railroad crossing
AAR Publishes New Edition of “Field Guide to Tank Cars”

Field guide to tank cars

AAR’s Field Guide to Tank Cars Download

Are you a birdwatcher who’s spotted every owl and thrush, and wants to move on to a new field of study? Are you a model train hobbyist who wants to make sure your HO scale equipment accurately reflects modern regulations? Or are you a safety professional who deals with bulk dangerous goods in tank cars? If your answer to any of those questions is “yes,” the American Association of Railways (AAR) has published something that will make identifying a TC-111A100W5 or DOT-117R100W as easy as telling a Mourning Warbler from a Laughing Gull.

AAR’s Field Guide to Tank Cars, by Andy Elkins, is a resource for rail workers and particularly for emergency responders. Tank cars come in many varieties, and handling them safely or responding to spills means that you must know what type of car is involved. The Field Guide has been updated for its third edition to reflect current regulations and standards, which have changed over the past decade due to incidents such as the Lac-Mégantic explosion in Quebec.

Types of Tank Cars

The Field Guide starts with a discussion of the basic types of tank cars – non-pressurized tank cars (also known as “general service” or “low-pressure” cars), pressure tank cars for products such as liquid propane and cryogenic liquid tank cars, used for gases that are liquefied at low temperature, such as liquid oxygen. After explaining the DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation), TC (Transport Canada), and AAR tank car classes and specifications, author Andy Elkins goes on to discuss how to interpret specification markings, assisted with a helpful diagram of a typical mark.

Safety Systems

Next, the guide covers the safety systems found in tank cars, such as Pressure Relief Devices (PRDs), and the markings that must be displayed on tank cars to identify qualification specifics, such as the Thickness Test. Further sections deal with additional details about the various car types, illustrated with clear technical diagrams and photographs. This arrangement makes it an excellent resource for non-experts who want a quick summary of tank car marking and safety, as well as a good in-depth guide for those who need to know details of the fittings and safety devices for specific commodities such as chlorine or crude oil.

The guide includes an Annex covering recent changes relating to tank cars in North America, such as Transport Canada’s Protective Directions #34 and 38, and the “FAST Act” amendments to 49 CFR.

Use of This Guide

This guide would be a useful introduction for anyone who ships dangerous goods (or even non-dangerous commodities) in tank cars. While the “Hazardous Materials Regulations” of 49 CFR (in the U.S.) and the “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations” (in Canada) are the controlling regulations, their tendency to cross-reference standards often makes it hard to pull together a full picture of requirements for selection and marking. The guide arranges information in a clear, logical flow, and the illustrations prove that pictures are really worth a thousand words.

The best part? The Field Guide to Tank Cars is available as a free PDF download from the AAR site.

Have questions about shipping hazardous materials by rail, or by any other mode? Contact our regulatory staff here at ICC Compliance Center 1.888.977.4834 (Canada) or 1.888.442.9628 (USA).

TDG
It’s The Standard – TP14850 Update Consultation – May 2017 Draft

Red semi truck on highway

Transport Canada’s Standard TP14850, “Small Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods, Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8, and 9”

Transport Canada is well into the process of producing the 3rd Edition of TP14850. The current 2nd Edition (2010) has been in effect since it replaced the CGSB 43.150-97 standard in 2014. Changes to TP14850 are required to reflect current harmonization with the UN Recommendations, changes in the TDG regulations, improvements to ensure the integrity of standardized packaging, addition/clarification of Part 14 special cases, and simplify use of the standard.

Comments are welcomed until May 31, 2017.

An initial draft update was prepared for discussion in January 2016 and a committee of 30-40 stakeholders has been reviewing, discussing and proposing modifications between the initial draft and the May 2017 draft version of the 3rd Edition (by way of disclosure, the author of this Blog is one of the stakeholder representatives). The May 2017 draft follows these reviews and feedback from an initial 2016 public consultation.

Manufacturer’s Periodic Re-Test Obligation

A new requirement (Clause 7.1.7) requires the registered manufacturer to periodically, at least every 5 years, repeat performance tests on a representative sample. Typically, registration certificates are issued for 5 year periods.

One thing to note is that although TP14850 as currently written/proposed does not define “manufacturer” with respect to obligations under the standard, the application form for registration clarifies, in section 4 and Appendix C, that “…the manufacturer is considered to be the person or corporate entity applying for the Certificate of Registration, even if they do not actually manufacture the containers.

Currently registered manufacturers would have a 2-year transition period from the adoption of the 3rd Edition to comply with the periodic re-test requirement.

Organisation of Packing Instructions

As well as additions/deletions/modifications of packing instructions (PI) to include new or changed UN numbers, Appendix A has been simplified to make it easier for users to find information. Outer (Combination packaging) and single packaging limits, currently in Part B, Table A of Appendix A, will be incorporated into each PI. Also, the Substance Specific Provisions (SSP-currently in a separate Part C of Appendix A) will be listed at the end of each PI.

This follows the convention in both the UN Recommendations and IMDG Code publications.

Although Transport Canada does not currently include PI references in Schedule I, the SSP are listed in order of UN number (or the first UN number in a series when more than one UN number uses the same SSP) at the end of each PI.

Conditional Extension of Life for Plastic Containers

Current standards limit the period that a standardized plastic drum or jerrican can be used for DG, even if it has never been used, to 60 months post-manufacture. Clause 12.2(c) is proposed to be modified by special case (Clause 14.4) that would allow conditional use of fleets of drums or jerricans by a single operator up to 120 months post-manufacture- i.e. an extension from 5 years to 10 years.

The fleet operator would have to be registered with Transport Canada under a requirement in the new Clause 10.12.

Additional Additions – Clarification

The Part 1 proposed modifications include ambulatory references to certain standards (e.g. CSA standards), and additional definitions. Part 5 changes terminology from “markings” to “marks”, adds a requirement to identify salvage containers; Part 6 adds construction requirements for boxes made of metals other than steel or aluminum; new Clause 12.6 adds a reference to TDGR Part 11 regarding containers for marine transport; Clause 13.4 clarifies that salvage container absorbent must only be sufficient to eliminate free liquid present when the container is being closed; Part 14 re-defines special cases regarding waste, and adds Clause 14.3 regarding Mobile Process Units used under the Explosives Act/Regulations.

Next Steps

The committee will review a “final” draft following this consultation. Transport Canada then expects to do the final edit and publication of the 3rd Edition in Q4/2017 or Q1/2018.

Existing Manufacturer registrations issued under the current 2nd Edition would continue to be valid to their current expiry date, unless otherwise revoked.

Those interested can request a copy of the May 2017 draft, and/or submit comments by May 31 at:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-modifications-menu-261.htm#standard

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).

OSHA Safety
Compliance Language

Current Dangerous Goods Regulations

Terminology in Regulatory Manuals

Language, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the formal system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings. Learning a new language is often a complex undertaking. It is also a time that lends itself to funny stories. While living in Austria for a few years taking German lessons was part of our visa process. We were encouraged to practice often. On one of my first attempts was to buy a certain pretzel. Somehow my request came out as asking for the “slow one” rather than the “long one”. My husband told a co-worker he “believed” he was a pencil. While neither request caused harm, it was confusing to the German speakers who heard us. I mention this because the language of transport regulations can be confusing as well until you have a good handle on the language used in them.

Let’s take a look at two simple words. We will compare their “everyday” usage with how they are used for transporting hazardous materials or dangerous goods. The two words will be “should” and “may”.

Word #1: Should

In normal usage, this word indicates certain obligations or expectations. Take for example the statement, “John should be ready by now.” By using the word “should” in the sentence, the expectation is that John is ready or prepared for whatever situation he finds himself. In transport, this word takes on some slightly different meanings depending on the regulation.

  • 49 CFR – US Ground: Per 171.9, the word “should” is used in a recommendatory sense. Meaning the shipper is not required to do what is listed in the regulation. It is encouraged or recommended, but it is not enforceable.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA): Per Section 1.3.1.3, the word “should” is a preferred requirement. This means the section is not binding for a shipper, but there is a suggestion to follow whatever is listed.
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG): It is in the Forward that we find this definition. For “should” again the word is used in a recommendatory sense. Items in the Code with this word are not required, only recommended.
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) – Canada Ground: Oddly enough, this term is not defined in Section 1.3 of the regulations.

Word #2: May

This word is used for possibilities or options even permission when used in daily language. An example here is the statement, “John may be ready by now.” In this case, the statement conveys the possibility that John might be ready, but again there is the option that he is not. Again, for transport, there are different meanings.

  • 49 CFR – US Ground: Per 171.9, the word “may” is used in a permissive sense. Meaning the shipper is not required to do what is listed in the regulation.  The item is simply allowed or permitted.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA): Per Section 1.3.1.3, the word “may” is listed as a preferred requirement and not binding for a shipper. Again, as a preferred requirement there is the suggestion to follow whatever is listed but no requirement to do so.
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG): Again it is in the Forward that we find “may”. Here “may” is used to indicate optional provisions. Items in the Code with this word have no preferred or recommended parts. The shipper can choose to either do what is listed or not.
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) – Canada Ground: In Section 1.3, the word “may” is listed as permissive. This aligns with the US Ground requirements and indicates things that are allowed or permitted.

Be sure to know the language of the regulation you are following before attempting to make a shipment of a dangerous goods or hazardous materials using it. You may be “believing” something that is not actually true or required by the regulation. For all of your transport needs, contact ICC Compliance Center today.

Packaging Infectious Substances

Infectious Substances Packaging

What Are Infectious Substances?

Infectious Substances are defined as substances which are known or are reasonably expected to contain pathogens, or micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi which can cause disease in humans or animals. Section 1.4 TDG, IATA 3.6.2.1.1. They are split up into two separate categories. Category A which is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threating or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals. Category A infectious substances are either assigned UN2814 or UN2900 and are class 6.2. IATA 3.6.2.2. Category B substances are any other infectious substances that do not meet the criteria for inclusion of Category A. They are assigned the UN number 3373.

Packaging Infectious Substances

For Category A substances, Infectous Substances Affecting Humans or Animals Only, strict performance criteria should be met on the packaging including drop testing, puncture testing, a pressure testing, and a stacking test. The configuring is often referred to as the triple packaging system. When packaging Category A substances, you must start out with a leak-proof primary receptacle. If the substances are shipped at room temperature or higher, these receptacles must be made of glass, metal, or plastic. The primary receptacles must then be placed into a leak-proof secondary packaging, either wrapped individually or separated to prevent any contact.

Both the primary and secondary packaging must be able to withstand an internal pressure of at least 95 kPa. If the substance is a liquid it must have absorbent material placed between the primary and secondary packaging. If the substances are frozen or refrigerated, dry ice or Ice must be placed around the secondary packaging or in an over pack and a leak-proof container. The limit per container on a passenger aircraft is 50 ML or 50 G. A rigid Outer Packaging including drums, boxes or jerricans must then be used to surround the entire package. (See Image Below) 49 CFR (173.196), CAN/CGSB-43.125, IATA Packing Instruction P620.

Infectious Packaging Diagram
Diagram No. 1

When packaging Category B substances, Biological Substance, Category B (see figure below), the triple packaging system of primary, secondary, and outer packaging is also utilized. They must also be packaged in a way that under normal circumstances of transport cannot break, be puncture or leak. For liquid substances shipped by air, the primary receptacle must not contain more than 1 L, and the outer packaging must not contain more than 4 L or 4 KG for solids. 49 CFR 173.199, CAN/CGSB-43.125, IATA Packing Instruction P650.

Infectious Packaging Diagram
Diagram No. 2

And as always contact ICC Compliance Center for questions or to purchase Infectious Packaging.

TDG
The Clock is Ticking – 3 Recent TDG Proposals

Red semi truck on highway

An Easter Parade!

(Marine Amendment-Part 11, Rail Car Standard TP14877 Revision, ERAP- Part 7 Consultation)

Transport Canada is heading into what seems to be an ambitious spring/summer period with a variety of projects related to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) regulations. The latest notices are open for comment until the end of April and cover aspects of Parts 5, 7 and 11 (with implications for other parts) of the TDG regulations (TDGR).

SHIP- NO!- “VESSEL” AHOY! – MARINE PROVISIONS

Significant changes are proposed to TDGR Part 11 and Part 1 Special Cases to reflect the current Canada Shipping Act (CSA) and associated regulations, as well as commercial considerations. These affect definitions, terminology and the ability to efficiently transport fuels or medical/diving gases on passenger vessels.

In addition to the changes highlighted in the notice, there are several other noteworthy changes in the proposal.

“Near coastal” versus “Home-Trade” Voyages

The current Part 11 has been the subject of confusion regarding what constitutes the use of the IMDG Code versus the TDGR, particularly with voyages between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Retailers in particular have had difficulty in determining when consumer commodities can continue on to NL under TDGR Special Case 1.17. The wording in the current TDGR implies that the voyage would fall under a Home-Trade Voyage Class 1 from the Home-Trade Voyage Regulations. At certain times, the Marine Safety branch of Transport Canada has indicated that, this voyage could be considered a Home-Trade Voyage (HTV) Class II (not referenced directly in the TDGR/old Canada Shipping Act wording) – i.e. within 120 nautical miles from shore and within 200 nautical miles of a port of refuge- and be considered a “domestic voyage” as described in §.11.2.

Thus, the voyage could fall under TDGR Special Case 1.17, Limited Quantity (LQ) exemption, which references a “domestic voyage” as eligible for the exemption, use TDGR placarding, etc.

However, the proposal- instead of maintaining this distinction- adopts the Vessel Certificates Regulations (VCR) terminology without providing an “equivalent” to a HTV Class II. The proposed version of 11.2 defines, in effect, a domestic voyage subject to TDGR (without any proposed amendment to 1.17).

The VCR terminology reference in the proposed 11.2 is for a “near coastal voyage, Class 2” to be the longest voyage to be considered “domestic”. This reduces the allowable voyage to one where the vessel is not more than 20 nautical miles from shore and within 100 nautical miles from a place of refuge.

Perhaps retailers might want to consider commenting to Transport Canada on this aspect- or start preparing to submit equivalency certificate requests (under TDGR Part 14).

Ferries

In addition to expanding some exemptions and increasing the distance from 3 to 5 km, exemptions in the current TDGR 1.6, 3.9 and 8.4(4)(d) are proposed to be dropped. These affect adherence to Schedule 1 Column 6 limits for passenger vessels, on-board access to shipping documents and reporting releases.

Flash Point Marking

The TDGR 4.13 to mark the flash point on packages is to be repealed, presumably since it’s not required in the IMDG Code.

Ammonium Nitrate-Explosives Notification

Notification of loading/unloading these commodities will no longer be required under the TDGR. Presumably this is considered a duplication of requirements under the CSA Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations.

A six-month transition period is proposed to follow publication date of the final amendment in Canada Gazette II.
The Canada Gazette I notice provides for comments until May 1, 2017 and may be obtained at:
http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-04-01/html/reg3-eng.php

Rail Car Standard TP14877

The first revision to this 2013 standard has reached a final (at 2016 12) draft stage and is available, on request, for review and comment by April 30, 2017:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-modifications-menu-261.htm#public

The major changes, as highlighted in the above reference, will incorporate the improvements in tank car design; and various other safety aspects covered in Protective Directions following the Lac Mégantic disaster in 2013. The draft also includes changes to further harmonize with the 19th Ed. of the UN model regulations and 49CFR.

Before Offering versus After Loading

One significant item in section 10 (Selection and Use of Containers…) is a change in the obligation for ensuring loaded containers are in safe condition for transport.

Section 10.8 has been changed from “Before Offering for Transport” to “After Loading”. This may be to reflect the desirability of discovering errors when they’re most likely to occur; but perhaps the former aspect should be maintained for situations where there is a delay between loading and offering. In section 10.9 (“Before Transporting”), the carrier is no longer specifically responsible for remediating deficiencies that could impact public safety.

ERAP Review

The TDGR Part 7 ERAP (registered “Emergency Response Assistance Plan”) requirements have been under a Task Force review for several years. Proposals for amending Part 7 include clarification on circumstances and parties’ rights/obligations with respect to accessing (for information) or activating an ERAP.

Also, the proposal would allow an ERAP holder to extend the right to third party to return “residue last contain” shipments under the holder’s ERAP without notifying Transport Canada, update the infectious substance ERAP list, and outline ERAP termination protocols when a holder no longer consigns the substances covered by the plan.

Transport Canada has established a comprehensive website to review and provide feedback on these and other aspects of ERAP requirements, by May 1, 2017, at:
http://www.letstalktransportation.ca/part7eraps

Considering that we’ve already seen consultations on an Harmonization amendment (expected to be finalized in Canada Gazette II in June/July); a review on possible changes to Part 6 “Training” requirements; and a pre-gazette “Canadian Update” amendment proposal- not to mention ongoing committee work to update standard TP14850 for small packaging and possible development of a large packaging standard- the balance of this year will be busy for both regulators and the regulated community.

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.

Single Packaging
5 Common Mistakes When Shipping Dangerous Goods

Man preparing shipment

With the amount of hazardous materials being transported every day, It is no surprise that dangerous goods shippers may struggle to be compliant. Whether it is a misinterpretation of the regulations, or not knowing that a specific regulation exists, the end result is the same, fines and endangering the safety of others. Below are some common mistakes when shipping dangerous goods.

1. Failure to Use UN Specification Packaging:

Shipping dangerous goods isn’t as easy as throwing it in a box and taping it closed. Depending on the specific hazardous substance, there are regulations in place that tell us what type of packaging is acceptable. These regulations will also tell us if the hazardous substance requires UN Specification packaging or not, depending on the quantity. Your best bet would be to always err on the side of caution when packaging dangerous goods and make sure your understanding of the regulations is correct.

49 CFR 173.24, Subsection 5.12(1) of the TDG Regulations.

2. Improper Marking and Labeling of Packages in Shipment:

The exact violation will differ with each shipment, however, whatever the violation is they all have one thing in common: a misunderstanding of the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) and how they apply to the hazardous materials you are shipping. It is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure the package is marked and labeled correctly. Section 4.10 of the TDG regulations, 172.400 49 CFR.

3. Failure to Follow Closure Instructions and to Maintain Them in Accordance with DOT:

Inaccurate record keeping is one of the most frequently occurring violations assessed by the Department of Transportation. The Hazardous Materials Regulations require shippers to maintain a copy of the manufacturer’s notification, including closure instructions (See 178.2(c)(1)(i)(B) of the 49 CFR and clause 4.4 of TP14850), unless it is permanently embossed or printed on the packaging itself. The packaging closure instructions must be available for inspection by a DOT representative upon request for the time period of the packaging’s periodic retest date.

4. Failure to Train Hazmat Employees:

The terms “hazmat employee” and “hazmat employer” are clearly defined in 49 CFR 171.8. Stated briefly, a hazmat employee is anyone who directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety, and a hazmat employer is anyone who uses employees in connection with transporting hazardous materials in commerce, causing hazardous materials to be transported, or manufacturing or offering packaging as authorized for use in transportation of hazardous materials. Section 6.2 of the TDG Regulations.

Before any employee begins working with dangerous goods, that person must be provided function-specific training applicable to the functions of the job that they perform. Also, if a new regulation is adopted, or an existing regulation is changed that relates to a function performed by a hazmat employee, that hazmat employee first must be instructed in those new or revised function-specific requirements. 172.704 (a)(2)(i) 49 CFR.

5. Failure to register with PHMSA:

Federal Hazardous material transportation law requires a person who offers for transportation certain hazardous materials, to file a registration statement with the U.S Department of Transportation and to pay an annual registration fee. The registration regulations are found at 49 CFR 107.601-107.620.

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

Placarding
Is a Placard Required?

Placards on a truck

Answers from the Helpdesk

Placarding is one of the more complicated areas of the hazardous materials regulations. There are so many variables and exceptions, no wonder it becomes confusing.

Let’s practice using a real helpdesk question.

What placards are required for each shipment (49 CFR or TDG)? Write down your answer before scrolling down to read the answer.

SHIPMENT 1: 

9000 LBS (4082 KG) CORROSIVE UN1719, (ALL NON-BULK PACKAGING)

 SHIPMENT 2: 

(ALL NON-BULK PACKAGING)

9000 LBS (4082 KG) CORROSIVE UN1719
1500 LBS (680 KG) CORROSIVE UN1791

1500 LBS (680 KG) CORROSIVE UN3264
1500 LBS (680 KG) CORROSIVE UN3265

 SHIPMENT 3: 

(ALL NON-BULK PACKAGING)

200 LBS (91 KG) CORROSIVE UN1719
200 LBS (91 KG) CORROSIVE UN1791,

200 LBS (91 KG) CORROSIVE UN3264
200 (91 KG) LBS CORROSIVE, UN3265

Click here to see the 49 CFR answers »
Click here to see the TDGR answers »

49 CFR Regulations

The placarding requirements are found in Part 172.500 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations. The general rule is going to be:

If in bulk, you always need a placard.

If non-bulk, then it depends on if the hazard class is in Table 1 or 2, and the amount that is being shipped.

Also, in most cases, 4 placards are required, one on each side and one on each end.

When shipping in bulk, a UN number is required on the placard. You will find this referenced in the marking section Part 172.331.

(a) Each person who offers a hazardous material to a motor carrier for transportation in a bulk packaging shall provide the motor carrier with the required identification numbers on placards or plain white square-on-point display configurations, as authorized, or shall affix orange panels containing the required identification numbers to the packaging prior to or at the time the material is offered for transportation, unless the packaging is already marked with the identification number as required by this subchapter.

(b) Each person who offers a bulk packaging containing a hazardous material for transportation shall affix to the packaging the required identification numbers on orange panels, square-on-point configurations or placards, as appropriate, prior to, or at the time the packaging is offered for transportation unless it is already marked with identification numbers as required by this subchapter.

For non-bulk, the following references are also important:
The reference for this is 49 CFR §172.301(a)(1)(3):

“(3) Large quantities of a single hazardous material in non-bulk packages. A transport vehicle or freight container containing only a single hazardous material in non-bulk packages must be marked, on each side and each end as specified in the §172.332 or §172.336, with the identification number specified for the hazardous material in the §172.101 Table, subject to the following provisions and limitations:

(i) Each package is marked with the same proper shipping name and identification number;

(ii) The aggregate gross weight of the hazardous material is 4,000 kg (8,820 pounds) or more;

(iii) All of the hazardous material is loaded at one loading facility;

(iv) The transport vehicle or freight container contains no other material, hazardous or otherwise; and

(v) The identification number marking requirement of this paragraph (a)(3) does not apply to Class 1, Class 7, or to non-bulk packagings for which identification numbers are not required.”

Answers:

Which placards are required according to 49 CFR?

Shipment 1: 4- Class 8 placards are required with UN1719

Why? The class 8 placard is required as it is being shipped as a single commodity in non-bulk exceeding 8,820 lbs (4000.68 kg)

Shipment 2: 4- Class 8 placards are required, UN number not required

Why? The class 8 Placard is required, the UN number is not required because there are multiple hazardous goods being shipped on the same shipment

Shipment 3: No placards are required

Why? No placards are required because Class 8 materials appear on table 2 and is under 454 kg (1001 lbs)

Transport Canada

The placarding requirements are found in Part 4 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG).

The following are some general rules for placarding under the TDG regulations in Canada.

In most cases, four placards are required, on both sides and both ends of the transport unit.

A placard is required if the chemical is in a quantity or concentration for which an ERAP is required.

If 500 kg or more of a quantity is being transported of one hazard class a placard is required.

4.15.2 UN Numbers on a Large Means of Containment says:

UN numbers, except UN numbers for dangerous goods included in Class 1, Explosives, must be displayed on a large means of containment in accordance with subsection 4.8(2) if the dangerous goods

(a) are in a quantity or concentration for which an emergency response assistance plan is required; or

(b) are a liquid or a gas in direct contact with the large means of containment.

4.16.1 Placarding Exemption for Dangerous Goods Having a Gross Mass of 500 kg or Less says:

Subsection (1) provides an exemption from placarding requirements if the dangerous goods in or on a road vehicle or railway vehicle have a gross mass that is less than or equal to 500 kg.

Subsection (2) sets out which dangerous goods cannot be counted in the 500 kg and are, therefore, subject to the placarding requirements.

  1. Except in the case of the dangerous goods listed in subsection (2), a placard is not required to be displayed on a road vehicle or railway vehicle if the dangerous goods in or on the road vehicle or railway vehicle have a gross mass that is less than or equal to 500 kg.
  2. The exemption set out in subsection (1) does not apply to dangerous goods
    • (a) requiring an emergency response assistance plan;
    • (b) requiring the display of a subsidiary class placard in accordance with section 4.15.1;
    • (c) included in Class 1, Explosives, except for
      • (i) explosives referred to in subsection 4.17(1), and
      • (ii) explosives included in Class 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 or 1.5, if
    • (A) the explosives are not subject to special provision 85 or 86 and have a net explosives quantity that is less than or equal to 10 kg, or
    • (B) the explosives are subject to special provision 85 or 86 and the number of articles of explosives is less than or equal to 1000;
      • (d) included in Class 2.1, Flammable Gases, if the road vehicle or railway vehicle is to be transported by ship;
      • (e) included in Class 2.3, Toxic Gases;
      • (f) included in Class 4.3, Water-reactive Substances;
      • (g) included in Class 5.2, Organic Peroxides, Type B, liquid or solid, that require a control or emergency temperature;
      • (h) included in Class 6.1, Toxic Substances, that are subject to special provision 23; or
      • (i) included in Class 7, Radioactive Materials, that require a Category III – Yellow label.

Answers:

Which placards are required according to the TDGR?

Shipment 1: 4- Class 8 placards are required UN number not required

Why? Class 8 placards are required, because this shipment exceeds 500 KG, but the UN number is not required as there is no ERAP and it is not in a large means of containment

Shipment 2: 4- Class 8 placards are required, UN number not required

Why? Placards are required as the shipment is over 500 KG, but UN numbers on the placards are not required because the ERAP is either non-existent or is not met.

Shipment 3: No placards are required

Why? Because no ERAP are met, and the quantity is less than 500 kg.

No Placards are required for class 8 hazardous material for shipments under 500 KG and when no ERAP is met.


ICC Compliance Center has a variety of tools and “cheat sheets” to help you understand the placarding requirements. Visit our website for more information.

Oil drum spill
What to Do – Accidents/Incidents Involving Dangerous Goods

Hazmat Incident

Unfortunately, Accidents Do Happen

Dangerous goods, necessary for Canadians’ quality of life, are transported from one area to another across the country every day. These goods, which travel by road, air, rail, and sea, leave Canada by the same routes, railway stations, airports, and ports. All these displacements increase the risk of incidents harmful to human beings and the environment. Therefore, it is essential that manufacturers, shippers, carriers, terminal operators, users, and governments strive to minimize the risk of incidents and the damage they can cause.

Approximately 30 million shipments of dangerous goods are shipped annually in Canada, and 99.998% of them travel to destinations without any incident!

When a dangerous goods incident occurs, the person in possession of the dangerous goods at the time of the incident must call the relevant competent authority (usually the local police, or call CANUTEC at *666 / 613-996-6666 / 1-888-CANUTEC, or call the 24-hour number that appears on the transport document or in the case of an ERAP call that activation number).

When first responders arrive at the scene of an accident involving dangerous goods, they will consult the Emergency Response Guide (ERG). They may also contact CANUTEC for assistance.

CANUTEC is Transport Canada’s Canadian Transport Emergency Center where bilingual scientists are always ready to answer. They are trained in emergency response and are ready to assist when an accident happens involving dangerous goods. CANUTEC’s role is to provide technical and scientific advice in an incident involving dangerous goods and to bring together all persons involved in the incident. The CANUTEC’s staff handles nearly 1,000 emergencies and answers more than 22,000 phone calls every year!

Note that CANUTEC advisors do not go to the scene of an incident.

CANUTEC also provides a 24-hour emergency telephone service for registered Canadian shippers who enter the CANUTEC emergency telephone number (1-888-CAN-UTEC (226-8832) or 613-996-6666) on their dangerous goods shipping documents. The free online registration for this service is available on the CANUTEC website.

TDG Reporting Requirements

Newly amended, Part 8 (Reporting Requirements) of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations improves the data collection process, increases risk analysis capacity and specify the reporting requirements.

Part 8 of TDG requires that CANUTEC be contacted in the case of:

  • a Release or Anticipated Release Report (Road, Rail, Marine);
  • a Dangerous Goods Accident or Incident Report (Air);
  • an Undeclared or Misdeclared Dangerous Goods Report (Air);
  • a Loss or Theft Report (Road, Rail, Marine, Air); or
  • an Unlawful Interference Report (Road, Rail, Marine, Air).

Part 8 has three tier reporting for road, rail and marine:

  1. Emergency report to local authorities if the release endangers or could endanger public safety* consult 8.2;
  2. A Release or Apprehended Release report, only if special requirements are met consult section 8.4;
  3. A 30-day follow-up report, if a release or apprehended release report was required, consult section 8.6.

*Note that public safety refers to safety related to human life and health, property and the environment.

Transport Canada released Safety Awareness Kits aimed at target audiences – First Responders, Communities/Municipalities, Industry and the General Public – containing valuable information on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods. You can consult them at:
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Safety Awareness Materials and FAQ webpage