Orange Book and the IMDG Code is any chemical that tests positive as an environmental hazard. PHMSA will maintain the old list as a starting point for classification, although it will allow the use of the IMDG criteria for chemicals not listed, and this amendment will update the list to reflect current knowledge of marine hazards.

Hazard communication for lithium batteries – Lithium batteries have remained a thorn in the side of hazmat shippers as well as regulators, as the international community still scrambles to establish a fool-proof method of transporting these items. Under the 19th Edition of the Orange Book and the ICAO TI for 2017-2018, a new Class 9 label specific for batteries has been introduced, as well as a new simplified Lithium Battery Handling mark for low-powered batteries. PHMSA plans to incorporate these to match. Also, the Lithium Battery Handling mark will made mandatory.

Engine, internal combustion/Machinery, internal combustion – Under this proposal, the entries existing for “Engine, internal combustion” would be assigned their own UN numbers and hazard class based on the type of fuel – for example, a gasoline engine would be put in Class 3, UN3528, while a propane-powered engine would be put in Division 2.1, UN3529. The entries for UN3166 will be eliminated.

Harmonization with Canadian regulations – PHMSA proposes to eliminate several costly and annoying areas of non-harmonization with Canadian TDG regulations that have been addressed by the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). PHMSA proposes to recognize cylinders approved under Transport Canada. Also, Canadian equivalency certificates (the Canadian term for permits for equivalent level of safety) may be used for shipments coming into the U.S., until the first destination. These changes will be made along with Transport Canada, who will amend TDG to give similar reciprocity for cylinders and permits regarding shipments coming into Canada.

PHMSA has already moved forward on some issues that the UN is only now addressing. For example, the proposal notes that while the Orange Book has created an exemption for ping-pong balls under the entry for UN 2000, Celluloid, PHMSA has already declared in a letter of interpretation that the U.S. does not consider such articles to “pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety or property during transportation.” This comes as a significant relief to those who enjoy a rousing game of table tennis.

You can view the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at PHMSA’s rulemaking archive. Comments on the proposed changes may be received by November 7, 2016, by mail, fax, hand-delivery or the Federal Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.


If you have any questions about these proposed changes and how they can affect your operations, please contact us here at ICC Compliance Center at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-4834 (Canada).

Shipping by Road
A Closer Look at Truck Safety

In the United States, there are close to ten million people in trucking-related jobs. Over 2 million tractor-trailers hit the roadways each year, logging nearly 450 billion annual miles. These trucks account for 70 percent of freight transported in the US, with several trillion dollars of cargo delivered in North America each year.

For a delivery system that’s so critical to our nation, the safety risks associated with the trucking industry are huge.

OSHA reports that an average of 475,000 large trucks are involved in accidents each year, causing over 5,000 deaths and 142,000 injuries. A quarter of those belong to the truck drivers (although the truck operators are only responsible for 30 percent or less of the accidents.) In addition to driving-related accidents, regulators issued numerous citations for improper guards on equipment, lack of personal protective equipment, improper grounding of equipment and lack of proper fall protection.

The sad reality is that employees in the trucking industry have more work-related fatalities than any other occupation, with a full third of these deaths taking place off of the roadway. The industry also accounts for more non-fatal injuries requiring medical attention than any other form of employment, with the most prevalent injuries being sprains and strains. One of the most prevalent types of serious occurrences is back-overs, with many hundreds of employees being struck each year.

So what can be done?

Establish Proper Protocols

OSHA estimates that 70 percent of businesses do not have an established safety and health plan. Simply posting bulletins and laying manuals on tables do not protect workers. Proper protocols need to be established that address equipment, gear, weather, vehicles, communication, signage and more.

For example, when unloading goods, people on foot should stay out of the loading zone. Personnel should not be downhill of moving cargo, and all employees should be free of trailers and wheels before a truck is moved. These seemingly common sense items should never be left to common sense alone; they need to be stated.

All protocols should be unique to your environment. Nobody else’s worksite looks like yours or presents the same specific challenges. From visibility to geological, geographic and meteorological features, address your strengths and weaknesses. And prepare a plan that will send every employee home safely each and every day.

Training

Once the protocols are established, train your employees on them. If you are going to reduce accidents and prepare a safe work environment, training cannot be taken lightly. OSHA and a number of other agencies will provide training for you. All you have to do is ask.

Training needs to be conducted on everything from equipment to personal protective gear. When dealing with trucks, you need to address the visual limits of the drivers, blind spots, communication signals and acknowledgments, spotters, loading, unloading, etc.

For example, a back-over incident is when a vehicle that’s backing up strikes a worker while they’re either standing, walking or kneeling behind the vehicle. Common reasons for back-overs include:

  • Spotters for one vehicle who don’t see a second vehicle backing up without a spotter
  • Workers riding on trucks who fall off and get run over
  • Trucks backing without a spotter, so they don’t see a worker in their blind spot
  • Backup warning signals that are not operational

Most of these incidents could be prevented with proper protocols and training. Requiring trained spotters to be present on all backups reduces incidents significantly. Further, training employees about the location of a truck’s blind spots helps them avoid ending up in one.

Loading and Unloading Equipment

The modern trucking industry has come a long way from the days of the handcart. From gangways and loading ramps to platforms and bridges, your equipment needs to meet your operational needs. Too often, a one-size-fits-all approach is taken with equipment, and this leads to safety hazards.

When ordering your equipment, make sure your vendor knows the sizes of your trucks, the dimensions of your loading and unloading area, the configuration of the operations, and so on. They can work with you to design a custom solution that will maximize your employee safety.

In addition to equipment that fits, don’t forget to think about visibility. On the work site, orange and yellow have special meanings. Make sure your employees and equipment are highly visible and easy to see.

Fall Protection

Whether you are opening a hatch or working on a tarp, when you leave the ground, you are subject to a fall. OSHA standards require fall protection any time you’re at least 4 feet, 6 feet or 8 feet off of the ground, depending on your operation. Granted, the best fall system is one that does not have you on top of the truck, but when that’s unavoidable, fall protection needs to be in place. Consider beam and trolley systems, access platforms, lifelines and more. Safety cages are also always good options, and automatic tarping systems could be considered fall protection since it keeps employees off of the truck.

When working in inclement weather, canopies protect your employees from the elements and significantly reduce the chances of a fall. Spill containment equipment keeps slick or hazardous materials from ending up under your employee’s feet. Gaps and drop-offs should be secured near all lift gates and loading docks.

Many times employees will attempt to inspect or fix a problem when the truck is outside of the standard work area. These instances relate back to developing good protocols and training, especially in the case of roadside repairs or emergency service work.

In 2015, the top three most cited violations by OSHA were, once again, fall protection, hazard communication and scaffolding. Don’t let any of your employees become one of these statistics.

Maintenance

According to the United States Department of Labor: “Truck or rail tank car loading … is one of the most hazardous operations likely to be undertaken at any manufacturing or storage facility. Workers engaged in the loading or unloading of suspension-type highway trailers may be at an increased risk of injury due to the inability of damaged trailers to support the weight of the powered industrial truck used to load or unload the trailer.”

Prior to engaging in loading and unloading activities, take the time to inspect the trailers and ensure they have been properly maintained. The same goes for power trucks. The right time to find out there’s a mechanical issue is not when you are in the middle of moving a massive load.

Safety is job one. With a few precautions, some quality training and proper equipment, your employees will love coming to work because they know they will be going home safely at the end of the day.

Seat belts
Grateful Dead and Truck Seat Belts?

FMCSA Final Rule

Occasionally a change to a regulation comes along and just the title of it triggers the memory of a song in my head. On June 8th the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule regarding passengers in commercial trucks. As soon as I saw the words “commercial trucks” the Grateful Dead’s song “Truckin’” popped into my head. For a reminder of this song, take a listen here. Throughout the song various cities are mentioned and the song itself is about the band travel exploits. The irony of this band and safety is not lost on me!

Now that the song is stuck in your head which are called “ear worms” by the way, let’s talk about the actual change to the regulation. For years commercial truck drivers have been required to wear seat belts but passengers did not. That is about to change. The revision goes into effect on August 8th and now requires all passengers riding in commercial trucks to wear a seatbelt. If a passenger fails to do so, then the driver will be held responsible.

We all know that wearing a seat belt can save your life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2014, “37 passengers traveling unrestrained in the cab of a large truck were killed in roadway crashes”. Granted that’s not a large number, but any loss of life that can be prevented should be.

FMSCA periodically asks drivers to complete surveys to get a feel for what’s happening on the roads. One such survey was given on the topic of “Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) Drivers”. The results showed a difference between drivers and passengers and their seat belt usage.  Drivers wore a seat belt 84% of the time while passengers only 73%. Again the difference isn’t large but wearing a seat belt is such a simple form of protection.

The summary of the final rule in 49 CFR Part 392 is as follows:

FMCSA revises the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) by requiring passengers in property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to use the seat belt assembly whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce. This rule holds motor carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that passengers riding in the property-carrying CMV are using the seat belts required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs).

To read the full final rule on this matter, go to here.

For all of your transportation needs, ICC Compliance Center is here.  We offer all types of training, labels, and placards. With our help you will “pick a place to go, and just keep truckin’ on.”

Motorcycles – Yes, They are Dangerous Goods

If you are feeling “Born to Be Wild” – Steppenwolf and looking to race down life’s highway on two wheels this summer, but short on time, or looking for an even better adventure across the pond, fly your bike and meet it there.

Wait! You can’t just show up at the airport and check in your motorcycle. Did you know that a motorcycle is considered to be a dangerous good? Under the IATA regulations, a motorcycle is classified as UN 3166, Vehicle flammable liquid powdered, hazard class 9; and therefore needs a shipper’s declaration form.

What does this mean to the average motorcycle enthusiast? It means that you need to seek the advice of a dangerous goods consultant, who specializes and can assist in providing instruction on the preparation of the motorcycle, and provide the proper signed shipper’s declaration.

According to Air Canada, some of the requirements at time of tender include:

  • The fuel tank must be drained as far as practical; and fuel must NOT exceed ¼ of the tank capacity
  • All batteries must be installed and securely fastened in the battery holder of the vehicle and be protected in such a manner as to prevent damage and short circuits
  • Spare key, to be left in the ignition
  • Alarm (theft-protection devices, installed radio communications equipment or navigational systems must be disabled
    Air waybill number (booking number)
  • Saddle bags may be filled with equipment, parts, etc. An itemized list of the content of the saddle bags must be provided at time of tender.
  • Personal effects such as a clothing, toiletries and luggage cannot accompany the motorbike. (Dangerous goods such as lubricants, spray paints etc. must be left behind)

ICC Compliance Center offers declaration services across Canada, and can work with you to find a consultant in other countries as well. Contact us at least 2 weeks before you plan to start your adventure.

Have fun and contrary to the opening statement, no racing! Simply stay safe enjoy the sun on your face and the wind in your hair!

No Smoking
Up in Smoke – Transport Bans on E-Cigarettes

On almost every corner in St. Louis recently are signs for “vapor rooms” or “vaping” locations. Curious, I did some research. These are locations where the newly popular electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are sold and used. We now have electronic devices that are alternatives to real cigarettes, pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco. Some of these devices are called an e-cigarette, e-pen or even an e-hookah. They work by using a lithium battery to heat an internal coil which vaporizes a mixture of various chemicals and flavorings, including nicotine which is then inhaled.

Last week one of our local news stations, Fox 2 Now, aired a story about injuries received from electronic smoking devices exploding or catching fire while in the hands or pockets of some users. The full story can be found here. Please be warned some of the images are graphic in nature.

As someone in the “safety business,” I was curious in regards to what regulations are currently in place for these items. Back in January of 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an alert that air carriers require these devices only in the cabin of the aircraft. This was followed by a June 2015 ICAO addendum that “prohibits the carriage of e-cigarettes in checked baggage and restricts the charging of these devices while on board the aircraft.” In May of this year, the US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued their final rule on this topic. The final rule “prohibits passengers and crew members from carrying battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e.g., e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems) in checked baggage and prohibits passengers and crew members from charging the devices and/or batteries on board an aircraft.” This final rule follows the interim one published in October 2015. As for using these devices during flight, it is prohibited. PHMSA’s previous policy prohibited their use, but to avoid confusion the Department is amending the rule to clearly state the ban. Also note that the charging devices and/or batteries for these devices are included in this ban.

What is interesting to note, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate e-cigarettes. This means there are no set of standards to determine what can be in the mixture that is vaporized and then inhaled. Another scary thought is that without some regulation, middle and high school students have easy access to these devices. In an article from the American Lung Association in August of 2014, a startling statistic was noted from a 2011 – 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey.

The number of youth who used e-cigarettes but never used conventional cigarettes increased from 79,000 in 2011 to 263,000 in 2013. Among these youth, the study found 43.9 percent “intended to smoke conventional cigarettes within the next year.” This is compared to only 21.5 percent who said they intended to smoke a cigarette but had never used an e-cigarette.

Isn’t it interesting that we have transportation regulations and bans in place for our safety on an aircraft but not for our overall health on the ground? While ICC Compliance Center won’t be able to help with that part, we can help with all of your lithium battery transportation needs including answering your questions and providing training.

2016 Emergency Response Guidebook (PDF Download Available)

The Emergency Response Guidebook published by the US Department of Transportation, developed jointly with Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Transport and Communications is used by firefighters, police, and other emergency response personnel who may be the first to arrive on the scene of a transportation incident regarding dangerous goods/hazardous materials.

The primary purpose of the Guide is to provide immediate information regarding the chemical, therefore allowing them to take appropriate action to protect themselves and the general public.

Changes and Updates You Should Know About

Free ERG 2016 Download

  • The 2016 edition includes changes such as:
    • Expanded/Revised sections on:
    • Shipping documents
    • How to use this guidebook (flowchart)
    • Table of placards and markings
    • Rail car/road trailer identification charts
    • Pipeline transportation
    • Protective clothing
    • A glossary
    • ER telephone numbers
  • New Sections include:
    • Table of contents
    • Information on GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and labeling of Chemicals)
    • Information about ERAP (Emergency Response Assistance Plans)
  • Also …
    • Updated to the 19th revised edition
    • Updated guides

Plus much more…

Order your copy today and download the free ERG 2016 PDF »