ICC Trade Shows and Events
ICC Speakers Present at Dangerous Goods Conference

Trade Shows and Events

2nd Dangerous Goods Conference

On April 28, 2017, IDC Technologies held their second Dangerous Goods Conference in Mississauga, Ontario. Two of our regulatory staff from ICC were among the presenters during a day of informative sessions that covered transportation, environmental, and safety aspects of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG).

ICC Regulatory Consultant Clifton Brown presented his study of the effect the current lithium battery regulations are having on air safety, with a look over the history of accidents involving these batteries since they were first introduced in the early 1990s. Clifton did a lot of sifting through reports from government and industry sources to conclude that the regulations on lithium batteries have a way to go to make them a negligible hazard. Perhaps by the time they are, we’ll have invented safer methods of energy storage.

Clifton Brown and Barbara Foster at DGC 2017
Clifton Brown and Barbara Foster at DGC 2017

I presented an overview of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) changes to health and safety regulations, and whether the GHS Purple Book has achieved worthwhile harmonization in the same way as the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (the Orange Book). Unfortunately, we’ll have to deal with a lot of disharmonization remaining in the short term (such as the differences on dealing with environmental hazards between North America and Europe). However, the Orange Book has, slowly but surely, led regulators to remove many of these impediments to international transportation. Let’s hope the Purple Book serves as a good signpost to true harmonization.

Other Speakers Present:

  • Dale Gration, Manager of Transportation of Dangerous Goods Ontario Region, Transport Canada, gave an interesting summary of current and upcoming Transport Canada amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations.
  • Pierre Boies, President of Gestion Sécure P. Boies Inc. spoke on the effects of the Air Cargo Security Program. Pierre discussed general requirements as well as security aspects for dangerous goods.
  • Mark Roehler, Principle, LEHDER Environmental Services Ltd, gave his perspective on the similarities, as well as considerable differences, in classification of hazardous waste under the environmental regulations as compared to TDG. He gave special attention to classification under Ontario’s Regulation 347, but stressed that each province has its unique features.
  • Michel Hachey, Chief Technical Communicator, MG Chemicals, took a chemist’s look at the environmental effects of toxic metals in the environment. Many metals may be marine pollutants for transportation, but the classification can depend on multiple factors such as the size of the metal particles. As a chemistry major, I found this session particularly interesting.
  • Amber Rushton, National Manager, Emergency Management Lead of the Ontario Association of Emergency Managers, OAEM, took us through the role of the professional emergency manager. The emergency manager, she stressed, is an essential part of a coordinated emergency response effort, helping all parts of the system function effectively together.
  • Finally, Greg Fulford of Nordion addressed the unique requirements for transporting Class 7 radioactives, which involves combining TDG with other regulations such as the “Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive Substances Regulations.” When it comes to regulatory oversight, it appears some classes of dangerous goods are more equal than others, and Class 7 is the most equal of them all.

A Fun and Useful Experience

There were a couple of aspects that made this conference more fun and useful than many others. First, IDC not only provided copies of the presenters’ programs, but requested presenters to put their findings into a written paper. Both the papers and the PowerPoint presentations were assembled into a handy softbound book, rather than the standard binder. Even better, presenters were encouraged to make their presentations interactive by including activities for the audience. I was called upon by Greg Fulford to help assemble a box of mock radioactives, only to flub the security tape part. Hint for those using it – get someone to help you by holding the box flaps down. Once the tape is on, it will tell if you try to reposition it – no second chances allowed.

We’re grateful to IDC for inviting us to participate in this conference. If you’re looking for information on upcoming trends in the transportation of dangerous goods, you might want to consider attending next time it’s offered. For a one-day session, the selection of topics was excellent and the speakers were all well-informed as well as skilled at presentation.

If you have questions about dangerous goods, please contact ICC Compliance Center at 1-888-977-4834 (Canada) or 1-888-442-9628 (USA).

Placarding
Correct Usage of a Dangerous Placard?

Placards on a truck

An Interesting Combination

A recent training class took me to Iowa. Since it is so close to me, I decided to drive there rather than play the airport game. During the drive an old favorite song of mine came on the radio. The song is by Don Henley and called “The Boys of Summer”. In that song is the following lyric: “Out on the road today / I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac / A little voice inside my head said / “Don’t look back, you can never look back.” Take a listen:

What’s funny is shortly after hearing that song I passed an 18-wheeler truck. On the back and side of the truck was a “Dangerous” placard and a “Class 5.2” placard. A picture of each is shown here. In a very simplistic sense, placards are big hazard labels, roughly 9.84 inches on each side. They are placed on vehicles to warn people about the hazardous materials on or in that vehicle.

Hazard Class 5.2 Placard
Hazard Class 5.2 Placard
Dangerous Placard
Dangerous Placard

The 49 CFR has some unique rules for placarding, but what was on that truck struck me as interesting. I’ve never seen those things together before.  It is usually 1 or the other. Being a safety nerd I checked my regulations when settled in my hotel room. Placarding information is found in Section 172.500 of the 49 CFR. Here are some specifics for placarding vehicles.

Basic Rules of Placarding:

  1. All bulk packagings or vehicles transporting bulk packagings must be placarded on each side and end.
  2. For non-bulk packages, there are two tables to consult. Both can be found in 172.504.
  • If your material is a hazard class listed on Table 1, then it must be placarded following the same rule as bulk packagings.
  • If your package is a hazard class listed on Table 2, the rules are different. You only have to placard for the hazards on Table 2 when the vehicle contains more than 1001 pounds aggregate gross weight of materials on that table.

Table 1

Category of material (Hazard class or division number and additional description as appropriate) Placard name Placard design section reference §
1.1 EXPLOSIVES 1.1 172.522
1.2 EXPLOSIVES 1.2 172.522
1.3 EXPLOSIVES 1.3 172.522
2.3 POISON GAS 172.540
4.3 DANGEROUS WHEN WET 172.548
5.2 (Organic peroxide, Type B, liquid or solid, temperature controlled) ORGANIC PEROXIDE 172.552
6.1 (material poisonous by inhalation (see §171.8 of this subchapter)) POISON INHALATION HAZARD 172.555
7 (Radioactive Yellow III label only) RADIOACTIVE1 172.556

Table 2

Category of material (Hazard class or division number and additional description as appropriate) Placard name Placard design section reference §
1.4 EXPLOSIVE 1.4 172.523
1.5 EXPLOSIVE 1.5 172.524
1.6 EXPLOSIVE 1.6 172.525
2.1 FLAMMABLE GAS 172.532
2.2 NON-FLAMMABLE GAS 172.528
3 FLAMMABLE 172.542
Combustible Liquid COMBUSTIBLE 172.544
4.1 FLAMMABLE SOLID 172.546
4.2 SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE 172.547
5.1 OXIDIZER 172.550
5.2 (Other than organic peroxide, Type B, liquid or solid, temperature controlled) ORGANIC PEROXIDE 172.552
6.1 (other than material poisonous by inhalation) POISON 172.554
6.2 (None)  
8 CORROSIVE 172.558
9 Class 9 (see §172.504(f)(9)) 172.560
ORM-D (None)  

Here is an example of how Table 2 works. A truck has 4.1 Flammable Solids and 4.2 Spontaneously Combustible materials in non-bulk packages on it.  Together those materials add to over 1001 pounds. You would have to use placards on both sides and ends for both Class 4.1 and 4.2.

Using the Dangerous Placard:

In 172.504(b) the Dangerous placard is discussed. A transport vehicle hauling non-bulk packages with two or more categories listed on Table 2 may be placarded with a DANGEROUS placard instead of the separate placarding specified for each of the materials in Table 2. So, using the previous example, instead of using 4.1 and 4.2 placards, you can replace them with the single Dangerous placard. This saves space on the trucks and money because fewer placards are required. The drawback is the loss of clarity of the hazards in the vehicle.

Why Are Dangerous and Class 5.2 Placards Being Used?

Let’s go back to the truck I passed. It had both a Dangerous placard and a Class 5.2 placard. Is this correct? By following the rules above we can reason out the following. There is a container of Class 5.2 material on the truck. It doesn’t matter what size the package is because either rule requires Class 5.2 materials to be placarded. It could be a bulk package which would follow the basic rule. It could also be a non-bulk package. Since Class 5.2 is on Table 1 a placard would still be needed. Note, the Dangerous placard cannot be used for bulk packages or Table 1 materials. That means the Dangerous placard is there for another reason. There must be some combination of materials from Table 2 whose total weight exceeds the 1001-pound cutoff. Again, following the rules, this is the only reason why that placard would be there. While this isn’t the most helpful information, at least we have an idea of just how hazardous the load is.

For all of your placarding needs call ICC Compliance Center today.

Anatomy of an ERG

Emergency Response Guidebook

Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

The North American Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) is a tool developed by the US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Transport Canada, and the Secretaria de Comunicaiones Y Transportes (SCT).

Every 4 years, millions of copies are distributed, free of charge to firefighters and other emergency personnel. The purpose is to provide guidance to first responders during the initial phase of a transport incident involving dangerous goods.

There are Six Sections in the ERG

The white pages are informational. They contain the guidance and explanation on the following:

  • A flow chart provides information on how to use the Guide.
  • Basic safety information for use when responding
  • Hazard classification system
  • Rail car identification
  • Introduction to GHS pictograms
  • International Identification numbers
  • Hazard Identification numbers
  • Pipeline transportation, including pipeline markers

The Yellow Pages are chemicals listed by UN number. The responder would find the chemical by UN number, then follow orange and green pages accordingly. This section is also a handy tool to look up chemical names when you only have the UN number, without having to pull out a 49 CFR!

The Blue Pages are chemicals listed by chemical name. The responder would find the chemical by name, then go to the orange and green pages for instructions. This section is also a handy tool to look up UN numbers when you only have the chemical name, without having to pull out a 49 CFR!

The Orange Pages are the Guides. These Guides provide information to the emergency responder on Health, Fire, Public Safety, Protective Clothing and Evacuation, Spill or Leak and First Aid. In the workplace, the safety data sheet should be the first place to look up this information, but the ERG will do in a pinch.

The Green Pages provide information regarding initial isolation and protective action distances for both small and large spills. In other words, how far should we stay away or evacuate the area.

The final section contains another set of White Pages. These pages provide additional information and guidance including, spill procedures, protective clothing, and a glossary.

The North American ERG is a must have, whether you are an emergency responder, truck driver, or a shipper. Accidents happen, big and small, and the ERG can help you during response and clean up.

Fire Safety
Spring Ahead – Fire Safety

Smoke Detector

Springtime Fire Safety

It is that time of year again, where we all lose an hour in our day. The good news is that we also gain an hour of daylight, and it means that warmer weather is just around the corner.

Many organizations including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggest taking the time to also check smoke alarms. The NFPA states:

Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or working smoke alarms. When smoke alarms should have worked but failed to operate, it is usually because batteries were missing, disconnected, or dead. NFPA provides the following guidelines around smoke alarms:

  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn’t respond properly when tested.
  • Smoke alarms with nonreplaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.

Fire Extinguishers

Also, take time to make sure your fire extinguishers are in good working order. If they are in a business, ensure that inspections are up-to-date. The NFPA provides the following guidance regarding the use of an extinguisher:

Safety tips

  • Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
  • To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
    • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
    • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
    • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
    • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
  • For the home, select a multi-purpose extinguisher (can be used on all types of home fires) that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
  • Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher trainings.
  • Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
  • Know when to go.

Sources:
http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/news-and-media/press-room/news-releases/2014/nfpa-encourages-testing-smoke-alarms-as-daylight-saving-time-begins

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/fire-and-life-safety-equipment/fire-extinguishers

Lawnmower
Spring into Safety – Gasoline/Lithium-Ion Battery Powered Lawn Equipment

Backyard

Lawn Equipment Safety

As the cold weather comes to an end (hopefully sooner rather than later) and we turn the corner and head into spring, we will realize that we have our work cut out for us in our backyards. Once the snow melts and the reality sets in that we have a lawn and garden that will need attention, into our sheds and garages we will go to dust off our battery or gas powered lawn equipment to get the job done. Using the lawn equipment may seem pretty straightforward, but we must realize that this equipment is powered by gasoline and lithium-ion batteries, which if not stored and used correctly, or under the wrong circumstances, can be quite dangerous. Below are some safety tips for gasoline and battery powered lawn equipment.

Safety Tips for Gasoline Powered Lawn Equipment:

  • Store gasoline in an approved container or tank. Keep gasoline containers tightly closed and handle them gently to avoid spills.
  • Gasoline is a flammable liquid and should be stored at room temperature, away from potential heat sources such as the sun, a hot water heater, space heater, or a furnace, and a least 50 feet away from ignition sources, such as pilot lights. Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and can travel along the floor to ignition sources.
  • Do not smoke where gasoline is handled or stored.
  • Only refill gasoline into the gas tank when the engine and attachments are cool.
  • Store gasoline in a building separate from the house, such as a shed or garage.

Safety Tips for Lawn Equipment Containing Lithium-Ion Batteries:

  • Store battery packs indoors away from direct sunlight and excessive heat.
  • When battery pack is not in use, keep it away from metal objects like nails, screws or keys.
  • Keep battery packs dry, clean, and away from oil and grease.
  • Do not use the equipment in the rain or allow the battery pack to get wet.
  • Make sure battery pack is secured properly in the equipment before use.
  • Do not use equipment near an open flame.
  • Refer to your owner’s manual for more specific instructions.

Source: http://www.api.org/oil-and-natural-gas/health-and-safety/product-safety-at-home/safe-storage-and-disposal-of-gasoline

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
How to Read a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

Hockey Goalie

Safety Data Sheets Defend Your Employees

Chemical Safety in the workplace can be a topic most employers would like to avoid. However, not only is it vital to the employee’s and community’s wellbeing, it is a requirement by law. In comes Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to the rescue! If Chemical safety in the workplace was a hockey team, training, storage requirements, purchasing, disposal, and inventory requirements would make up the Center, Forwards, and Defense, leaving the cornerstone of any hockey team, the Goalie to represent Safety Data Sheets (SDS). OSHA Standard 1910.1200 (g)(8) states that The employer shall maintain in the workplace copies of the required safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical, and shall ensure that they are readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work area(s). However without correct understanding of Safety Data Sheets, it would be like having an injured goalie in your starting lineup. Below are some tips for reading a 16-section format SDS.

Section 1. Identification:

Identifies the chemical on the SDS and displays the recommended uses. This section also provides contact information of the manufacturer as well as an emergency phone number.

Section 2. Hazard Identification:

The purpose of this section is to identify various hazards the chemical presents as well as any warning information. This includes Hazard class, signal words, pictograms and hazard statements.

Section 3. Composition/Information on Ingredients:

Displays the ingredients contained in the product. It gives the concentration of each ingredient that is classified as a health hazard.

Section 4. First Aid Measures:

Describes any first aid that should be given by untrained responders if there is exposure to the chemical. This includes symptoms and recommended immediate medical care.

Section 5: Fire-Fighting Measures:

Gives recommendations of how to handle a fire that is caused by this chemical. This includes extinguishing equipment, protective equipment, and information on other hazards that can arise if the chemical burns.

Section 6: Accidental Release Measures:

Lays out the recommended response to spills, leaks, or releases of the chemical. This includes cleanup practices, emergency procedures for evacuation, protective equipment, and spill volume.

Section 7: Handling and Storage:

Outlines the procedure for safe storage of the chemical. This includes ventilation requirements if applicable.

Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection:

Recommends the specific types of personal protection such as gloves, respirators, or glasses when using the chemical referenced in the SDS.

Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties:

This section identifies the appearance, odor, density, flammability or explosive limits, as well as other physical properties of the chemical.

Section 10: Stability and Reactivity:

Breaks down the different reactive hazards of the chemical and stability information. This includes an indication of whether the chemical will react in certain situations such as pressure or temperature change, as well as any safety issues that may arise if the product changes in physical appearance. There is also a description of specific test data for the chemical.

Section 11: Toxicological Information:

Identifies any information about immediate or chronic health effects that may arise from exposure to the chemical. This also includes symptoms of exposure from lowest to most severe.

Section 12: Ecological Information:

This section measures the impact the chemical has on the environment if it were released. This includes test results if available.

Section 13: Disposal Considerations:

Provides information on how to properly dispose of the chemical as well as safe handling practices.

Section 14: Transport Information:

Provides guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting by ground, air, or sea. This includes UN number, proper shipping name, and hazard class.

Section 15: Regulatory Information:

Displays the specific regulations for the product not indicated anywhere else on the SDS.

Section 16: Other Information:

Indicates when the SDS was created and the level of revision. This section states where the changes have been made to the previous version.


As always, if you have any questions regarding SDS Services contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.442.9628 (USA) or 1.888.977.4834 (Canada).


Source: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3514.html

Lithium
Lithium Battery Labels as of Feb 1, 2017

Both 49 CFR and TDG are expecting to harmonize lithium battery labels into the regulations; however, both regulations are pending. HM-215N (49 CFR) was recalled, and will not be reissued for at least 60 days.

Transport Canada has not provided an ETA on the harmonization.

Find out the correct labels to use below:

 

Deer Crossing Sign
Are Highway Warning Signs Effective?

How Well Do Driving Safety Signs Work?

A few years ago, someone wrote an irate letter to his local newspaper about the deer warning signs put up on a local highway. He couldn’t understand why they were always on busy highways. Wouldn’t it reduce accidents if the deer were told to cross smaller roads instead?

We may laugh, but the story does bring up an interesting point. Just how effective are traffic warning signs? They can be found wherever we travel, from the common “sharp curve ahead” to the more esoteric, such as the “moose warning” signs in Newfoundland. Highway safety departments consider them an important part of improving driving safety. But how well do they work?

Apparently, the answer is somewhere between “not great” and “we’re not sure.” There’s little research on the effectiveness of highway traffic signs and what there is shows that a surprising lack of effectiveness. For example, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has admitted:

“Signs that alert drivers to infrequent encounters or possible situations–such as deer crossing or children playing—do not have a consistent impact on driver behavior. Widespread use or misuse of warning signs reduces their overall effectiveness.”

Traffic and Why We Drive The Way We Drive

Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), says:

“[D]rivers routinely see signs warning of deer crossings (in the United States) or elephant crossings (in Sri Lanka) or camel signs (in Tunisia). It is difficult to say what is going on in the mind of a driver whenever he or she sees a deer or elephant or camel crossing sign, but studies have shown that most drivers do not change their speed at all.”

Surprisingly little work has been put into studying the effectiveness of traffic signs, considering how they can be seen on every highway or busy city street. What studies have been done have not shown signage has a strong effect on reducing accidents in dangerous areas. In fact, many experts believe that the main purpose of traffic warning signs is not to reduce accidents but to provide liability protection for the government that posts them.

Why Aren’t They Successful?

So, why don’t traffic signs work like they should? Many reasons are likely at play. Marc Green, in his article The Psychology of Warnings says compliance with warning signs involves the driver making a cost-benefit analysis, where he or she balances the following factors:

  1. Cost of compliance – most traffic signs, in their most basic message, say “slow down, because something ahead is dangerous.” The driver will (consciously or not) factor in the inconvenience of being late, or their dislike of being slow, as part of the cost of compliance. Green notes this is a similar problem with product warning labels. “Increased time reading” can be seen as a “cost of compliance”. Who’s going to read an entire product label when there’s a rush job to be done?
  2. Danger perception – this is the old risk versus hazard issue. Most drivers will stop at stop signs, because they understand that if they don’t, they significantly increase their risk of getting hit. But if you drive a road for years and never see a deer, you may come to feel that even if the consequences of hitting a deer are high, the risk of that ever happening is low. Paradoxically, people who feel confident in their driving skills more likely to ignore such signs. Green points out “[o]ne of the ironies of warnings is that the more experienced and skilled the viewer, the stronger the familiarization effect and the more likely that the warning will be ignored. For example, diving team members are the most likely people to ignore “no diving” signs.” Further, herd behavior can be a factor; if everyone speeds, it appears to be safer than if everyone slows down.

Each driver will evaluate these two factors and make a (perhaps unconscious) decision to obey the sign or to ignore it and risk something nasty happening down the road.

Complying & Understanding

There are many ways safety experts are now working to determine what psychological factors make people decide to obey traffic signs. For example, the effectiveness of signs can be diluted if they appear everywhere, so signs may be posted only where significant hazards truly exist. Green mentions

“People have unconsciously learned the general rule that signs and signals grow in size and vividness with their importance, presumably so that they will be more readily seen. Viewers will then likely interpret warnings that are small, faint, or located peripherally as signaling lower risk.”

These factors apply to all drivers, but they also are an important issue for workplace and consumer safety labels. Designers of OSHA or WHMIS labels must, of course, comply with the regulations, but understanding the psychology of safety warnings is also important when trying to create an effective label design. The label must be able to persuade the reader that compliance is really the most cost-beneficial response. By studying what we’ve learned about highway signs, we can learn what psychological nuances improve the likelihood that users will comply with the label.

Fortunately, OSHA and WHMIS labels include precautionary phrases that specifically instruct the user in what to do to ensure safety, a feature sometimes lacking in traffic signs. For example, when confronted by a “falling rocks” sign, what should a driver do? Avoid the area? Wear a hard hat when going through the zone? And I was always perplexed on how drivers transversing a typical single-lane Scottish highway were expected to respond to the ominous warning on blind curves – “Oncoming traffic may be in centre of road” – that gave drivers no suggestion for how to negotiate the curve safely.

Have you seen any particularly effective or ineffective traffic signs? If so, let us know in the comment section. And if you have questions about labelling for workplace or transportation safety, contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.442.9628 (USA) or 1.888.977.4834 (Canada).

Lithium
Lithium Battery Worlds Collide

One of my favorite episodes of the show Seinfeld is the one where worlds collide. In the episode Elaine asks George’s girlfriend Susan to a show. On the surface this seems harmless. According to Kramer, this is a bad thing because when George’s “sanctuary world” and his “girlfriend world” collide there will be an explosion.

I had a case of my worlds colliding over the holidays. Let’s see what the results were. The attached pictures are from a leaf blower my husband received as a Christmas gift. It is a nice gift that will help us with yard work in the future. The description on the box says it comes with a charger for the included 40 volt, 2.0 ampere-hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery. On the back was the Lithium battery handling information. I didn’t pay much attention to it due to being in a cookie coma from the holidays.

Lithium battery label on box

Upon arrival home and while unloading the car, my husband noticed the information on the box and pointed it out to me. He then asks, “Should this be on here?” Needless to say, once we were fully unpacked I grabbed my regulations just to see.

Using the information on the box let’s review some points for shipping Lithium-ion batteries. Bear in mind this was purchased at a store where it was on the shelf. I have no way of knowing if it was shipped in this box.

  • Step 1: Is this lithium-ion battery is “contained in equipment” or “packed with equipment”?
    • Answer: The battery was not inserted into the blower but in a separate box beside it. This means it would have been “packed with equipment”.
  • Step 2: What is the watt-hour rating?
    • Answer: This was easy enough since the box said the battery had a 2 ampere-hour capacity and a voltage of 40 volts.  Using the following formula:

Watt-hours = Ah (ampere-hours) x V (voltage)
Watt-hours = 2 Ah.  X 40 volts
Watt=hours = 80 watt-hours

  • Step 3: What would be the proper identification number, shipping name, hazard class, and packing group (ISHP) if this had been shipped?
    • Answer: Since the manufacturer is within the US, I looked at the US ground regulations, 49 CFR. It is a Lithium-ion battery that was packed with equipment. Using the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) that tells me the proper ISHP would be UN3481 // Lithium-ion batteries packed with equipment // Class 9 // no packing group.
  • Step 4: What sort of packaging requirements are there?
    • Answer: Again the HMT gave me that information in column 8. Luckily for UN3481 the packaging information is all found in Section 173.185. The only Special Provisions listed in the table are for air shipments. Much of this section didn’t apply to my query because I wasn’t shipping this. However, this section is also where all of the marking, labelling, exceptions/exemptions and hazard communication information is found.
  • Step 5: Where does the leaf blower fit and why was that particular safety information used?
    • Answer: This goes back to the information from Step 2. The watt-hour rating of 80 put me into Section 173.185(c) for exceptions. In that section is where the hazard communication information is found. In that was the proof I needed to say, “It is ok for this information to be on this box.” The box only has 1 lithium battery and the box is using the “handling marking” shown in paragraph (c)(3)(ii). The regulation says the following:

(3) Hazard communication. Except for a package containing button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards), or no more than four lithium cells or two lithium batteries installed in the equipment:

(i) For transportation by highway, rail and vessel, the outer package must be marked with the information in the following paragraphs (c)(3)(i)(A) to (D), or the handling marking in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section:

(A) An indication that the package contains “Lithium metal” and/or “Lithium ion” cells or batteries, as appropriate, or alternatively, the word “batteries” may be used for packages containing cells;

(B) An indication that the package is to be handled with care and that a flammable hazard exists if the package is damaged;

(C) An indication that special procedures must be followed in the event the package is damaged, to include inspection and repacking if necessary;

(D) A telephone number for additional information.

(ii) For transportation by air, the outer package must be marked with the following handling marking, which is durable, legible, and displayed on a background of contrasting color:

Old lithium battery label

So there it is the results of my worlds colliding. There were no explosions, tidal waves, or earthquakes. There were no deaths from licking cheap envelopes, which is a reference to Susan’s fate. It was just an exercise of taking ICC Compliance Center’s “7 Steps to Compliance” idea and making them work for me. Of course, my head may explode when HM215-N is finalized and the information in this section of 49 CFR changes.

As always, ICC Compliance Center is here for all of your hazard communication and lithium battery needs. Call us today for lithium battery training, new class 9 labels or new handling marks, and new lithium battery shipping materials. We have it all.

Lithium
Safety Tips for Items with Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-Ion Batteries in Our Lives

If there is one thing most of us have in common, it is how often we come in contact with items that use lithium-ion batteries. Whether it’s a laptop computer, cellphone, camera, or even an electronic cigarette, we rely on lithium ion batteries for many different purposes. Unfortunately for some consumers, when lithium-ion batteries fail, they do in devastating fashion. When a lithium battery explodes, it can cause a fire that generates temperatures up to 1000° F and can cause severe 3rd degree burns as the video below demonstrates.

What can we do to prevent such a catastrophic event from occurring while we utilize these everyday items that use lithium-ion batteries? Below is a list of safety tips when using items with lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium Battery Safety Tips

  • Only use the charger that came with your device. If you need to buy a new one, make sure the replacement is recommended for the use of your device by the manufacturer. Just because a charger fits in your device doesn’t mean that it is safe to use.

 

  • Do not overcharge your device. It is recommended that once your device is fully charged that you should unplug it.
  • Keep your device out of extremely high or low temperature locations. Do not place the battery in direct sunshine, or store the battery inside cars in significant hot or cold weather.
  • Do not expose the battery to water or allow the battery to get wet.
  • Do not use your device if you notice any damage to the battery after dropping it. If you suspect damage to the battery, take your device to the service center for inspection.
  • Do not carry or store the batteries together with necklaces, hairpins, or other metal objects.
  • Do not disassemble or modify the battery in any way. Modifying your electronic significantly increases the risk of explosion
  • Only transport your items with lithium-ion batteries in a containers that are specially designed and follow D.O.T guidelines.

As always, should you have any questions regarding lithium-ion batteries, please contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.442.9628 (USA) or 1.888.977.4834 (Canada).


Sources
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/archive/lithium_ion_safety_concerns

http://www.genuinecells.com/blogs/safety-precautions-for-the-lithium-ion-batteries/