ASTM IBC Standards
Recently I wrote a blog about our boxes meeting ASTM standards. For those that weren’t aware, I described ASTM International as an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary technical standards for a wide range of products including packaging. In addition to providing standards in the development of corrugated boxes, ASTM can provide guidance in testing hazardous materials packaging, specifically in this case hydrostatic testing of Intermediate Bulk Containers.
Hydrostatic Testing for IBCs is outlined in 49 CFR §178.803 and §178.814.
“The hydrostatic pressure test must be conducted for the qualification of all metal, rigid plastic, and composite IBC design types intended to contain solids that are loaded or discharged under pressure or intended to contain liquids.”
However, the current regulations have been described as “limited” on the specific details of how to perform the test. (See video below)
This guide provides the detail on how to conduct pressure testing on IBCs and will provide a more consistent process for container manufacturers, testing labs, and regulatory agencies. The new standard will thus help manufacturers pass performance tests and qualify their container designs to meet requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations as well as the United Nations recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods. The new standard will be published as ASTM D8134 and the scope is listed below:
Calling All ERG Users
Many have heard the phrase, “Calling all cars” used in an emergency situation. The phrase references back to the old police radio days. It was used to call all patrol cars to help other officers. The phrase was the title for an old radio show back in the 1930’s, but also more recently as an episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos”.
How is that phrase being used here? The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has put out the call for input on ways to improve the Emergency Response Guidebook, or ERG. The new version is due for publication in 2020. To see the full notice go to https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-23/pdf/2018-11055.pdf
What is the ERG?
It is a booklet that provides technical information and advice for those responding to emergencies involving hazardous materials as defined in 49 CFR. It is used mainly by emergency personnel such as police, fire-fighters, paramedics or other emergency responders. First issued in 1973, PHMSA’s goal is for all emergency response folks to have immediate access to it. As time has progressed there is a free online version and a downloadable app. Other countries may also have their own versions of the ERG. It is updated every 4 years.
It is broken down by the following color-coded sections:
- White pages – At the start of the booklet, gives the instructions for how to use it and Continue Reading…
Hazmat Certification Under Placarding Exemption
The US DOT recently issued a “Letter of Interpretation” (LoI) regarding the lack of a need for a driver to have a hazmat (hazardous materials) endorsement on the CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) when transporting Class 9 hazmat within the US, despite the presence of Class 9 placards.
Changing Modes without Removing Placards
This situation is likely to occur when foreign shipments arrive which did not have the equivalent to the US 49 CFR §172.504(f)(9) conditional exception for Class 9 placarding, and are to be transported to their US destination.
An example would be if a Class 9 consignment arrives by vessel, which has placarding in conformance with the IMDG Code, and is picked up for road transport without removing the placards.
Even if the placards are not removed, there is not a requirement for the hazmat-endorsed CDL (equivalent to a TDG training certificate- for readers North of the 49th, metonymically speaking).
Note that, despite the exception for an actual Class 9 placard, §172.504(f)(9) does require bulk packages to be marked with at least the UN number.
Key to the Endorsement Exemption
49 CFR §383.93(b)(4) invokes the need for a hazmat CDL when the definition of hazmat in 383.5 is met. For substances defined as hazardous in 49 U.S. Code §5103(a) and (other than infectious substances/ biotoxins in 42 CFR §73) requiring placards, the CDL endorsement is required.
Thus, for most Continue Reading…
California Proposition 65 Update
By now, you may or may not have heard the Prop 65 regulation in California was ‘recently’ updated. Wait, what? Prop 65 was updated? Yes … Yes it was. In August of 2016, the California ‘Office of Administrative Law adopted amendments to Article 6, for Clear and Reasonable Warnings, in the California Code of Regulations’.
The goals of the amendments were to make the necessary warnings stand out more, to give the public more information on what chemicals they are actually being exposed to, to update information to be more in-line with current technology, and to update responsibilities for companies. The changes will be fully in force at the end of this summer, August 30, 2018.
What do the new warnings look like?
The new warning requirements not only require companies to list at least one specifically listed chemical by name, but they also introduce a pictogram component to warnings. A bright yellow exclamation mark triangle.
As an example, a previous liquid chemical product perhaps was sold in a 5 gallon (18.9 Liter) container. The container was big enough to have a fairly large sized label on it, and the product was known to contain Toluene, Naphthalene and Benzene.
Those three chemicals are listed on California’s Prop 65 list as known to cause developmental harm, male reproductive harm, and/or cancer.
Prior to the 2016 amendments, the statement you would Continue Reading…
WHMIS 2015 SDS Requirements
Next in our WHMIS 2015 series we’ll discuss the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formerly known as the Material Safety Data sheet or MSDS.
There were significant changes to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) when WHMIS 2015 was adopted including the WHMIS 2015 classification and label elements in section 2. In addition, the SDS must be provided in English and French.
The required elements on a WHMIS 2015 SDS are outlined on Government Canada’s Website
Note that when preparing the SDS, each section, heading and specific information element is mandatory, even if you do not have the information to go into that section. When that is the case, “not available” or “not applicable” can be used in place of the data.
The SDS must be available and accurate at the time of sale. The good news, is under the federal rule, the SDS no longer expires. However, provincial rules may require that the SDS is updated every 3 years; this is true for British Columbia and the Yukon territory.
However, there is a requirement to update the SDS when new significant information becomes available. The question becomes, how do you know if new information is available, if you don’t review your SDS on a regular basis.
A few other points of interest regarding the SDS include:
- The SDS must have the identity of the Canadian supplier. The exception to this Continue Reading…
Learning New Regulations
Learning a new transport regulation is tough. Even if you are familiar with other modes, learning the intricacies of a new one is difficult. In our courses, we spend a good deal of time going over a basic shipping description (ISHP) and breaking down each part of it.
Time is also spent on UN versus ID numbers, proper shipping names, hazard classes, and packing groups. We also bring in the Dangerous Goods List (DGL) and talk about where to find the ISHP. This leads to a discussion on technical names, aircraft types, and other symbols shown in the DGL. Eventually we land on the topic of Special Provisions in Column M.
We explain these are additional requirements for any given entry or as I like to call it – the curve balls. Some are helpful and relieve parts of the regulation while others complicate it.
Note – If you ship dangerous goods and are having some trouble with the terms used above, you may need training.
New Special Provisions
IATA added some new Special Provisions a few years ago that cause additional stress for new shippers. I am referring to the A800 series. There are 5 special provisions there starting with A801 and going up to A805. So, what is the big deal with these and new shippers? If we take a moment to look at each one, you’ll see why Continue Reading…
Health Canada Amendment to the HPR (Hazardous Product Regulations)
Health Canada published a proposed amendment to the HPR (Hazardous Product Regulations), which included an option to use specified concentration ranges for ingredients rather than the exact or actual chemical concentration on their SDSs (safety data sheets) (October 21, 2017).
That proposed amendment to allow ranges, would offer industry some Confidential Business Information (CBI) protection of formulations without having to go through a potentially costly CBI application claim under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA).
After receiving comments and questions on the proposed amendment to allow the use of concentration ranges on SDSs, Health Canada has advised that the amendment has been approved and registered as of April 4, 2018. The approved amendment has yet to appear in the official Gazette II publication, but is expected to appear on April 18, 2018. Since it is officially registered, the amendment is effective, and can be applied, now.
Health Canada, through this new amendment, is giving the option to suppliers, to list prescribed concentration ranges for ingredients on SDSs, without having to apply for a potentially costly exemption, in accordance with the HMIRA.
Suppliers may use this option when they wish to protect exact concentrations, or ‘actual concentration ranges’, which they feel are trade secrets.
The following are the approved, prescribed, list of concentration ranges:
New Transport Canada Update Means Big Changes for Many Companies
Recently, Transport Canada posted on their FAQ web page, a few questions regarding shipping mixtures of Methanol.
The first three FAQs are for the most part, not surprising, with one exception in Question 2. These FAQ’s appear as follows (these FAQ’s are directly from their website): (keep reading, the biggest surprise is coming).
- Question: How do I classify a product that contains methanol as the only dangerous good?
- Answer: As per Section 2.3 of the TDG Regulations, when the name of a dangerous good is shown in Schedule 1, that name and the corresponding data for that shipping name (class, subsidiary class(es), packing group (PG)) must be used. Therefore, when methanol is the only dangerous good in the product and it meets the criteria for Class 3, Flammable Liquids, it should be transported as UN1230, METHANOL, Class 3 (6.1), PG II. Note that PG II is the only packing group available for methanol as per Schedule 1 of the TDG Regulations. Note: Subparagraph 1.3(2)(d)(iv) of the TDG Regulations allows a person to indicate the word “SOLUTION” or “MIXTURE” and also the concentration of the solution or mixture after the shipping name, as applicable.
- Question: Tests results for a solution containing methanol as the only dangerous good indicate that its packing group should be III. How do I choose the proper shipping name?
- Answer: Even if a dilution would lead to a Continue Reading…
Rail TDG Standard TP 14877 Update
On March 15 Transport Canada released a notice on the intent to issue a new January 2018 edition of standard TP 14877 “Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail” to replace the current 2013 (with Corrigendum) edition.
This is the penultimate culmination of the public process, in part arising out of the Lac Mégantic 2013 disaster, undertaken by a stakeholder Consultative Committee that began in February of 2016.
The main features of the proposed 2018 edition include:
- Improved usability by incorporating external technical requirements, such as those in Protective Direction 34, 37 and 38.
- Updated dangerous goods list to align with the 19th edition of the UN Model Regulations. Adjusted special provisions to reflect updated transportation requirements for Sulphuric Acid (UN1831) and Hydrogen Peroxide (UN2014 / UN2015).
- Updated technical requirements for Class 3, Flammable Liquids and the new tank car specification known as TC 117.
- Improved harmonization between tank car requirements in Canada and the US, including tank car approvals, tank car design requirements and a new mechanism to secure One Time Movement Approvals (OTMA) – Category 2.
- Updated material of construction requirements for tank cars, including the addition of stainless steel, normalized steel for dangerous goods classified as a toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) and improved thickness requirements for new tank car construction.
Comparing the 2013 and 2018 Standard TP 14877
A brief comparison of the TABLE OF CONTENTS Continue Reading…
REGISTRATION and FINES and FAQs, OH MY!
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.
The TC proposal and comment provisions are found at:
While not directly cited in the Transport Canada TDG Act or regulations, Continue Reading…