If you’ve ever applied for an interpretation from the U.S. Department of Transportation, or even looked one up online, chances are you’ve found a solution to your problem in a letter signed by Edward Mazzullo, longtime Director of the Office of Hazardous Materials Standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Mr. Mazzullo’s commitment to clarifying the complexities of the Hazardous Materials Regulations, as well as his career devoted to developing and improving regulatory standards, has resulted in him being awarded the George L. Wilson Award by the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC) at its 40th Annual Summit and Exposition in Arlington, VA.
Each year, DGAC, a major organization for the education of the private and public sectors on transport of dangerous goods issues, presents the George L. Wilson Award to an individual, organization or company that has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of hazardous materials transportation safety. Previous winners include former members of the DOT, but also representatives of industry, and international representatives such as Linda Hume-Sastre, who labored for many years on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations for Transport Canada. Even CHEMTREC, the well-known emergency information service, has received the award.
DGAC presented the award to Mr. Mazzullo at a lunch attended by many hazardous materials professionals who have benefitted from his guidance through the years. We applaud his long service, and dedication to Continue Reading…
Chemical data and information are an integral part of my work. Data is needed for a shipper of hazardous materials or dangerous goods. It is needed for an author of Safety Data Sheets (SDS). It may also be needed for OSHA workplace labeling. Sometimes you need several websites or resources open all at once to gather the needed data.
As such, OSHA has created a tool that you may find helpful. It is called the “OSHA Occupational Chemical Database”. The link for it is https://www.osha.gov/chemicaldata/. It is a compilation of data from several agencies and organizations put into one online resource. The first paragraph on the site calls this “OSHA’s premier one-stop shop for occupational chemical information”. For chemicals found on the website, there is information on some or all of the following topics:
Exposure limits – OSHA, NIOSH, ACGIH
Additional Resources and Literature References
The site is searchable mainly by chemical name, CAS number or alphabetically. There is even a feature that will allow you to search for chemicals under certain topics. The site allows you to group chemicals by Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL), Carcinogenic classification and Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health hazards (IDLH). That aside, once you have found your chemical, this site provides a variety of information. Simply click on the link listed Continue Reading…
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has designated the week of October 7th-13th as Fire Prevention Week. This date was chosen as the Great Chicago fire started on October 8, 1871. Each year a theme for the week is chosen in an effort to keep fire safety present in people’s minds. This year’s theme is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.”
Those 3 words are simplistic but necessary when it comes to fire prevention, preparedness and risk. It carries over from the home, to the workplace and more. Look is for people to look around their home, office and workplace. Listen is mainly focused on the sound of smoke or fire alarms. Learn is about knowing multiple ways out of a room. Here are some further thoughts on each word for you to consider.
Look for places fire could start:
Electrical and lighting equipment
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm:
Take them seriously
Know where are they located in the home, office and workplace
Test them monthly
Replace any over 10 years old
Learn two ways out of every room:
Have an escape plan in the home, office and workplace
Set a meeting place
Know the path from each exit to the outside
Keep the areas near the exit points easily accessible
At this time of year all the regulatory updates start. Every time a notation comes across my desk or email I can’t help but think about a famous line in the movie “Sixteen Candles”. That particular line is “What’s happening hot stuff?” Click here to see the actual movie clip. One of these days, I want a presentation to start with this. It would sure break the ice on some rather detailed subject matter.
Having prepared you for thinking about what’s happening or changing, we have to start at the UN level specifically. Much of this information comes from a presentation by Duane Pfund at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. We need to focus on is what changed from the 2015 – 2016 biennium. That biennium gave us Revision 20 of the UN Model Recommendations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Revision 20 is what will drive the changes starting in January 2019.
What’s Happening or Changing for 2019?
Class 8 Corrosive Materials:
A new alternative method for classifying these mixtures is being introduced. It revolves around using the GHS Purple Book bridging principles and calculation methods. Note that flammable gases and explosives are on the list for this same concept in the current biennium.
For the most part, the dangerous goods world is one of the few industries that still relies heavily on using paper documentations, specifically when it comes to shipping declarations. In one of my previous blogs, we talked about DG AutoCheck which is simply a system IATA unveiled that digitally checks the compliance of a shipper’s declarations by simply uploading or scanning the paperwork into the system. As a part of IATA’s e-freight initiative, the digital process is being taken one step further with the implementation the INFr8 (eDGD) digital system.
What is INFr8 (eDGD)?
Unlike DG Auto Check which is intended for use by airlines, ground handlers, and freight forwarders, this digital platform is intended to include shippers as well to digitally create and send electronic Dangerous Goods Declarations (eDGD) through the entire air cargo supply chain. The dangerous goods process has traditionally been paper-based due to the lack of digital standards. The eDGD validation module ensures that the information on the shipper’s declaration is correct against IATA regulations and the specific airline’s requirements as well. Currently, airlines can only begin checking the documentation after handover. Thanks to the new electronic system, errors in accompanying documentation can be detected and ironed out before the airline even receives the shipment. This means documentation errors can be detected and eliminated at an early stage, reducing Continue Reading…
Perfect for Shipping Damaged and Defective Batteries
If you do have a defective or damaged lithium battery to ship, in addition to verifying the correct packaging regulations you should be asking yourself one question, would my packaging contain the heat, fire, and smoke if the battery does in fact explode? Unlike most other cushioning/absorbents on the market, CellBlockEX has the ability to suppress smoke, fire, and heat in the event of a fire starting within outer packaging. CellBlockEX actually displaces oxygen, absorbs energy and ultimately suffocates fire inside an outer packaging (see video below)
Because Damaged and Defective batteries are usually more at risk of thermal runaway due to uncontrolled releases of the battery’s chemically stored energy, CellBlockEX is the is the perfect solution. As it stands now as Clifton mentioned, the 49 CFR §173.185 (f) limits the type of outer packaging that can be used when shipping damaged batteries excluding fiberboard packaging, that is of course unless you have a special permit, stay tuned.
In the meantime like the video above depicts, CellBlockEx would be the perfect inner Continue Reading…
Back in the 14th century, sailing ships were a primary means of trading goods. To protect goods on these vessels they were insured against loss or damage. The best news for the insurance companies was to receive word that the ship had returned “safe and sound”. The word “safe” was an indication of all crew members were accounted for without injury. The word “sound” told the company the ship had not suffered any serious damage. Since then we continue to use the phrase in our daily life.
The week of August 13-19 has been designated as Nationwide Safe + Sound Week for 2018. The week is presented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Safety Council, American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) just to name a few. The goal is to “raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs“. All business and companies are encouraged to participate because “safe workplaces are sound business“.
The Core Elements of Safe + Sound Week
The focus of the week is on three core elements. It covers management leadership, worker participation and find and fix hazards.
Management leadership is a demonstrated commitment at the highest levels of an organization to safety and health. It means that business owners, executives, managers, and supervisors make safety Continue Reading…
Are you truly ready? There is only a month left until the WHMIS 2015 deadline for Manufacturer’s and Importers to comply with the new requirements. Distributors have just a bit longer with a compliance date of August 31, 2018.
Manufacturers and Importers
From February 11, 2015 to May 31, 2018
WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015
Consult F/P/T regulator
From June 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018
WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015
From September 1, 2018 to November 30, 2018
WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015
December 1, 2018
* Consult appropriate FPT OHS regulator to confirm requirements and transition timing.
The Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) were published in the Canada Gazette on February 11, 2015. This amendment aligned the HPR with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The GHS system, which is being implemented around the world effects the classification, labeling, safety data sheets and worker education and training.
The HPR set out specific classification criteria. If a product meets the definition of a hazardous product, then the workplace is covered by the WHMIS regulations and a WHMIS program must be in place.
Hopefully by now, you are well under way to ensure compliance with the deadline. ICC Compliance Center’s checklist is a useful tool to make sure you have all of Continue Reading…
On a winter’s day in February, 1891, my great-grandfather was working in a coal mine in Springhill, Nova Scotia, when in an instant his world changed. An explosion deep in the mine erupted, sending fire sweeping through the tunnels. About 125 of his friends and coworkers died that day. With the rest of the community, he helped carry out the dead from the shattered pits. The story passed down in my family how he found the worst was carrying out the bodies of the children, some as young as ten, who worked beside him in the mine.
How Did This Happen?
How did this disaster happen? The inquiry never reached a firm conclusion, but such incidents were common in those days, when mines filled with coal dust were time bombs waiting for a spark. One might think the mine operators would have learned, but two more high-fatality accidents happened in Springhill (1956 and 1958), before the mine was closed for good.
In some ways, we live in a lucky era. Most of us who go to work each day expect to return home alive and well. Historically, though, the workplace could be a deathtrap. Although even the earliest farming and gathering communities faced hazards, the Industrial Revolution brought more people into contact with dangerous working conditions than ever. Workers in factories could be Continue Reading…
Recently in my travels, I found myself stuck in a long security line at our local airport. Being that it was during Spring Break, there was a wide variety of travelers from college students to retirees looking to re-connect with family. Although there were people of all ages and travel experience they all seemed to have one thing in common, they were confused how to travel with their laptop computers and other types of portable electronics containing lithium batteries. Let’s discuss some general guidance on how to travel with specific portable electronics that contain lithium batteries referencing some recently issued documents by IATA.
Portable Electronic Devices including electronics such as cameras, mobile phones, laptops, and tablets containing batteries carried by passengers for personal use should be carried in carry-on baggage.
For devices that can be packed in checked baggage:
The device must be protected from damage and to prevent unintentional activation;
The device must be completely turned off (not in sleep or hibernation mode).
Spare lithium batteries
Each spare battery must be individually protected to prevent short circuits by placing them in the original retail packaging or by otherwise insulating terminals by taping over exposed terminals or simply placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch and carried in carry-on baggage only. Items that contain Continue Reading…