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Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Free HazMat Training Webinars from DOT

November 17th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

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

PHMSA offers Hazmat transportation training workshops and webinars throughout the year. These free training opportunities are for anyone who offers or transports hazardous materials in commerce, or has a desire to learn more about DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).

PHMSA conducts webinars specialized to meet the needs of industry or the public safety community. Transportation webinars provide a basic overview of the regulatory requirements – what they are, how they apply, and how to comply with them – for shipping and transporting Hazardous Materials.

To register for any of the webinars below, please use the following link:
https://opsweb.phmsa.dot.gov/hm_seminars/default_webinar.asp

What are Limited Quantities of Dangerous Goods?

October 20th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

All materials which meet the criteria of one of the nine (9) hazard classes are regulated as hazardous materials for transport. However, when the amount of certain hazardous material packed within a package is limited, the magnitude of the hazard is reduced but not eliminated. Thus, exceptions can be applied for packaging and hazard communication as authorized for certain hazard classes.

In order to qualify for these exceptions, the US Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Parts 171?180; HMR), the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI), Transport Canada’s Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG), and other international regulatory texts authorize specific quantity limitations per inner and outer packaging for each hazard class and packing group. If the quantity of material contained within the inner packaging is below these limitations, and the gross weight of the outer package is within the authorized limits the consignment may be offered for transportation as a limited quantity.

The HMR, IMDG Code, and TDG typically limit the amount of material allowed within the largest inner packaging in a combination package and limit the gross weight of the package, while the ICAO TI limits the net quantity of hazardous material in the package.
Click here for guidance on Limited Quantities in air, sea, road and rail.

The Labor That Keep Our Communities and Families Safe

September 8th, 2020 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

As we go about our daily lives, each of us has numerous unknown encounters with dangerous goods (hazardous materials) without incident. These encounters are safe because those goods are safely packaged, transported, stored and used, thanks to the hard work of dangerous goods professionals (DG) around the world whose efforts often go unnoticed.

On August 4, 2020, in Beruit, Lebanon, 2,750 tons of ammonia nitrate exploded, killing at least 220 people, injuring more than 5,000, and leaving over 300,000 homeless. The blast is the largest accidental ammonia nitrate explosion ever recorded. At least ten times over the past six years, Lebanese security agencies and judiciary sounded the alarm bell that a massive amount of explosive chemicals were being unsafely stockpiled at the port in the heart of Beirut. Even with all these warnings of an impending disaster, nothing was done, and sadly, a tragedy occurred.

Manufactured in beads that resemble cooking salt, ammonia nitrate is generally safe to handle and is used in numerous ways, such as in fertilizer for agriculture. But storing and transporting it can be problematic. When exposed to high heat and other fuel sources, ammonia nitrate can become explosive. This is why in many countries there are strict rules governing its storage and transportation. For example, many European Union nations require calcium carbonate be added to it, creating calcium ammonium nitrate, which is safer. In the United States, regulations were tightened after two tons of ammonia nitrate were used to create the bomb in the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building attack that killed 168 people; now, under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, facilities that store 2,000lbs of ammonia nitrate are subject to inspection.

In my nearly 30 years of work in the dangerous goods community, I have sat through countless meetings, presentations, and hearings discussing the finer points of performance-oriented packaging testing or the proper paperwork and labeling for a shipment of radioactive material. I have had numerous conversations late into the night about the shipment of oxygen cylinders on airplanes. And if you really want to jumpstart a heated discussion, bring up the illegal shipment of counterfeit lithium batteries. The one thing all of these encounters have had in common is the untold number of DG professionals who have dedicated their careers to keeping people and the environment safe.

Not many of us actually set out to have a career in this field, but once we are introduced to it, it becomes a life long passion. Ranging from government regulators, fire department chiefs, trade association members, and dangerous goods managers at companies around the globe, these DG professionals are truly dedicated to keeping us safe from disasters like the one that took place in Lebanon.

As I write this, it is Labor Day weekend in the United States. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the DG community for your work–labor that keeps our communities and families safe.

UN Packagings and Design Re-Qualification – Substitutions Not Allowed

August 25th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

UN packagings are fabricated and tested to specific levels of performance. These tests allow a manufacturer to mark the packaging with the appropriate testing criteria (ie: packing group, maximum gross weight, contents). Often, users innocently alter the integrity of the package by adding accessories (ie: a plastic liner) or by replacing accessories with different components (ie: closure ring, gasket) in which case, the certification of the package can be voided if not re-tested for qualification. “A different packaging” is defined in CFR49 178.601(c)(4) as a packaging that differs from a previously produced packaging in structural design, size, material of construction, wall thickness or manner of construction. Further design qualification testing is not required if the alterations to the packaging do not constitute “a different packaging.” Also, Closure Instructions are packaging specific and must be used only for the packagings as designated.

View our Closure Instruction videos at:

Bolt Ring — https://www.skolnik.com/bolt-ring-closure-instruction-video

Level Lock — https://www.skolnik.com/leverlock-open-head-closure-instruction-video

Fittings — www.skolnik.com/closed-head-closure-instruction-video

PHMSA Extends Enforcement for the Transport of Sanitizing and Disinfecting Products

August 18th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

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

As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, PHMSA is aware of the challenges that transportation companies are facing in providing personnel with necessary materials, such as hand sanitizers, that provide for protection of their health and safety and comply with government guidelines. Workplace locations like package sorting facilities, airport ramps, stations, and delivery vehicles often lack ready access to soap and water, resulting in an urgent need for sanitizing and disinfecting products.

As a result, PHMSA will extend its enforcement discretion for the transportation of any carrier transporting sanitizing and disinfecting materials on a motor vehicle for the purposes of protecting the health and safety of employees of the carrier. Transport of these products must also be in accordance with PHMSA’s April 20, 2020 Notice of Enforcement Discretion. The extended enforcement discretion will continue through October 31, 2020.

PHMSA Issues Safety Advisory for COVID-19 Diagnostic Samples.

July 28th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

PHMSA plays a leading role in ensuring the safe transportation of hazardous materials in commerce throughout the United States. As a result of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, certain shipments of COVID-19 diagnostic samples (e.g., nasal swabs, vials of sputum, and other related items) are classified as a Category B infectious substance (Division 6.2) hazardous material under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).

Recent compliance inspections and found several instances of improperly marked or packaged diagnostic samples that were offered for transportation. In response, PHMSA is issuing this Safety Advisory Notice to provide information on the HMR related to offering and transporting these materials.