|March 2009 Newsletter
Have you checked your training records lately?
Check your current training records - if you are close to the expiration date make your reservations now for any of our classes throughout the year. We always remind attendees a few days prior to the class.
There are six packing instructions that dictate that employees must be instructed specifically about lithium batteries. If you ship or transport lithium batteries make sure that you do not continue to use the obsolete “Not Restricted per Special Provision A-45”. A-45 no longer exists. Using that Special Provision is a clear indication that you are not current with the latest changes.
We have conducted a number of half-day in-house instruction classes as required by the packing instructions. Contact our office if you wish to bring your employees up-to-date on the changes.
The Material Safety Data Sheet has become the standard in transportation and emergency response. If your company’s MSDS files are not current you can download the template at http://www.msdssearch.com/
You can also search out current MSDS’s from a large number of manufacturers at that site..
D.O.T. Hazmat Website
We had a few quiet minutes last weekend and decided to check out the DOT/PHMSA website at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat
U.S. Shipper and Carrier personnel should check the website from time to time. First we examined the Enforcement link and much to our surprise there were a large number shippers listed for violations due to failure to register with the DOT as hazmat shippers in the most recent report (2007). Security plans also received a lot of attention.
If you are not registered with DOT/PHMSA you should check the following link - http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/registration
24 Hour Emergency Phone Contact
While the U.S. has relaxed the requirement for the 24 hour emergency phone contact a little, we note that a number of air and ocean carriers have instituted their own rules that are more restrictive than the DOT’s rule.
In both cases, however, international telephone access codes are required. For U.S. Shippers should note that you cannot dial a U.S. 800 telephone number from overseas. You must use the access code 001 followed by the state are code and the local exchange number.
We should also remind shippers that they cannot use Chemtrec or Chemtel or other agency phone numbers unless the shipper is a member of one of those agencies.
Dangerous Goods Advisory Council
For over thirty years the DGAC has been a leader in promoting safety in transportation. The council has been an advocate for the chemical industry and transporters of dangerous goods/hazardous materials. Your company should seriously consider becoming a member of this outstanding organization.
Mark your calendar:
While the U.S. D.O.T. continues to use the term “shipping papers” the rest of us use terminology such as air waybills, bills of lading, manifests, dangerous goods declarations, etc. we remind you that the documents must be in order and drivers are just as responsible as the shipper, forwarder or air and ocean carrier for the proper completion of that paperwork. You are also reminded that hazardous materials paperwork must be on a clipboard on the driver’s seat or in a pouch on the driver’s door while you are out of the vehicle making a pick up or taking your meal break. If you have placards on the truck you must have a CDL with a hazmat endorsement. And, if you are required to have placards, your company must be registered as a Hazmat transporter with the U.S.D.O.T.
And make sure you did a safety inspection before leaving your terminal including checking that the cargo has been properly blocked and braced. Have a safe trip.
Perhaps most of our website visitors are too young to remember Art Linkletter’s TV show “Kids say the darndest things”. Sometimes we’re reminded of that TV show. We get phone calls with adults asking the darndest questions. Like “how can we remove an offensive odor from our office or warehouse?” or “I’ve been shipping that chemical for 30 years – when did they regulate it?” and even “what gate is flight 239 arriving at?”
Recently we had a call from a young lady from Connecticut needing U.S. Customs information for importing non-hazardous goods. Customs is not our area of expertise. We asked Patti Stoff, the director of the Long Island Import Export Association (http://www.liiea.org/) to give the lady a call to see if she could help her out. And, yes, she did. It sure pays to have friends in high places. Happy to help.
The odors? Tomato juice. Regulated chemical? 50 years ago. What gate? What airport? Moral: Stay current and stay safe.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day – we’ll see you at the NYC Parade.