Notice of PROPOSED Rulemaking: 49 CFR Docket HM-215O

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is at it again. Published on November 27, 2018 is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that many in the industry want to happen sooner rather than later. It is Docket number HM-215O. This amendment is a giant step towards better alignment of the Hazardous Materials Regulation (HMR), or 49 CFR, with the changes coming in 2019 for several international transport regulations.

Remember, this NPRM is just one step in the process for updating Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. We still have to get through the comment period on this particular docket. Starting today, the comment period is open until January 28, 2019. After that window closes, each comment is reviewed and changes could be made to the amendment. The docket is then published as a Final Rule with a 30- to 60-day phase in period. If you feel strongly about a proposed change, speak now or forever hold your peace.

While what is listed below this is not a comprehensive listing of everything in the PROPOSED amendment, an attempt was made to focus on what could impact a majority of transport professionals. For access to the entirety of NPRM, go to https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/regulations-fr/rulemaking/2018-24620 and view the PDF.

Here are some of the PROPOSED changes in HM-215O:

  • Section 171.7 – This section will now include reference to the 20th Revised Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: November 19

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows of – the regulations.

UN Packaging Requirements

Q. Is there any specific testing the inner packages for a combination package has to go through if shipping by ground in the U.S? What is to prevent the manufacture and distribution of cans that are not adequately leak-proof?
A. From a UN testing standpoint, if the inner packaging of a combination package wasn’t leak-proof, it would likely fail the drop testing because any leaking of the inner packaging during UN combination testing would be considered a failure. It is up to the shipper of the paint cans to use inner packaging that is equal or stronger in performance than the inner packaging used during the UN testing per 49 CFR 178.601(g)(1). There is a leak-proof test and hydrostatic pressure test per 178.604 and 178.605, but neither is technically required for inner packaging of a combination package. If shipping by air it is a little different, as the inner packaging “must be capable” of withstanding a hydrostatic pressure differential of 95 kPa per 173.27(c)(2).

Electric vehicles

Q. I am shipping electric vehicles in the US. They will be shipped with the batteries in them, but the batteries could also be shipped separately. The vehicle Continue Reading…
Airplane Icon
IATA Lithium Battery Update for January 1, 2019
AA sized lithium battery cells

Welcome to the ever-changing world of transporting lithium batteries. It feels like just yesterday we were discussing the introduction of the new Class 9 hazard label dedicated to just batteries and the new handling “mark”. Would you believe that started at the end of 2016? In an attempt to clarify things, here is the first of several blogs dedicated to one of the new versions of a transport regulation. The focus will be what changed in regards to lithium batteries for that mode. My first choice, only because it is my favorite regulation, is the 60th edition of the International Air Transport Association or IATA as many of us know it. By the way, ICC will be hosting a training on lithium batteries on January 24th and 25th. Call us today to get registered today.

Listed below are the specific sections, paragraphs, packing instructions and the like that had changes for lithium cells and batteries. If you aren’t overly familiar with shipping batteries, what is below can be a bit overwhelming. You can access our “cheat sheet” for required labels by ground, ocean, and air.

IATA 60th Edition Changes for Batteries:

  • New classification criteria – As part of 3.9.2.6.1 there are 2 new paragraphs around the classification of lithium batteries. One paragraph talks about “hybrid” batteries, which are those that contain both ion and metal while the other is about Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: October 29

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows of – the regulations.

VOC/SDS

Q. We have a customer that is asking why the VOC content is “N/Av” on their SDS. It is required under OSHA or WHMIS?
A. According to US federal OSHA Hazcom 2012, and Canadian WHMIS 2015 rules, VOC information is not actually a mandatory item to appear in any section of a 16 Section SDS. It is commonly requested as a sub-item in Section 9, which is why ICC automatically includes the subheading. ICC does not calculate VOC levels, so the data would have to be provided by you. VOC information is common info to have for coatings, and has become important for coatings manufacturers due to Environmental regulations.

Lithium Battery Mark

Q. Customer called and asked if they ship UN3480 lithium batteries ground within the US, can they use the lithium battery mark instead of the class 9 lithium battery label, or do both have to be on the package. He also wanted to know what packing group lithium battery packaging had to be?
A. When shipping ground within the US, you are required to use a lithium battery mark OR a Class 9 lithium battery label. So just the lithium battery mark is fine in Continue Reading…
Securepacc Paint Cans packaging
Solving the Damaged Paint Can Riddle
Simulation of damaged paint cans during transport

As we all know, when shipping dangerous goods the shipper has the following responsibilities

  • Proper packaging.
  • Proper markings on the packaging.
  • Proper description on the shipping papers.

All 3 require training in hazardous materials.  However, what if the proper packaging isn’t available? After all, it is also our responsibility to prevent loss and damage during normal transportation and handling according to FedEx. In the last several years here at ICC, the need for paint can shippers that don’t leak and dent has gone through the roof. I have been contacted by several different large paint distributors all looking to solve the same riddle; how do I get my paint cans from point A to point B without damage and leaking? Challenge accepted! The first step is to decide what metric to use to determine if the packaging will damage or leak during normal transit.  Well a while back I wrote a blog on ISTA 6-FEDEX-A testing, http://blog.thecompliancecenter.com/ista-series-6-6-fedex-a-testing-vs-standard-un-testing/, which helps determine how well a package will perform out in the field. So I figured that would be a good starting point. Basically, our goal was to create paint can shippers that not only would survive the 10 drops from 30 inches up that the FedEx testing requires, but also have minimal to no damage on the paint cans at all.

Quart/Liter Shippers

Securepacc™ quart/liter shipper

During the testing Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
UN Packaging Need Forecasted to Grow!!!

Although the various regulations continue to change year by year, the need for UN packaging continues to be a necessity for dangerous goods shippers. In fact, a recent report predicts the need for UN packaging will continue to grow over the next decade. The growth of the UN packaging market is expected to be mainly driven by the need for safe and secure packaging for dangerous goods that need special handling. The report is based on a compilation of first-hand information, assessments by industry analysts, and input from industry experts and participants across the value chain. A request for a sample copy of the report can be made here.

Why is Growth Expected?

Customization of UN packaging for specific designs is expected to lead to new market avenues of growth for the global hazmat packaging market. For example, a wide variety of sizes of lithium batteries and other solid articles are out there on the market, and oftentimes stock items aren’t available that meet the specific dimensions that are needed. With reliance on items containing lithium batteries expecting to increase, so will the need to package them.

In addition, since non-compliance within the various regulations of hazardous materials can be costly due to fines and rejections, shippers and end users simply prefer UN packaging in order to comply with the regulations and maintain an element of safety within Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: October 22

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows of – the regulations.

Industrial vs. Consumer

Q. According to the WHMIS training I received, any product that is listed as a hazardous product under section 2 of their SDS and bears pictograms needs to be reflected on the product’s packaging and the product itself. I was also informed that if the product is packaged and sold in a consumer product manner then did not require WHMIS labeling, is this true?
A. WHIMIS 2015 does have consumer products listed in Schedule 1 (paragraph 12 (j)) as exempt (consumer products would be as defined in section 2 of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act), among other products. Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, consumer products are defined as “a product, including its components, parts or accessories, that may reasonably be expected to be obtained by an individual to be used for non-commercial purposes, including for domestic, recreational and sports purposes, and includes its packaging.” Therefore, under most circumstances, consumer products would not require WHMIS labelling on their packaging.

Variation Packaging

Q. Our 4GV DOT-SP packaging comes with absorbent padding material inside of it. We call them pig pads. My question is this – if we are shipping something inside of those Continue Reading…
ICC Top 10 List
OSHA’s Top Ten Most-Cited Standards for 2018

It is the end of October. This is the signal for many exciting things. First, autumn is well under way; no more temperatures in the high 90’s. Second, pumpkin spice everything is available. My personal favorite though is plain old pumpkin pie. Finally, OSHA publishes their list of top ten most-cited standards for the previous fiscal year. This is always announced at the National Safety Council’s Congress and Expo. The timing fits with OSHA’s fiscal year that runs from October 1 through September 30. So, without further delay….

Most-Cited OSHA Standards for Fiscal Year 2018

  1. Fall Protection – General Requirements: Standard 1926.501 with 7,720 violations
  2. Hazard Communications: Standard 1910.1200 with 4,552 violations
  3. Scaffolds/Scaffolding: Standard 1926.451 with 3,336 violations
  4. Respiratory Protection: Standard 1910.134 with 3,118 violations
  5. Lockout/Tagout: Standard 1910.147 with 2,944 violations
  6. Ladders: Standard 1926.1053 with 2,812 violations
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks: Standard 1910.178 with 2,294 violations
  8. Fall Protection: Training requirements: Standard 1926.503 with 1,982 violations
  9. Machine Guarding: Standard 1910.212 with 1,972 violations
  10. Personal Protective Equipment and Lifesaving Equipment – Eye and Face Protection: Standard 1926.102 with 1,536 violations

Here are some things I notice about this year’s list.  First of all, the top five are the exact same ones and in the exact same order as last year, and all the way back to fiscal year 2014. The next four on the list are the same as well. The only difference is the order of them going back through Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: October 15

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows of – the regulations.

Hazardous Waste and DOT

Q. Do I have to have hazardous materials training if I ship out hazardous waste?
A.Yes. If a person is shipping an EPA-regulated hazardous waste and that waste is required to be shipped on a manifest, then that material is subject to the DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations. In fact, there is a specifically worded certification statement on the manifest that certifies that the shipment complies with all applicable DOT requirements.

Wording on the Battery

Q. Do the words “Lithium Battery” have to be on the actual battery?
A. No, there is no requirement in the regulations to have those words on there. However, almost all of the transport regulations have added the requirement to include the watt-hour or gram content on the outer cases of said batteries.

HMIS

Q. I have some questions about HMIS ratings. Do you know where I can find more information on that? I’m having a hard time determining what PPE is needed at my facility.
A. We offer HMIS ratings as a service at ICC. As to the PPE component, the better course of action is to use the SDS and any risk assessment data at the facility to make those determination. Continue Reading…
Repacking Dangerous Goods
Authorization column in the shipper’s declaration
Shipping by Air Declaration form authorization column

Almost always the authorization column in the shipper’s declaration is left blank, but when you need to add something in there, you must add it in there. Section 8.6.1.9.4 of the IATA Regulations provides when and what to add when required. Now sometimes we forget to read the “notes” in the Regulations.

Here’s my story

A customer called in first thing Monday morning to get help on shipping an engine. It was an urgent shipment, and he had to get it out ASAP. I said, “No problem. We can help.” It’s what we do. It was going via air, and since it was a domestic shipment he can drop the shipment off to the airline directly for it to leave later that day.

Packaging for an engine

Engines vary in size, clearly. I asked our customer if his engine was packaged, and he said no, but it was strapped on a wooden pallet with 2×4 lumber on corners of the pallet for support. So, I asked him to email me a picture to understand what he meant by that. The picture showed the engine was visible, and the corners with the lumber in upright position did not affect the identification of the engine. I told our customer that all he needed was the shipper’s declaration. We created the declaration, he picked up the colored copies from our office and dropped Continue Reading…