ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: April 16

WHMIS 2015 concentration ranges, training, overpacks, segregation and non-DG in DG packaging

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.

New WHMIS 2015 Concentration Ranges

Q. There is a very specific list of approved concentration ranges listed in the CA regulations.  We had previously set up our ranges to be .1-10%, 10-20%, 20-30%, etc. (groupings of 10) and always included the “trade secret” caveat after our concentration list. Would this still be considered “compliant” for Canada, meaning using our ranges vs. their list of ranges?
A. There is a Regulatory Impact Assessment file that was sent out to stakeholders by Health Canada a couple days before the new amendment appeared in the Gazette II.

Under the comments received section of that file was the following:

Use of the prescribed ranges

One stakeholder agreed with the proposed amendment as it read in the context of the CGI publications, but asked for the following clarification: can smaller ranges be used if they (1) fall within an existing range, e.g. using 3.8-4.5% rather than 3-5% (as listed), or (2) when combining up to three prescribed ranges, e.g. combining ranges (e), (f), and (g) would be 5-30% but using 6-28% instead. Health Canada clarified that the prescribed concentration ranges are only to be used when the ingredient concentration or concentration range is considered to be a trade secret and must be followed by a statement indicating as such. In such cases, the only ranges permitted to be used are those listed in subsections 4.4.1(3) and 4.5 (3). However, when the ingredient concentration or concentration range is not a trade secret, the actual concentration or actual concentration range must be provided, and the prescribed concentration ranges are not permitted.

So unfortunately, by their statement there that “… the only ranges permitted to be used are those listed in Subsections 4.4.1(3) and 4.5(3)“, you have to use the new HPR allowed ranges and nothing else…if you are choosing to protect your concentrations.

Your shortened ranges, then, would not be acceptable based on this above statement made by Health Canada.

More information can be found here.

Training (49 CFR)

Q. The customer called and said they have a separate location in New Jersey where they have hazardous materials that have to be shipped by ground in the US. He was wondering if the employees at their other location that would be involved in shipping would need hazmat training in order to ship their products, or if he can orchestrate the shipment over the phone and act as the “trained” shipper.
A. I referred the customer to 49 CFR §172.704 which states that any “hazmat employee” needs training. A hazmat employee defined by the 49 CFR in this case would mean any person who loads, unloads, handles hazardous materials or prepares hazardous materials for transportation. So because they are handling and shipping dangerous goods at the other location, they need to be trained.

Overpack Label on Each Drum?

Q. I have eight 55 Gallon drums on a skid containing the same hazardous material, each drum is labeled accordingly. I plan on using this unit as an overpack and stretch wrapping the entire skid. Do I have to put the hazard labels on the outside of the overpack? DO I have to put an overpack label on each drum?
A. If each drum contains the same substance and the labels on the drums can be seen through the stretch wrap of the overpack, you do not have to put the hazard labels on the outside of the overpack per 49 CFR §173.25 (a) (2). In terms of the overpack label, you can put the overpack labels on the outside of the stretch wrap along with the orientation labels per 49 CFR §173.25 (a) (3) and (4).

Segregation requirements (49 CFR)

Q. The customer l called and asked if he can ship UN3264 (Class 8 Corrosive) on the same skid as UN3219 (Class 5.1) by US ground?
A. I referred the customer to the segregation table in the 49 CFR §177.848. Those two substances have a “0” attached to them on the chart, which basically means they cannot be shipped together unless they are separated in a manner that in the event of a leakage, the materials would not commingle. In addition, being that in this case you have a class 8 with a class 5 substance, they can’t be located adjacent or above each other per §177.848 therefore these items can’t be next to each other on the same skid.

Using a 4G for non-DG

Q. A customer  called and asked if it was necessary to cover up non-applicable UN markings on a box if several are cited.
A. I referred the customer to PHMSA interpretation 10-0154 which states “to avoid potential confusion and/or possible violation of the HMR, the non-applicable markings should be covered or obliterated during transportation”.

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