What is Cobb Testing?
If you previously read my blog Anatomy of A box, you learned about the various components that make up a corrugated box. The construction of a box can become even more complicated for dangerous goods. Not only do you need to provide strong, durable corrugated boxes that can withstand drops and movement during transportation, but they must also be able to withstand various weather conditions including snow and rain.
How can box manufacturers and test labs ensure that dangerous goods packaging is safe to use when it gets wet? This is where the Cobb test comes in handy. This test helps determine the quantity of water that can be absorbed by the surface of paper or board in a given time. In this case, the less water that absorbs into the corrugated, the better. In fact as per § 178.516 of CFR 49 as well as TP 14850 7.8 this test is a requirement.
Why Cobb Testing?
Cobb tests are performed, because paper and fiberboard tend to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. The Cobb test is essential as it tests the ability of the paper to resist the penetration of water and quantity of water absorbed by Continue Reading…
How to Stay Safe During Extreme Weather
Hurricanes bring about many emotions for me. You see, I have lived through a large number of them with varying impacts on my life. Here are just a few that trigger some strong emotions in me even after more than 15 years. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit. I was in college at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. What made it so scary was the fire alarm in the middle of it, which caused an evacuation from my dormitory. The wind and rain were so strong you almost couldn’t stand.
The next one that comes to mind is Bertha in in 1996. Bertha was memorable because we purchased our first home the day she hit. If we had stayed in our new home, we would have lost both of our cars due to a tree falling. The worst though came in 1999. That year brought us Dennis in August and Floyd in September. We survived Dennis with a few heavy rains and some minor damage to the neighborhood. However, Floyd hit just 2 weeks later! Again, there was little damage in our area but lots of rain. We cleaned up and prepared for work the Continue Reading…
Changes in Special Provision 23
One aspect of the International Harmonization amendment (SOR/2017-137) of the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) that did not receive a lot of attention is the change in Special Provision 23. This special provision (SP) deals with the assignment of markings on containers and descriptions on shipping documents for entries related to goods which exhibit inhalation toxicity. Although the basic concept for classification remains the same- i.e. gases in Class 2.3 and Class 6.1 with associated inhalation toxicity. The majority of the latter are in PG I, but there are several PG II entries invoking SP23).
Marking – Keep It Simple?
A significant difference is the change in wording applied to means of containment (MoC). Following the transition period, markings required under SP23 must read “inhalation hazard” for all entries except UN 1005 (anhydrous ammonia). This eliminates the previous options of either “toxic by inhalation” or “toxic-inhalation hazard” (TBI or TIH).
UN1005 retains the previous wording “Anhydrous Ammonia, Inhalation Hazard” when the option of using the ammonia placard (rather than Class 2.3) is chosen. However small MoC of UN1005 will use the standard Class 2.3 label and “inhalation hazard” wording.
The new SP23 simplifies things somewhat by referencing Continue Reading…
School Days, Fire Drills
One of my earliest memories from elementary school was deeply concentrating on my school work at my desk (at least some of the time), when suddenly being startled by a loud alarm. My classmates and I would jump up in excitement as we all meshed together in a quiet single file line, and our teacher would lead us out of the nearest exit into a parking lot on a nice Spring day. We would stand outside quietly until the principal would walk outside and give us a quick wave of her hand, and to our dismay we would all march back into school with our heads down to pick up right where we left off in the rest of the day’s school work.
In hindsight, the fun and excitement of a fire drill as a child was in actuality a well thought out systematic process designed to help students and staff become aware of how to exit the building in the quickest, easiest, and safest way possible. The importance of these emergency procedures are not only important in our childhood school days, they should also play an essential role in the workplace. In fact, OSHA clearly defines what is Continue Reading…
News From the Provinces
Alberta Labour Announces Comprehensive OHS Review – Invites Comments by October 16
Taking Alberta workplaces a little closer to heaven:
The province of Alberta is inviting stakeholders to get involved in a comprehensive review of its occupational health and safety (OHS) system. Although there have been some amendments (e.g. to the OHS Act in 2012, with an update to the OHS Regulation in 2013), the system was established in 1976. The operating OHS Code, containing details (such as WHMIS requirements) has not been updated since 2009.
[Note: Alberta Labour has also posted an update to their WHMIS 2015 transition policy following the extension of Health Canada’s deadline to 2018 for suppliers:
In addition to general regulatory updates, the review will also look at improving the fundamental aspects of the system under the key themes of responsibility, worker engagement and prevention.
This topic will examine potential enhancements to the internal responsibility system that may include tools such as prescribed joint health and safety committees or other programs, and enforcement options.
Worker engagement is dependant on protected rights- i.e. the right to: know about hazards; freely participate in OHS decisions or to refuse unsafe work, without fear of reprisal. Education and training of workers can Continue Reading…
Download 2018 IATA 59th Edition Significant Changes
This year marks the 59th edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations. The 59th edition becomes effective January 1, 2018. It is published by IATA and distributed by many, including ICC Compliance Center.
Highlights of the changes and amendments include:
- Limitations have been adopted on the number of portable electronic devices (PED) and the number of spare batteries for the PED that may be carried by passengers or crew
- There are a number of additions, deletions and amendments to variations submitted by operators
- The classification section has been updated to bring in all substances and articles that are assigned to Class 9 with their respective UN numbers and proper shipping names
- The “not restricted” conditions have been revised to require that the shipper provide written or electronic documentation stating that a flushing and purging procedure for flammable liquid powered engines has been followed.
- The special provision that identifies that vehicles powered by an engine powered by both a flammable liquid and flammable gas must be assigned to the entry Vehicle, flammable gas powered.
- New and amended packaging provisions for lithium batteries
- New and amended packing instructions
- Updated minimum size of UN numbers on the lithium battery mark
The A-Team and Lithium Battery Marks / Labels
An iconic show from the 1980’s was “The A-Team”. It was about a group of former military men who worked to help those in need by using their former skill set. A famous line from it was often said by John “Hannibal” Smith, played by George Peppard. At the end of many episodes he would say, “I love it when a plan comes together”. With the publication of Transport Canada’s Amendment TDGR SOR2017 – 137, we finally have a plan coming together for the transportation of Lithium Batteries.
Finally, all transport regulations – 49 CFR, TDG, IATA .and IMDG – are on the same page regarding the necessary marks and labels needed for transporting Lithium Batteries. All of the regulations even have the same transition times for when the new Class 9 Lithium Battery Hazard Class Label and new Lithium Battery Mark will be mandatory.
Download Our Lithium Battery Labels Guide
Let ICC Compliance Center be your “A-Team” for shipping Lithium Batteries. Call us today for packaging, training, labels and marks. We have it all.
In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-3SP & BX-17SP.
- The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 3M #305 48 mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48 mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.
Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.
Michael S. Zendano
FMCSA Goes on Tour
The Eagles, a popular band for several decades, broke up back in the 1980s. A famous quote from one of the band’s members is that they would play as a band again “when Hell freezes over.” Interestingly enough in 1994 the band got back together and went on tour. Of course, the name of the tour was “Hell Freezes Over”. I mention this because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is also about to go on tour.
The tour known as the “ELD Implementation National Tour” is a way for FMCSA staff members and experts to present, discuss, and help with the new Electronic Logging Devices or ELDs. An ELD is a device designed to sync with an engine to record driving times. This recording will make for easier and better tracking of a driver’s hours of service (HOS). These ELDs will replace the paper logbooks that certain drivers are required to maintain. To access the Federal Register for the full Final Rule, click here.
The ELD Final Rule was published in December of 2016 and has a 3-phase implementation. Each phase has its own time frame, objective(s), and device requirements.
ELD Rule implementation phases:
- Phase 1: Awareness and Transition
FOODSAFE is a resource of the Province of British Colombia and is a food safety training program that instructs students on a wide array of food related safety issues.
The training program enables students to learn about food borne illness, food preparation safety, storing food, and serving food safely. The program offers courses for cooks, servers, and other restaurant employees, but also offers courses for management crews, business owners, executive chefs, and others who will handle food and areas where food is stored, prepared, or served.
In Canada, every person who owns a food establishment must obtain a certificate from a health official showing they have completed FOODSAFE or an equivalent program. The food establishment owner must also be able to show proof that in their absence, there is at least one other person in the business who has a certificate. For those in serving positions, it is not required by BC regulation, but many employers do insist that all employees hold a valid certificate to work in their establishment.
Anyone who works with food should take the course and test for certification as it not only teaches about food borne illness and how to prevent it, but it is also a Continue Reading…