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2020 Vision or Still Blurry for Lithium Battery Shippers?

The title says it all, can you see clearly when you ship lithium batteries, or are the waters still a little murky? If it is the former rather than the latter for you, that may change as Amazon has announced new global FBA requirements for all lithium batteries and products which contain lithium batteries. A Lithium Battery Test Summary will now need to be uploaded to Amazon, starting this past 1st of January 2020. This new rule will affect those who sell a variety of products, from watches to smartphones to toys. This type of change is not only exclusive to Amazon, as IATA and IMDG Code will now also be enforcing a new regulation that requires the test summary for the lithium battery/cells to be made available throughout the entire distribution network. 

What is the Test?

Lithium cells and batteries that are manufactured after June 30, 2003, and equipment powered by those cells and batteries have to be tested in accordance with the UN Manual of Test and Criteria Part III, Section 38.3. If the testing passes, the test facility provides a summary certificate to the manufacturer that confirms that the cells or batteries meet an international standard and can be shipped around the world in accordance with the appropriate regulations. The test standard includes eight tests total: Altitude Simulation; Thermal Test; Vibration; Shock; External Short Circuit; Continue Reading…

OSHA HazCom 2012
HazCom2012 Revision is Coming

It just doesn’t seem possible that the new OSHA standard, known as HazCom2012, has been in full swing for over 4 years now.  Of course, the time taken to get everything in place regarding it is still fresh in many people’s memories. I can still remember choosing to work on Memorial Day weekend to help some customers meet the June 1, 2015 deadline.  Just as a reminder, that transition was to Revision 3 of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS) or Purple Book and the direct section of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that was updated is Title 29 1910.1200.  Given that the UN just released Revision 8, the US is a bit behind some other parts of the world.

Don’t worry though, OSHA is already in the process of preparing another update to the standard.  However, this will take time given the process involved with updating the CFR.  The process was supposed to start in the Fall of 2014 with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for an update to Revision 7 of the Purple Book.  That didn’t happen and the date moved to Spring of 2018.  Again, the process stalled.  OSHA is now looking to publish the NPRM this month – December 2019. 

This notice of proposed rulemaking, whenever it is published, is supposed to update the OSHA standard to Continue Reading…

Fire Safety
Fire Prevention Week 2019

Anyone that has taken a training class with me discovers my secret love of superheroes.  There is just something about them that makes life fun.  They show up in all sorts of places during training.  From signatures on shipping documents to addresses on packages, it is just a little something to make training a little less boring.  I bring this up because the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has designated the week of October 6th-12th as Fire Prevention Week.  This year’s theme is – Not every hero wears a cape.  Plan and Practice Your Escape.

According to the NFPA website, some home fires can limit a family to only one or two minutes of time to get out and reach safety.  Let that sink in for just a little bit. Two minutes is not a lot of time to make life saving decisions.  This is why the goal of this year’s week is to have people make their own home escape plans AND to practice them. 

There are tons of resources on the NFPA site to help you.  Simply go to  https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Fire-Prevention-Week to see all of the options.  There are videos, activities for children, games and safety tip sheets. Many of these are free to download and use. In an effort to learn more about this year’s theme, I downloaded the Escape Planning Tips sheet on the website.  Continue Reading…

IATA
IATA 61st Edition Significant Changes

The Labor Day Holiday generally symbolizes the end of summer for many people.  For many businesses it is the end of their fiscal year.  For parents in many areas it means back to school.  For the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) it means releasing notices of proposed rulemakings.  We also have OSHA publishing their Top Ten Violations.  Finally, it is time for IATA to publish the list of significant changes for their upcoming edition.

Keep in mind, these changes are in the 61st edition of the IATA.  It goes into force January 1, 2020.  The other thing to remember is these are just a list of “significant” changes.  Some of the changes always seem a bit cryptic to me.  Plus, I’m one of those folks that takes the old one and compares it to the new one to better understand exactly how it changed.  Guess it comes from being a visual learner.

If you should want to read the list of changes, it can be found here.  A brief overview of some of the changes are shown below for quick reference.  There is a little something for everyone in the industry.  As you read through, there are some times where I added some information to supplement the change as it is stated on the publication.

Brief Summary of Some Proposed Changes by Section:

railroad crossing
PHMSA UPDATE: New Safety Rule to Strengthen Oil Train Spill Response Preparedness

Much like Sheryl Crow sang, “A change, could do you good”, at least one would hope. When it comes to PHMSA, change is aimed at improving an already existing process, or adding a new process we can all benefit from. So in this case, I believe Sheryl Crow is right.

With that being said, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), recently issued a final rule that requires railroads to create and submit Comprehensive Oil Spill Response Plans for route segments traveled by High Hazard Flammable Trains also called HHFTs. The rule applies to these trains that are transporting petroleum oil in a block of 20 or more loaded tank cars and trains that have a total of 35 loaded petroleum oil tank cars.

Why the Change?

Incidents involving crude oil can have devastating consequences to local communities and the environment. Countering these effects on the environment can take between a few weeks to many years, depending on the damage caused. For this reason, fast and effective response is essential to rail accidents containing oil. The 174-page final rule is designed to improve the response readiness and decrease the effects of rail accidents and incidents involving petroleum oil and a flammable train. The agency said the rule also is needed due to expansion in U.S. energy production having led to “significant challenges for the Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
BX-24DU Change Notice

Dear Valued Customer,

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-24DU (PK-MT-124).

  1. The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 2 strips of 3M #305 48mm wide clear tape to 1 strip of 3M #375 48mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888-442-9628 or in Canada at 888-977-4834.

Thank you,

Michael S. Zendano

Packaging Specialist

bathroom scale
Our Boxes Keep Getting Better

ICC Has Gained Weight – In a Good Way!

In a society where oftentimes less is more, diet trends have come in many forms. Whether it’s the ketogenic diet, South Beach, or Atkins, many of us are looking to drop a few pounds and go lighter. But in the dangerous goods packaging world, the higher the weight allowance, the better. A higher weight allowance on the UN certification marking means that you can ship more of your dangerous goods in the outer packaging.

An example of this is the UN marking from our BX-8SP variation box below. As you can see it carries a 5.4 KG weight rating, meaning that is the maximum gross weight limit allowed when shipping dangerous goods in this box.

BX-8SP UN Number

New Gross Weights for ICC Packaging

Here at ICC Compliance Center we are in the process of increasing the weight limits on our boxes. As you can see in the chart below, we are already off to a great start.

Part Code Old Weight New Weight
BX-8SP 4.2 KG 5.4 KG
BX-10SP 16 KG 18.5 KG
BX-11SP 2.8 KG 3.5 KG
BX-19SP 10.1 KG 15 KG
BX-21SP 12.8 KG 16 KG
BX-79 7.7 KG 8.6 KG
BX-12QT20PT 22 KG 23.7 KG
Weights accurate as of the date of publication and are subject to change

Stay tuned … there will be more to come in the coming year!

Single Packaging
ICC’s UN Approved Boxes Now Meet ASTM D5118 Standards

Going Above and Beyond

ICC Compliance Center’s line of UN approved boxes now meet ASTM D5118 Standard Practice for Fabrication of Fiberboard Shipping Boxes. ASTM D5118 boxes meet manufacturing requirements that are written for corrugated and solid fiberboard boxes by ASTM International, an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary technical standards for a wide range of products including packaging.

This standard ensures factors and components such as adhesive or fasteners at the manufactures joint of the corrugated box are controlled during the manufacturing process. The ASTM-D5118 Standard provides a first-rate practice for manufacturing criteria of commercial fiberboard styles and packaging ensuring a consistent manufacturing process across the board for our Hazmat boxes. For more information please visit ASTM International’s website below.

https://www.astm.org/

Training … Are You Up to Speed?

Training is needed in everything we do. Whether it is work, play or home we are constantly learning or being trained on something. We train our children for adulthood. We train our athletes how to run plays or moves. We are trained at our places of employment on how to do our jobs properly. Training in all aspects of life is in place to help us do things properly, help us succeed and help keep us safe.

In the workplace, how do we know just what type of training we should be getting? Obviously, it is going to change from site to site based on the type of business you work for. Regardless of the type of business, all workplaces are required by the OSH Act to provide a safe place to work. As per OSHA there are relevant types of training needed for different types of industry. These industries listed below with their appropriate regulation could be required:

If an industry doesn’t fall under a specific regulation like construction, they would follow the general industry standard. OSHA just updated their “Training Requirements in OSHA Standards” booklet. In this booklet OSHA gives a guide to all training requirements for employers, safety and health professionals, training directors and others to comply with Continue Reading…

OSHA Hazard Communication Website Gets a Facelift

As I get older and more wrinkles, crow’s feet and age spots appear on my face, I consider some sort of plastic surgery like a facelift. According to the dictionary, a facelift is a procedure carried out to improve the appearance of someone or something.  A little nip and tuck, tightening and smoothing could go a long way in removing some of my signs of aging. So, how does my desire to look younger have anything to do with OSHA? To put it simply, OSHA’s website on Hazard Communication got a facelift.

US Department of Labor - OSHA Hazard Communication Website Screenshot
Click to enlarge

OSHA announced the update to the Hazard Communication website in the November 2nd QuickTakes newsletter under the Educational Resources section. To see the full newsletter, click here.

The new look actually makes the site easier to maneuver through as there are now drop-down tabs that can be used for faster searching for needed information. A quick review of each tab is as follows:

  • Safety Data Sheets: This tab includes the Safety Data Sheets QuikCard™ in both HTML and PDF formats along with the OSHA SDS Brief regarding Safety Data Sheets that incorporates Appendix D of the HazCom2012 regulation.
  • Labeling: On this tab the setup is very similar to that of the Safety Data Sheets. An additional link is to a QuickCard™ of a comparison between NFPA and OSHA labels.
  • Pictograms: Here again are the same features as the Continue Reading…