Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) have been an important tool for worker safety for decades. In Canada, they became mandatory for hazardous materials in 1988, and although their basic format has been modified by WHMIS 2015 (the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System 2015), one constant has always been a heading for “emergency telephone number.”
This brings up the question of what number should be on the SDS. Yes, it’s possible to run the emergency number internally, but most companies don’t use this solution. First, if you’re using it for transportation purposes, the law requires that the number be staffed 24 hours a day. Even if you have staff to do that, they must be trained to give effective advice over the telephone. That can be a difficult job, and requires professionals with both technical knowledge and the ability to remain calm in emergencies. Therefore, most companies these days outsource this function to specialist services.
Having a direct line to a live, knowledgeable person can be a true lifesaver in an emergency. Early in my training days, a customer told how he’d been given the job, late at night, of cleaning out a tank of chemicals by siphoning them into a waste container. In those days, safety standards were sometimes lax, and he was taught to start the siphon by mouth. Unfortunately, he was distracted during the procedure and ended Continue Reading…
HazMat in Action!
As you may have heard, a major hazmat incident occurred in Niagara Falls, not far from ICC Compliance Center’s location. On a late Monday night in October, a tanker truck carrying nearly 13,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen (UN1966) hit the base of a light pole in the parking lot of a local grocery store as the driver was attempting to turn around. This resulted in a valve on the truck to become damaged and could have caused the highly flammable liquid hydrogen to be released from the truck triggering a very serious situation for nearby residents and businesses. Although the driver received a traffic violation, nobody was physically harmed by the incident. Watching this news story unfold made me think about how this incident could have turned out much differently if hazmat protocol wasn’t followed.
As the tanker truck crashed into the pole, local officials on hand realized the dangers of what was inside the truck because it was properly placarded with a UN1966 placard. Had the truck not been placarded correctly, officials would not have known what was inside the truck and what dangers could come from exposure to the highly flammable liquid hydrogen. As a result, officials were able to respond quickly and evacuated all local businesses and roads leading to the grocery store parking lot the accident took place in. Officials Continue Reading…
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. Continue Reading…
What information do you need on a shipping paper or an emergency response situation? Depending on the country you are shipping from, the answer can vary.
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, Part 3, (1) 3.5(f) and (2) outlines the requirements for the shipping document. These requirements include:
Having the words “24 hour number” followed by an active 10-digit telephone number xxx.xxx.xxxx,
- Being able to reach the consignor immediately, and
- Providing technical assistance without breaking the connection. An outside agency that is registered with the emergency response provider may be used.
The requirements outlined in the 49 CFR [172.201(d) and 172.604(b)(1)&/or(2)] states that if the shipper is using an Emergency Response Information provider or an agency on their behalf, a 24-hour telephone number and name of the person or contract number must be added to the Emergency Response Shipping paper.
Recently, an FAA inspector visited a customer of ours and the Emergency Response information on the shipping document was something they checked. As part of their audit, they called the number listed on the form to verify that the contract number was indeed valid.
Remember, during a transport emergency, first responders rely on this information to react to the situation quickly and to react with the correct protective and fire-fighting measures.
Do you need a 24-hour emergency response service?
ICC has a 24-hour phone number available in the USA, Canada and internationally.
Call us today: Continue Reading…
This Friday the 13th final rule is nothing to be scared about. The EPA is changing the information required on the Tier I and Tier II Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory forms for the first time since 1998. The submittal of these forms is required for effected parties by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).
The additions come after comments and requests over the years and an August 2011 proposal to add data elements to the identification and contact information sections of both forms. The rule also revises some existing data elements in the chemical reporting section of the Tier II inventory form. Many of the changes address requests for certain information to be included in order to help in effective emergency planning and response.
Some of the modifications include: Adding the maximum number of occupants that may be present at the facility; whether the facility where chemicals are stored are manned or unmanned; to report the latitude and longitude and the identification numbers assigned under TRI and the risk management program; and provide contact information for the facility emergency coordinator and the e-mail address of the facility owner and operator.
The revised Tier II form will also add separate data fields to report pure chemicals and mixtures.
The final rule will take effect on January 1, 2014. This will allow facilities to prepare for the Continue Reading…
Transport Canada has recently issued Amendment 10, an update to Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. The text of this amendment can be found at http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2011/2011-10-12/html/sor-dors210-eng.html.
This Amendment deals specifically with Emergency Response Assistance Plans (ERAPs), and compensation for situations where the government has invoked a plan in the event of a terrorist action. Costs that are eligible for compensation include:
- the salaries and other compensation for employees and contractors;
- the cost for tools and equipment used, including rental of equipment where necessary,
- cost of replacing supplies, single-use equipment and other consumables,
- travel expenses for personnel, including meals and accommodation,
- expenses related to injury or death of employees or contractors, and
- costs incident to cleanup after an incident, including handling and disposal costs for dangerous goods and contaminated materials.
In the event of a terrorist incident involving dangerous goods in transport, the Minister of Transport can invoke an ERAP, even if the ERAP is held by someone other than the consignor of the goods. The amendment is required to ensure that this does not place an undue economic burden on the owner of the invoked ERAP.
Other aspects of ERAPs, such as the quantities that trigger the requirement, have not been changed in this amendment. If you have questions about how Amendment 10 will affect ERAPs, please contact ICC The Compliance Center Inc at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-4834 (Canada).
See our TDG resources >>
In the event of a disaster or other circumstances that bring about the need for contingency operations, the normal organization will shift into that of the contingency organization. The focus will shift from the structure and function of “business as usual” to the structure and function of an Emergency Management Control Center (EMCC) working towards the resumption of time-sensitive business operations. The Disaster Response Plan (DRP), otherwise referred to as a Contingency Plan (CP), is the document that defines the resources, actions, tasks and data required to manage the business recovery process in the event of a disaster causing the business interruption. The CP is designed to assist in restoring the business process within the stated disaster recovery goals. In this plan, the contingency organization will operate through phases of response, resumption, recovery, and restoration. Each phase involves exercising procedures defined in Emergency Response Plans (ERP) of the CP and the teams executing those plans.
Each team’s eventual goal is the resumption/recovery and the return to stable and normal business operations and technology environments. A high degree of interaction among all teams will be required to execute the corporate CP. Primary and alternate team leaders, guide each team that becomes a sub-unit of the contingency organization. Each team leader will report status and progress updates to the Contingency Plan Coordinator (CPC).
The Contingency Plan Coordinator (CPC) is typically a Continue Reading…