June is National Safety Month

When you work in the field of safety, and so does your husband, it makes for interesting living situations. I no longer stand on a chair or stool to reach something on the top shelf. There are now ear plugs and safety goggles beside the lawn mower and weed eater in the garage. We have two fire extinguishers – one by the stove and one in the pantry. Our smoke detectors are checked twice a year from a ladder where three points of contact are maintained at all times. There is even an old Emergency Response Guidebook in my car for looking up UN numbers when I travel. Having lived this way for several years now, it surprises me when friends and family talk about near misses they have. Take heart other safety professionals, there is a month dedicated to our cause. June is National Safety Month.

The National Safety Council has outlined topics for each week of the month and even provides free downloadable resources in English and Spanish for each topic upon signup. I encourage you to do so as the resources are great. The link to the National Safety Council site can be found here. To sign up for the free materials, look to the right side of the website. Let’s take a look at each week and expand on the ideas.

This year the topics are Continue Reading…

Traveling With Hazmat … What Will and Won’t Fly

As a frequent traveler, for both business and pleasure, I am often passing though airport security checkpoints before whisking off to my final destination. Because of the industry I am in, I always seem to notice things that most travelers don’t. Most passengers tend to know the rules regarding carry on liquids. They usually know that they need to take off shoes and remove laptops from bags before x-ray screening. While waiting in line, I start thinking about how many of them really understand how many hazardous materials we may be taking on vacation with us and that there are additional rules for carrying them on aircraft.

Traveling with HazMatDuring my most recent trip, I noticed a sign while in the queue for the security checkpoint at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. It seemed odd to me that they would choose to display this sign in a passenger area. While the information provided on the sign is accurate and useful, it is not appropriate for the audience it is reaching. Those passengers who actually stop to read the sign will likely think it does not apply to them because they are not traveling with packages as pictured. In my opinion, a more effective sign for this location would warn that lithium batteries that are used with personal electronics can start fires if they are dropped or improperly charged. Showing photos of Continue Reading…

Storage Containers
6 Ways to Secure your Storage Containers

A Shipping Container is a container having the capability to withstand shipment, storage, and handling. Shipping containers range from huge reusable steel boxes used for intermodal consignments to the universal crimped boxes. It is important to secure the shipping containers from various threats such as vandalism and theft. Here are 6 simple ways by which you can ensure security for your shipping containers and the belongings they carry.

1. Shipping Container Lock Boxes

Unlike padlocks, lock boxes are steel boxes that cannot be tampered with. It is almost impossible to break through these locks. These locks are big enough and cannot be fit into padlock and key. The design of the lock boxes keeps your padlocks out of view and inaccessible to lock cutters. These are an inexpensive, easy-to-install way to secure your storage containers.


2. Heavy Duty Padlocks

It is the simplest way of securing storage containers for your things being stored. Different styles of padlocks are available in the market. The most suitable style can be said as the “shutter” type padlocks. These provide security at a basic level and can be tampered easily.


3. Inner Bolts

These are somewhat similar to the dead bolts that are used in the door of houses. They are made of very hard steel that enables them to provide extra security for all types of containers. They are used to lock the container doors Continue Reading…

US Report on Chemical Safety and Security Issued

On June 6, a working group of Federal departments and agencies issued a report to President Obama titled Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment. This report is the result of Executive Order 13650, issued in August, 2013, requesting these departments and agencies to:

  • Strengthen community planning and preparedness;
  • Enhance Federal operational coordination;
  • Improve data management within the Federal government, and improve information sharing;
  • Modernize policies and regulations, to reflect the most up-to-date practices; and
  • Incorporate stakeholder feedback and developing best practices.

The report recognizes that chemical facilities represent a serious challenge for both safety and security. For example, the recent explosion in West, Texas shows the devastation that can be caused when safety systems fail where large quantities of hazardous chemicals are stored. Therefore, government and industry must work together to make facilities and the communities around them as safe and secure as possible.

Steps taken so far include:

  • Meetings with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with emergency responders across the country to increase preparedness and share lessons learned.
  • Launching a regional pilot program in New York and New Jersey to allow all levels of government to coordinate chemical facility preparedness planning and response activities.
  • Sharing data to identify facilities that, based on filings, may not yet be in compliance with required regulations.
  • Updating online systems to integrate facility data and to assist facility compliance.
  • Work Continue Reading…
Transport Canada Issues Amendment 10 to TDG

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

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 >>

Regulatory news

Some topics that were discussed at the last Regulatory Affairs Committee meeting of the Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors (CACD

  • The CACD board of directors has approved a new standing committee – Health and Safety; there will be more news about this committee as it comes together
  • CACD has re-branded and launched its new website at its 25th anniversary AGM which was held in St. John’s NF this past June
  • the Auditor General will be reviewing the TDG directorate and will include the emergency response assistance plan (ERAP) programme in the review; the objective is to determine if the programme has value to Canadians; in general, experience has shown that emergency responders do not make use of ERAPs.
  • the MACTDG met in May at which Amendment 12 was discussed and CACD’s response to this amendment were presented
  • the security group of Transport Canada may be announcing that they will harmonize with the US regarding security issues, which we will hear more about later this year
  • CACD’s voice has been heard (along with others) regarding the Generic Products Regulations that Health Canada and Environment Canada buried in the mercury containing products regulations; the government has withdrawn the proposed legislation
  • the Consumer Product Safety Directorate (CPSD) of Health Canada has formed a new team to implement GHS; this team will be reviewing the decisions made by the CIC (Current Issues Committee), for example:
Safer Flights Means No Toner

Transport Canada announced yesterday that office-size toner cartridges would be forbidden in checked bags or carry-on bags. Operators will not be permitted to transport these cartridges as cargo on passenger flights.

These measures are being put in place as a result of two (2) packages that were found on October 29. This is just a knee-jerk reaction by our federal government. I can understand not permitting anything from or through Yemen or Somalia, but why hasn’t the federal government banned shoes and underwear from passenger aircraft? If you remember, there was the so called shoe bomber who tried to light his shoes and just last year the flight into Detroit where an idiot tried to light his underwear.

If the competent authorities (now there’s an oxymoron) insist that shoes be inspected, why is it there is no consistency? On a flight from the US to Canada, I had to remove my shoes, but the gentleman behind did not ‘because his shoes are runners and don’t contain any metal’. Anybody know how much metal there was in the shoes or underwear of the two attempted bombings? And if there was any, why didn’t the security agents find it during inspection?

Let’s get a grip people. Yes, security is a part of life today, but do we have to jump to whenever some idiot tries something? The terrorists are probably laughing Continue Reading…

Three DOT regulatory changes going into effect October 1st, 2010

Under 49 CFR, a number of regulatory changes will become mandatory on October 1st, 2010. Three of the changes include:

  • Preparation of shipping papers/Emergency response telephone number
    The shipping paper must contain an emergency response telephone number and, if utilizing an emergency response information telephone number service provider, identify the person (by name or contract number) who has a contractual agreement with the service provider.
  • Packing instructions(written notification)
    Shipper’s must retain a copy of the written notification for at least 365 days from the date of issuance and have copies available for representatives of the DOT.
  • Security plans (if required)
    Security plans must include the identity by job title the senior management official responsible for overall development and implementation of the security plan, security duties for each position and a plan for training hazmat employees. The security plan must be available upon request to the DOT or Department of Homeland Security.