News From the Provinces
Alberta Labour Announces Comprehensive OHS Review – Invites Comments by October 16
Taking Alberta workplaces a little closer to heaven:
The province of Alberta is inviting stakeholders to get involved in a comprehensive review of its occupational health and safety (OHS) system. Although there have been some amendments (e.g. to the OHS Act in 2012, with an update to the OHS Regulation in 2013), the system was established in 1976. The operating OHS Code, containing details (such as WHMIS requirements) has not been updated since 2009.
[Note: Alberta Labour has also posted an update to their WHMIS 2015 transition policy following the extension of Health Canada’s deadline to 2018 for suppliers:
In addition to general regulatory updates, the review will also look at improving the fundamental aspects of the system under the key themes of responsibility, worker engagement and prevention.
This topic will examine potential enhancements to the internal responsibility system that may include tools such as prescribed joint health and safety committees or other programs, and enforcement options.
Worker engagement is dependant on protected rights- i.e. the right to: know about hazards; freely participate in OHS decisions or to refuse unsafe work, without fear of reprisal. Education and training of workers can Continue Reading…
Download 2018 IATA 59th Edition Significant Changes
This year marks the 59th edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations. The 59th edition becomes effective January 1, 2018. It is published by IATA and distributed by many, including ICC Compliance Center.
Highlights of the changes and amendments include:
- Limitations have been adopted on the number of portable electronic devices (PED) and the number of spare batteries for the PED that may be carried by passengers or crew
- There are a number of additions, deletions and amendments to variations submitted by operators
- The classification section has been updated to bring in all substances and articles that are assigned to Class 9 with their respective UN numbers and proper shipping names
- The “not restricted” conditions have been revised to require that the shipper provide written or electronic documentation stating that a flushing and purging procedure for flammable liquid powered engines has been followed.
- The special provision that identifies that vehicles powered by an engine powered by both a flammable liquid and flammable gas must be assigned to the entry Vehicle, flammable gas powered.
- New and amended packaging provisions for lithium batteries
- New and amended packing instructions
- Updated minimum size of UN numbers on the lithium battery mark
The A-Team and Lithium Battery Marks / Labels
An iconic show from the 1980’s was “The A-Team”. It was about a group of former military men who worked to help those in need by using their former skill set. A famous line from it was often said by John “Hannibal” Smith, played by George Peppard. At the end of many episodes he would say, “I love it when a plan comes together”. With the publication of Transport Canada’s Amendment TDGR SOR2017 – 137, we finally have a plan coming together for the transportation of Lithium Batteries.
Finally, all transport regulations – 49 CFR, TDG, IATA .and IMDG – are on the same page regarding the necessary marks and labels needed for transporting Lithium Batteries. All of the regulations even have the same transition times for when the new Class 9 Lithium Battery Hazard Class Label and new Lithium Battery Mark will be mandatory.
Download Our Lithium Battery Labels Guide
Let ICC Compliance Center be your “A-Team” for shipping Lithium Batteries. Call us today for packaging, training, labels and marks. We have it all.
It’s Here, It’s Here! Feast Your Eyes on TDG International Harmonization 2017
(with apologies to “Genie” – aka the late Jim Backus …)
As predicted in last week’s blog on adoption of 2016 editions of CGSB standards, and reviewed in the Canada Gazette I (CG I) blog referenced therein, today’s Canada Gazette II (CG II) formalizes a variety of changes to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR).
The amendment, despite the “International Harmonization” working title is officially referenced as SOR/2017-137 and essentially follows the CG I proposal reviewed in earlier blogs. However, as expected, there have been some changes.
See our earlier articles on the CG I proposal:
An observation on the contents of this amendment – it appears that a rumoured dropping of italicized “guidance” text has begun in SOR/2017-137. The TDGR have been somewhat unique in this approach, but the word is that it is not in keeping with justice department philosophy that guidance material should be separate from the mandatory regulatory text – e.g. in an FAQ or other separate guidance document. This amendment incorporates several instances into the regulatory text and removes several others. Fortunately, the very useful Continue Reading…
IBC and Bio/Infectious Substances
Transport Canada (TC) published information on some significant changes to the latest editions of standards for design/manufacture/use of packaging for bio/infectious substances and Intermediate bulk containers (IBC); CGSB-43.125-2016 and CGSB-43.146-2016 respectively.
The notices are presumably to give advance warning of changes to ambulatory (“dynamic”) references as indicated in the CG (Canada Gazette) I “International Harmonization Amendment” to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) expected, according to usually reliable sources, to be formalized by publication in the July 12 edition of CGII.
See also the author’s earlier Blog on the CGI proposal »
These will replace the currently references, in TDGR Part 1.3.1, to the 2002 and 1999 editions respectively. TDGR 5.16 will also be amended as the information appears in the 2016 edition of CGSB-43.125.
Transport Canada qualifies their information, cautioning the regulated community to carefully read the standards themselves to ensure they are aware of all changes as some may not be covered in the TC summaries. Although not mentioned directly in this TC material, rumour (again the “usually reliable sources”) has it that there will be a 6-month transition to comply with new editions of revised standards that have ambulatory references in the July 12 amendment.
The summaries Continue Reading…
Rethinking the Laptop Ban
Back in March, The United States Government implemented a ban on carry-on electronic devices on certain airlines from the Middle East and Africa to the U.S. due to security fears of a potential bomb threat. However, IATA recently called for the government to re-think this current policy as it has opened up an array of financial concerns for the affected airlines.
Since the ban on laptops in carry-on baggage was initiated in March, airlines are finding implementation of the ban has been a financial burden. In addition, governments did not consult with IATA, which gave airlines little time to implement the ban. As passengers are now forced to check their laptop computers, the affected airlines had to increase the training of the current staff as well deploy extra staff due to the increased handling of cargo hold baggage. In addition, the affected airlines fear that companies will cancel trips rather than risk losing confidential information in checked laptops, causing a potential decrease in business customers.
It is estimated that the ban affects more than 18,000 daily passengers, in particular Gulf carriers and airports have noted a drop in passenger traffic between their hubs and the United States. There is Continue Reading…
Transport Canada, in what has become a series of proposed amendments, has issued a consultation White Paper on updates to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations (TDGR) Part 12 Air.
This part references the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions (TI) along with TDG-specific supplemental requirements and exemptions. Some ICAO references date back to 2002 and changes to the TI have made some TDG provisions redundant or in need of updating. Also, there are some clarifications proposed to better align with the Canadian Aviation Regulations under the Aeronautics Act.
In the interest of clarification, Transport Canada hopes to increase the “one window” approach, wherein material is incorporated into the Part 12 TDGR rather than simply referencing an external document. This self-contained approach will still have to consider that changes to external documents might make references a more practical approach in some areas. The objective is also to harmonize this proposal with the “dynamic” (aka “ambulatory”) approach taken with the TDG International Harmonization Amendment.
TP14850 Update Consultation – May 2017 Draft
The Clock is Ticking – 3 Recent TDG Proposals
TDG Update: Proposed Harmonization/
Geography Counts – Limited Access Exemptions
A potential improvement to Part 12 includes adding a definition of “Limited Access”. The proposed Continue Reading…
A New Awareness Vehicle
Transport Canada has added a new item to the various informative offerings on the TDG home page. A link was added to an “Enforcement Action Summaries” listing to supplement existing guidance pages on topic-specific publications, orders, equivalency certificates, safety awareness material, etc.
This new page is intended to give the regulated community a better understanding of the types of offences that could subject them to penalties or orders to take corrective action. The objective is to provide an incentive to “deter wrongdoing” by demonstrating consequences to those who might choose to ignore the regulations; or, on a more positive note, provide an illustration of the advantages of understanding the regulations before an enforcement situation is encountered.
“I Fought the Law …” – or Ignorance is (Usually) No Excuse
Sections 22(3) and 40 of the TDG Act do provide for a defense of having taken “all reasonable measures” to comply with the Act. “Reasonable measures” would normally include acquiring and maintaining knowledge of the applicable regulations.
Although current enforcement activities are unlikely to result in the incarceration experienced by the misguided soul in Bobby Fuller’s 1966 classic hit, the TDG Act does provide for a range of consequences.
These consequences are represented in the Continue Reading…
The Cat Came Back – WHMIS 1988 Lives!
More Than Just a Date
As reported in Karrie Monette-Ishmael’s May 19 Blog, an order-in-council resulted in an extension to the Supplier deadlines for compliance with the GHS-based Hazardous Products Act/Regulation (WHMIS 2015). Canada Gazette II (CGII), published on May 31, provided some insight into the delay in the supplementary Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) associated with the extension.
The transition extension itself (from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018 for manufacturers/importers; and from June 1, 2018 to September 1, 2018 for distributors) was cut and dried. However, the details in the RIAS are a reminder that despite the harmonization focus, there are still some unresolved issues in implementing the new hazard communication system.
Confidential business information (CBI) in the context of WHMIS has always focussed on masking the disclosure of ingredients on the M(SDS). Officially, Canadian suppliers were expected to rely on the somewhat costly and administratively burdensome Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA) process to obtain exemptions from disclosing CBI. Practically the provisions in the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR or WHMIS 1988) were used by most suppliers as a simpler alternate to protect CBI.
Although this was the practise almost from the start of WHMIS Continue Reading…
Enforcement of Hazardous Materials Program Procedures
Many have heard the phrase, “money makes the world go around”. The phrase was made popular by the stage and film show “Cabaret”. In fact, that phrase is the name of one of the songs in the show. For a snippet of the song featuring Liza Minnelli, listen here.
What does this phrase have to do with the US transport regulations you may ask? It comes down to a particular section of 49 CFR. In Subpart D of Part 107 Hazardous Materials Program Procedures is a section entitled “Enforcement”. Within that subpart are the possible penalties a company could be assessed for violations to the requirements of 49 CFR. In particular, take a look at Sections §107.329 regarding the maximum civil penalties which could be assessed to a company.
Maximum Penalties Increase
Here’s where things get tricky. Anyone working with these regulations is familiar with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. Quite a mouthful, I know. This act basically requires federal agencies to adjust civil penalties each year to account for inflation. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is a federal agency. As such, on April 19, 2017, those penalties increased. Per the announcement:
The maximum Continue Reading…