Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows of – the regulations.
Q. We have a customer that is asking why the VOC content is “N/Av” on their SDS. It is required under OSHA or WHMIS?
A. According to US federal OSHA Hazcom 2012, and Canadian WHMIS 2015 rules, VOC information is not actually a mandatory item to appear in any section of a 16 Section SDS. It is commonly requested as a sub-item in Section 9, which is why ICC automatically includes the subheading. ICC does not calculate VOC levels, so the data would have to be provided by you. VOC information is common info to have for coatings, and has become important for coatings manufacturers due to Environmental regulations.
Lithium Battery Mark
Q. Customer called and asked if they ship UN3480 lithium batteries ground within the US, can they use the lithium battery mark instead of the class 9 lithium battery label, or do both have to be on the package. He also wanted to know what packing group lithium battery packaging had to be?
A. When shipping ground within the US, you are required to use a lithium battery mark OR a Class 9 lithium battery label. So just the lithium battery mark is fine in Continue Reading…
February and March contain some interesting items potentially impacting the Canadian TDG landscape…
Transport Canada, through a consultation notice published in late February, has solicited input from stakeholders on a plan to require those who handle/offer for transport, transport or import dangerous goods to register with Transport Canada.
The premise is that, “… public safety depends” on Transport Canada knowing who is transporting DG, including where, when, and how much. The main thrust of this proposal seems to be for targeting enforcement and consultation activities.
The proposal as currently presented does not appear to distinguish among the size, frequency, or nature of DG involved; and will require period re-registration with submission of data to the “Client Information Database” (CID).
There’s nothing in the posted information to indicate whether there will be a cost to “clients” for registration, in addition to the record-keeping burden they will bear.
(For those familiar with the 49 CFR §107 (Subpart G) requirement, intended to subsidize government response activities, this TDG version does not serve the same purpose.)
The only exemptions currently contemplated, extend to those falling under a TDGR Part 1 “special case” exemption. This contrasts with 49 CFR’s registration which has exemptions based on load sizes and hazard types.
Although much of the information in the FAQ, detailing the purpose of the Part 11 and other related changes, was covered in the Gazette II RIAS (CGII Regulatory Impact and Analysis Statement), there are a couple of points that may be of interest.
Schedule 1 – Column 8 Clarification
The FAQ clarifies that the Col. 8 restriction is based on the specific categorization of the number of passengers as dictated in s. 1.10, not on the definition of “passenger carrying vessel” itself in s. 1.4
The amended reference to restriction of DG on board passenger-carrying vessels resulted in a separation on the basis for applying the Schedule 1, Col. 8 restriction. Formerly there was a qualifier in the Part 1.4 definition of “passenger carrying ship”, that invoked the restriction, based on a number of passengers per ship and/or per meter of ship length.
The current Canada Shipping (CS) Act has a definition for “Passenger, but not “passenger carrying vessel””.
Similarly, the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations (CFTR), in s. 142, defines “passenger vessel” in the terms currently found in s. 1.10 of the TDGR.
Presumably, without the clarification in the FAQ, shippers might conclude that 1 passenger (based on the s. 1.4 definition) would invoke the Col. 8 Continue Reading…
Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.
Q. My shipment was refused even though I followed what the regulations and my training said for shipping an overpack. My drums were on a pallet and shrink wrapped. All of the information on the drums could be seen. I placed a sticker with the words “Overpack Used” on the shrink wrap and listed it that way on my paperwork. Can you tell me why my carrier refused it?
A. Per Section 7.1.7 the actual wording that must be used on your pallet is just the word “overpack”. It seems confusing to have different terminology used but that is how the regulations work and why you should be trained every 2 years for IATA.
Using Combustible Liquid, N.O.S. (USA)
Q. Since this product meets the combustible definition, can we use ‘NA1993 Combustible Liquids, n.o.s.’ to ship to Canada or does Canada only recognize the ‘UN1993 Flammable Liquids, n.o.s.’?
A. Basically, to me, she is asking what is the difference between NA1993 and UN1993 and how it impacts transporting into Canada. NA1993 is a US only identification number. It is used for transporting combustible liquids in the US. Technically, a combustible liquid is NOT Continue Reading…
Or: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, … “it means just what I choose it to mean …”
Lewis Carrol “Through the Looking Glass” in Bartleby’s “A Dictionary of Quotations”: http://www.bartleby.com/73/2019.html
Health Canada provided an FAQ presentation at a recent CIC (Current Issues Committee) meeting that may provide a useful lead in to the more detailed Guidance document published in December 2016.
The latter, “Technical Guidance on the Requirements of the Hazardous Products Act & Hazardous Products Regulations – WHMIS 2015 Supplier Requirements”, provides (at 540 pages) a detailed review of the content of the law and various aspects of guidance/interpretation. This document is available for download at:
The length of the document may be daunting to the casual user, so the FAQ presentation attempts to present Health Canada’s position on items that are of current concern.
The CIC is a multi-representative committee that meets several times a year to review, as it’s name implies, issues that can be improved to increase the effectiveness of WHMIS in helping to protect workers. Currently there are representatives from various government levels (Federal/Provincial/Territorial), Health & Safety organizations (e.g. CCOHS), industry organizations (e.g. RDC, CIAC, etc.) and Labour (CLC, Unifor, etc.).
One of the current issues being addressed is to form sub-committees that may streamline the effectiveness of the committee in considering jurisdictional issues; in addition to establishing a working group to look at Continue Reading…
You may ask yourself, what is a special permit and how does it apply to packaging? Well, basically special permits allow a shipper to perform a function that is not currently authorized by the regulations, or not perform a function currently required under the PHMSA regulations. Below are answers to questions regarding special permits.
Q. Why would someone need a special permit?
A. Special permits can provide relief from specific regulations when shipping dangerous goods. For example, it can allow a shipper to transport their dangerous goods in a specific UN-rated package without having to use hazard labels, as long as they adhere to the required provisions stated within the Special Permit.
Q. How do you apply for a special permit?
A. An application has to be completed and submitted to the US DOT along with specific documentation including written descriptions, drawings, flow charts, plans and other supporting documents.
Q. Do special permits expire?
A. Yes. Special permits expire after a period of time and the manufacturer must re-apply with the Department of Transportation.
Q. Does the Department of Transportation reject applications for a special permit?
A. The application must demonstrate that the special permit achieves a level of safety at least equal to that required by regulation, or if a required safety level does Continue Reading…
How many times have you thought you understood a requirement, only to second guess yourself about whether you got that right or not? It could be something relatively straight forward, or something a bit more complicated. Everyone has these moments occasionally, especially with the implementation of GHS around the world. At ICC, two of the questions that seem to pop up from time to time, revolve around symbols on SDSs.
Do GHS pictograms have to appear on an SDS?
The answer: No. The ‘pictogram,’ specifically, doesn’t have to appear. This answer, in part, boils down to terminology.
In both Canada, under WHMIS 2015 Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) requirements, and in the United States, under Hazcom 2012 requirements, Section 2 of an SDS is required to list the label ‘information elements’ that are applicable to the product. Hazard ‘symbols’ being one of the required ‘information elements’.
In both the United States and in Canada, ‘pictogram’ is defined as a “symbol” along with other “elements, such as a border or background color”. So a complete GHS ‘pictogram’ is actually two part; a graphic symbol on the inside, and a frame surrounding it. Both countries include an allowance only to show a ‘symbol’ (ie. not a ‘pictogram’), or, just the name of the symbol, on the SDS [Hazcom 2012, Appendix D, Table D.1, Item 2(b); WHMIS 2015 Hazardous Continue Reading…
Oprah Winfrey once said, “I’ve talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show, and all 30,000 had one thing in common. They all wanted validation.” Validation is receiving feedback from others that what you do and say matters. It is an acknowledgment of your actions, deeds and accomplishments. To be a healthy person we need to receive positive validation and be able to give it to ourselves. So is it possible for a company to receive validation? I believe so and here’s why.
In one of OSHA’s recent Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) postings a question regarding the use of ranges on Safety Data Sheets was added. To see the full FAQ and the answer, please click here. The specific question asked is: When may chemical manufactures/importers use concentration ranges rather than an exact percentage composition in Section 3 of the SDS, and how does this apply to trade secrets? Let’s take a closer look at OSHA’s answer. There are several parts to it and each deserves some attention.
Part 1 – Exact Percentage versus Concentration Range Clarification
The answer starts by clarifying the language used in Appendix D under Section 3. In the actual Appendix it states, “The chemical name and concentration (exact percentage) or concentration ranges of all ingredients which are classified as health hazards” must be disclosed in Section 3. However, in the FAQ answer the statement reads as “the chemical Continue Reading…