OSHA Update
What is the Significance of June 1st?

What significance does June 1st have in the world of hazardous materials?

Hopefully this does not come as a surprise, but it is the deadline for the final implementation date for Hazcom 2012.

Effective Completion Date Requirements Who
December 1, 2013 Train employees on the new label elements and safety data sheet (SDS) format. Employers
June 1, 2015 or December 1,2015 Compliance with all modified provisions of this final rule, except:The Distributor shall not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless it is a HCS Compliant label Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers
June 1, 2016 Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards. Employers

In March 2012, OSHA aligned the HCS (Hazard Communication Standard) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This kicked off a four-year phase-in period which is now officially over.

By now, all chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers in the USA should have switched from OSHA 1994 to Hazcom 2012. This includes training all employees, classifying all products to the Hazcom 2012 criteria, creating Hazcom 2012 Safety Data Sheets (SDS), creating compliant shipped container labels, and finally updating workplace labeling and written safety programs to Hazcom 2012 standards.

Our handy checklist can help ensure that you have completed each important step. Use it as part of your internal auditing practice to ensure compliance.

If you still Continue Reading…

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 »

Canada!
Transport Canada Issues Protective Direction 36

On April 28, 2016, Transport Canada issued its latest Protective Direction. This Direction, number 36, will replace a previous one, Protective Direction 32, with more detailed instructions for rail carriers.

Protective Directions are rules that are not included in Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG). Instead, they are announced by Transport Canada, and are published on their website. Usually, these directives are used when Transport Canada believes it’s important to bring in a new rule quickly in order to protect the public. Since amending the regulations can take months or longer, Part 13 of TDG allows them to use this method to respond to important issues with appropriate speed.

Protective Direction 36 requires Canadian Class I rail carriers to either publish information on the carrier’s website, or provide information to designated Emergency Planning Officials (EPOs) of each jurisdiction through which the carrier transports dangerous goods. This information includes:

  • Aggregate information on the nature and volume of dangerous goods that the rail carrier transported by railway car through the last calendar year (broken down by quarter);
  • The number of unit trains loaded with dangerous goods operated in the jurisdiction in the last year (again, broken down by quarter); and
  • The percentage of railway cars carrying dangerous goods that were operated by the rail carrier through the jurisdiction in the last calendar year.

Rail carriers transporting dangerous goods by railway Continue Reading…

Special Permits
Adoption of Special Permits into the HMR (HM-233F)

There was a Legislative act signed by US president Barack Obama in July of 2013 called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act or MAP-21. As a result, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is making changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). These changes will incorporate some provisions from some of the special permits that have a proven safety record and have been widely used over an extended period of time. The intent in doing this is to provide widespread access to regulatory flexibility normally offered in special permits and removing the need for abundant renewal requests. The adopted amendments will also reduce paperwork burdens and help commerce while sustaining an appropriate level of safety.

Special permits set out variances to the requirements found in the regulations, but still has a level of safety that is equal to the safety level required otherwise in the regulations. The MAP-21 legislation required PHMSA to take a look at the special permits that have been in effect for 10-years. PHMSA conducted an investigation of all active special permits and categorized them, as appropriate, as suitable for inclusion into this rulemaking.

The result is PHMSA amending the regulations, 49 CFR Parts 171–180, by accepting requirements within 96 existing special permits. These amendments are based on the review they did of all active special permits as of January Continue Reading…

IATA
IATA DGR 57th Edition Addendum I – January 2016

IATA has recently released their first addendum to the IATA DGR 57th Edition.

This is a quote from IATA:

ICAO has now issued their addendum to the 2015-2016 edition of the Technical Instructions to address the changes applicable to lithium batteries. As a consequence attached is the English addendum to the 57th edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations. The language editions will follow early next week. There will also be updates to the eDGR and to the Lithium Battery Shipping Guidelines (LBSG) in all applicable languages. These should also be rolled out starting next week.

In addition to the changes for lithium batteries to require that, effective 1 April 2016, all lithium ion batteries shipped as UN 3480 under PI 965, Sections IA, IB and II must be at a state of charge (SoC) not exceeding 30%. For Section IA and IB of PI 965 there is provisions for shippers to have lithium ion batteries at a SoC of greater than 30%, but this requires an approval from the States of origin and of the operator.

The 2016 edition of the lithium battery guidance document that was issued recently will be updated shortly to include some specific guidance to shippers on how to determine the SoC of a lithium cell or battery.

Note, there is no requirement for the shipper to specifically prove that lithium ion batteries shipped as UN 3480 Continue Reading…

IATA
IATA DGR 57th Edition Addendum I – January 2016

IATA has recently released their first addendum to the IATA DGR 57th Edition.

This is a quote from IATA:

ICAO has now issued their addendum to the 2015-2016 edition of the Technical Instructions to address the changes applicable to lithium batteries. As a consequence attached is the English addendum to the 57th edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations. The language editions will follow early next week. There will also be updates to the eDGR and to the Lithium Battery Shipping Guidelines (LBSG) in all applicable languages. These should also be rolled out starting next week.

In addition to the changes for lithium batteries to require that, effective 1 April 2016, all lithium ion batteries shipped as UN 3480 under PI 965, Sections IA, IB and II must be at a state of charge (SoC) not exceeding 30%. For Section IA and IB of PI 965 there is provisions for shippers to have lithium ion batteries at a SoC of greater than 30%, but this requires an approval from the States of origin and of the operator.

The 2016 edition of the lithium battery guidance document that was issued recently will be updated shortly to include some specific guidance to shippers on how to determine the SoC of a lithium cell or battery.

Note, there is no requirement for the shipper to specifically prove that lithium ion batteries shipped as UN 3480 Continue Reading…

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…

December 1, 2015 – HazCom 2012 Effective Completion Date

December 1, 2015 is an important date. You should know why by now!

Dates are important to everyone – especially during holidays when people take time off, relax, and enjoy company. December 1, 2015 is definitely an important date – to those in the hazardous materials industry – but, there won’t be any time off, relaxation, or holiday to celebrate. Rather, today is the effective completion date for compliance with all modified provisions of the Hazcom 2012 final rule: distributors shall not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless it is a Hazcom 2012 label.

Sounds simple enough, right? Just put a Hazcom 2012 label on containers and you’re done. On the surface it sounds simple; however, it is anything but that. This affects chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers. If labeling is not part of the normal procedures then making sure the proper Hazcom 2012 label is used can be a daunting task.

Chemical distributors who package product (i.e., drums, totes) will need safety data sheets (SDSs) and labels updated. Otherwise, they cannot ship product as of December 1, 2015. Chemical distributors who distribute only (i.e., warehouse chemicals and distribute in the containers they came in) will need to find a way to re-label product before shipping or risk penalties if the labels are not updated. Industrial supply companies selling products such as cleaning agents, 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…
Top 10 2015 OSHA Violations Released

Not Just Numbers, But Lives

Once again we find ourselves upon the time of year where OSHA releases the preliminary numbers for the top 10 violations for their calendar year. Remember OSHA’s fiscal year runs October 1 to September 30, this is why these are only preliminary numbers. At the 2015 National Safety Council Congress & Expo held in Atlanta, GA in September OSHA released this information. Data is still being collected and finalized.

The preliminary numbers show that there has been little movement in the top 10 over the past year. This data will be updated and the numbers will change over the next few months. This is what has been released as of September.

Top 10 2015 OSHA Violations

  1. Fall Protection (1926.501) – 6,721
  2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) – 5,192
  3. Scaffolding (1926.451) – 4,295
  4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) – 3,305
  5. Control of hazardous energy (Lockout/Tagout) (1910.147) – 3,002
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) – 2,760
  7. Ladders (1926.1053) – 2,489
  8. Electrical – Wiring Methods (1910.305) – 2,404
  9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) – 2,295
  10. Electrical – General Requirements (1910.303) – 1,973

Based on OSHA’s top 10 list from last year, 2014, we can see the power industrial truck violations moved down a spot to the 6th leading violation from the 5th last year. Control of hazardous energy, most commonly referred to as Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) has actually moved up a spot to the 5th leading violation this year up from the 6th spot last year. Continue Reading…