“Thank You for Not Smoking” – Ontario Requires Signage in Trucks

One of the confusing aspects of transporting dangerous goods is the web of different regulations that can affect a shipment. In order to comply fully with a requirement, you must know what regulation imposes that requirement, and carefully study what it says.

For example, an Ontario truck driver was recently inspected while carrying flammable liquids. He was told by the inspector that he should have “No Smoking” signs in his truck.

Now, you might assume that this was related to the flammable liquids on the vehicle. Some regulations on the transportation of dangerous goods do address smoking as a safety issue. For example, the U.S. “Hazardous Materials Regulations” (HMR) of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) says in section 177.834:

“Smoking on or about any motor vehicle while loading or unloading any Class 1 (explosive), Class 3 (flammable liquid), Class 4 (flammable solid), Class 5 (oxidizing), or Division 2.1 (flammable gas) materials is forbidden…. Extreme care shall be taken in the loading or unloading of any Class 1 (explosive), Class 3 (flammable liquid), Class 4 (flammable solid), Class 5 (oxidizing), or Division 2.1 (flammable gas) materials into or from any motor vehicle to keep fire away and to prevent persons in the vicinity from smoking, lighting matches, or carrying any flame or lighted cigar, pipe, or cigarette.”

However, many people reading through Canada’s “Transportation of Dangerous Continue Reading…

WHMIS 2015
Ontario Enforcement Blitz – Training for WHMIS 2015 (GHS)

A Little Background

A question that’s been top-of-mind with many in the regulated community is along the lines of “What does Canada’s GHS-modified hazardous products act/regulations (HPR-WHMIS 2015) say about workplace training and labelling of hazardous products?”

The short answer to this question is that the new Federal HPR says essentially the same thing as the previous CPR (Controlled Products Regulations-WHMIS 1988):

”           ” – i.e. “Nothing”.

Constitutionally, most workplaces fall under the jurisdiction of the provinces/territories so they have the responsibility to establish/enforce OH&S regulations regarding what employers must do to apply the Supplier-provided (Federal jurisdiction) information. The exceptions to this are the limited number of constitutionally-designated Federal workplaces- and even in these workplace issues are addressed through separate OH&S regulations under the Canada Labour Code (CLC).

Ontario’s Blitz

The question is perhaps being highlighted in Ontario where the Ministry of Labour indicated earlier this month that they, under the Occupational Health & Safety Act, would be undertaking an “inspection initiative” (aka “blitz”) regarding WHMIS compliance. This initiative, under the “Occupational Hygiene” program focus, is scheduled to run from now through March, 2016.

Inspectors will be looking for compliance with requirements for “labels, msds, worker education, and COMMUNICATION OF COMPONENTS OF THE GHS” (emphasis added).

Follow this link to view the blitz schedule:

The exercise will be complicated by the fact that the WHMIS 1988 regulations can still be applied during the transition period Continue Reading…

2012 Load Restrictions

For Ontario load restrictions, please go to http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/trucks/loadnotice.shtml.

Highway with vehicles

In Michigan:

Effective 8:00 AM Monday February 27th, 2012 weight restrictions will be imposed and enforced on all state trunkline highways within the Upper Peninsula in the State of Michigan. State trunkline highways typically carry, M, I, or US designations.

Weight restriction information and updates may be obtained by calling 1-800-787-8960. For companies located in Canada or New Jersey, information may be obtained by calling:

– On routes designated as “All Season Routes” (green or gold on the MDOT Truck Operators Map) there will be no reduction in legal axle weight.

– On routes designated as “Seasonal” (solid or dashed red on the MDOT Truck Operators Map), there will be a weight reduction of 25% for rigid pavements and 35% for flexible pavements.

Extended permits will be valid for oversize only in the weight restricted area.

Single trip permits will not be issued for overweight loads or loads exceeding 14 feet in width, 11 axles and 150 feet in overall length in the weight restricted area.

Detailed Weight Restriction information may be obtained by linking to www..michigan.gov/truckers. Please refer to the MDOT Truck Operator’s Map for route designations.

Spring Weight Restrictions: http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/alerts/bulletins.cfm?bulletin=weight


Courtesy of Steven Horwood, Michigan State Police

In-car Electronics

On October 26, the regulations regarding the use of electronic devices while behind the wheel came into force in Ontario. Yet, with all the advertising and media information about the new law, people are still using their mobile phones, blackberries, etc. while driving.

Enforcement officials have stated that drivers will be given a warning if caught, but there are other areas under the Highway Traffic Act that they can use. And hopefully will.

For just a few bucks, you can get a Bluetooth device so that you can drive while using your device hands-free. Let’s use some common sense and focus on the driving, not the number pad or keypad.

Otherwise, Commissioner Fantino will be coming after you.

Cell phone ban!

Just announced: the province of Ontario will ban the use of handheld electronic devices starting October 26. Handheld devices such as cell phones, blackberries, iPhones, GPS units, DVD players etc. will be banned when you are in the driver’s seat of a vehicle.

There will be a three (3) month education period before officials issue citations.

Speed Limiters

So, some Ontario truckers are upset that the provincial government has imposed speed limiters for trucks, to be set at 105 kph.

One spokesman for truckers says that a trucker needs that extra speed for when the trailer starts to come around. Being maxed at 105 will not allow a trucker to apply the extra speed to straighten out the trailer. If your trailer is starting to pass you, doesn’t that tell you something? For instance, you are not driving to the conditions of the road.

Although many people might regard truck drivers as “professionals”, there are not many out there anymore. A good number of them drive the truck as if it is a sports car, no matter the weather.

In regards to the automobile drivers, maybe Commissioner Fantino should be putting more officers on the road enforcing the speed limit and the rules of the road.

On the other hand, maybe the Minister of Transportation should be having a look at the design of our highways and adjust the speed limits to the design. Moreover, make it tougher to get a license.