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Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Improving Railroad Safety is a Success

July 25th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The Federal Railroad Association (FRA) established the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) to provide advice and recommendations to the FRA on railroad safety matters. The RSAC is a formally chartered and structured Federal Advisory Committee and provides a forum for collaborative rulemaking and program development. RSAC consists of representatives from all of the agency’s major stakeholder groups, including railroads, labor organizations, suppliers and manufacturers, and other interested parties. RSAC’s achievements are many. Since the establishment of RSAC, rail accidents per million train miles are down by nearly 30 percent as total miles and passenger counts increased significantly. Because of broad industry collaboration through committees like RSAC, success happens.

The past 20 years have proven that industry and government can accomplish much when they work together toward a common goal (i.e., developing rulemakings, regulations and safety policies, advancement of technologies and more importantly, saving lives today and tomorrow across our great nation moving forward). RSAC is one tool that FRA and its partners use to advance safety, and we need every effective tool to improve safety.

Check out the railroad safety facts and statistics here!

DOT Develops New Free Online CFR Mobile App

July 18th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Ever find yourself in a remote location, needing to verify a CFR regulation? Now there’s a free App for that!
In its continuing efforts to improve safety and public access to the latest transportation regulations, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today made available a new online Code of Federal Regulations (oCFR) mobile application – App. The oCFR mobile app is a simplified version of the web-based application which was released to the public in March of 2016. The oCFR app was released to both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store for use on iOS and Android mobile devices. The new oCFR app provides the first-ever mobile access to search, view, and navigate PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Regulations in 49 CFR parts 100-180 for the classifying, handling, and packaging of hazardous materials by highway, rail, aircraft, and vessel. This app also provides the first-ever mobile access to PHMSA’s Pipeline Safety Regulations in 49 CFR parts 190-199, which provide the federal minimum safety standards for the design, construction, operation and maintenance, and spill response planning for pipeline and liquefied natural gas facilities involved in the transportation of natural gas and hazardous liquids within the United States. The mobile app is also unique because it allows users to navigate regulations at the paragraph level. To get the App, go to the App Store on your smartphone, SEARCH for OCFR, and download. It’s free!

The Dangers of Transporting Precious “Live” Goods

June 27th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

On April 20, 2017, a special passenger arrived on a United Airlines flight from London Heathrow to Chicago O‘Hare. He was in good health and spirits the last time someone had checked on him a few hours before takeoff. But when it came time for him to change planes on the second leg of the journey, an attendant discovered that he had passed away.

His name was Simon, and he was an enormous rabbit, measuring 3 feet in length, from whiskers to cottontail.

The public outcry was instantaneous. While no definite cause of death was determined by press time, the owner of the rabbit, a U.K.-based animal breeder named Anette Edwards, demanded an explanation and later received an undisclosed sum for compensation for the loss of the animal. The breed, known as a Continental Giant, can be sold for more than $5,000.00! Simon’s father, in fact, is the holder of the world record for length, at more than 4 feet. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation figures, 35 animals died on board U.S. airlines in 2015. Of those, 14 died on United flights — the highest rate of any U.S. carrier.

The tragedy illustrated the paramount importance of the health of animals that are being transported by air, whether it is in the baggage compartment of a 767 passenger jet, where Simon was, or a climate-controlled, chartered freighter modified for carrying multiple large animals. Despite the public relations risk and the expense required to ensure the safety of animal transport, business is booming now for forwarders and carriers willing to serve this niche.

In an era where capturing specialty, high-value cargo can be the difference between profit and loss each quarter, the movement of livestock and exotic animal charters is an increasingly attractive option — especially when large mammals are involved.

Interest in animal transport is building not just because of the niche income but because of rumors that International Air Transport Association (IATA) may soon launch a new Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) program specially designed for Live Animals. While IATA officials would not comment publicly on a timeline for a CEIV-Live Animals certification, there have been discussions about how the program would work.

Should a CEIV-Live Animals standard emerge in the next few years, the physical proof of certification in safe handling methods could prove to be a lucrative accolade for a forwarder, a ground handler, or an entire airport community, to attract animal shippers who never want to hear another sad Simon story.

Schoonover Speaks to the PHMSA Future at COSTHA

May 23rd, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

May 2nd, 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ – At the annual meeting of the Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), William (Bill) Schoonover, Associate Administrator for Hazardous Material Safety at the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) presented the Vision and Mission of PHMSA. Their Vision is to be the most innovative transportation safety organization in the world, and their Mission is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential in our daily lives.

PHMSA will achieve these goals by investing in people, increasing communication internally and externally, positioning for innovation, fostering transparency and improving engagement. This will be achieved by implementing a safety management system that is data driven from information gathered from the 45,000 companies overseen by DOT. This information, and implementation, will include electronic shipping papers, new hazmatics which will improve how data is collected, and the beginning of regulation and data collection of autonomous vehicles. In addition, PHMSA will be the first government agency to have an ISO 9000 certified data collection system.

In addition to Mr. Schoonover, Ryan Pacquet, Director of Approvals and Permits; Shane Kelley, Assistant International Standards Coordinator; and Lindsey Constantino, International Transportation Specialist, also addressed the COSTHA members on the PHMSA strategies for the near future.