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January 2002 Newsletter

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Happy New Year!

The staff at R-A Specialists, Inc. extends our best wishes to our clients, vendors, business colleagues, friends, relatives, and visitors for a peaceful, prosperous, and healthy New Year.

In March of 2002 we will be celebrating 26 years of service dedicated to the safe transportation of hazardous materials. We are most grateful to our loyal customers and our dedicated staff who have made this possible.

As usual, as we look for some inspiration to write these monthly newsletters, we review notes, website feedback, experiences old and new, and conversations with staff members, clients, potential clients, industry colleagues and regulatory personnel.

AA 63
This month we had no better source for material than current events that unfolded before our eyes in the newspapers and TV over the attempted destruction of American Airlines Flight 63 by a terrorist on 22 December 2001. The deranged madman smuggled explosive devices in his footwear and was attempting to set the fuse when an observant passenger alerted flight attendants and other passengers. The flight was enroute from Paris to Miami and after the crew and passengers subdued the terrorist the flight diverted to Boston and the madman was taken into custody. The passengers and crew were saved by the alertness of one passenger and the heroic actions of the other passengers and crewmembers. We salute their bravery and prompt action and are overjoyed that everyone survived this ordeal.

On September 11 United Airlines Flight 93, 44 passengers and crew perished as the aircraft crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania as a result of those heroic passengers attempting to regain control of the aircraft after the hijackers took control of the flight and diverted it towards Washington. Surely they prevented destruction of a greater magnitude and we admire their courage and their sacrifice and deeply mourn their passing.

We learned at least two things from UA 93 on 9-11 - fight back and be alert to what is going on around you. We have no doubt that the tragedy of UA 93 inspired the passengers on AA 63.


In the hazard library part of this website, under the heading of "hazard classifications", we mention fireworks in divisions 1.3 and 1.4 as examples of explosives. In our "Old Hot Links" section of this website, the July 2001 "Hot Link" reads:

"July 3, 2001
To our U.S.A. Visitors to this website:
On July 4th, we celebrate our national holiday, Independence Day. Cities, towns and villages throughout the nation will add to the celebration with thrilling professional fireworks displays. On July 5th newspaper stories and TV news will feature many descriptions of these events. On a sadder note, newspapers will also provide us with too numerous accounts of injuries and death caused by children and adults who do not take into consideration the dangers involved with these explosives. Most of these high-powered special fireworks displays are 1.2G, 1.3G and 1.4G Explosives. In most States it is illegal to possess and to set off these fireworks. Even the smaller firecrackers are classified as 1.4S Explosives and history indicates that many children have lost fingers or been severely burned or lost eyesight or became deaf from unsupervised or careless handling of these so-called minor explosives. Don't become a statistic. Leave the fireworks displays to the professionals."

On Saturday, December 29, 2001, more than 300 people were killed in a massive fireworks accident in Lima, Peru. The fire started late Saturday and spread throughout four blocks of downtown Lima until it was extinguished after midnight Sunday.

A box of fireworks that accidentally exploded caused the fire. It is believed that a customer of a fireworks vendor set off a fairly simple firecracker and that, in turn, set off the other nearby fireworks.

Pyrotechnic rockets flew through the air, hitting vehicles and nearby shops that also sold fireworks. Emergency workers are still searching for bodies as we attempt to finish this newsletter. Peru has just made the manufacture, use, sale, or importation of fireworks illegal.

Those of us in transportation and safety-related jobs use the words "hazardous" and "dangerous" to describe all explosives, even the so-called recreational fireworks. We know the potential dangers. If only the general public would follow that advice…

U.S. D.O.T. is enforcing the new placard restrictions -

Truck owners and drivers would be wise to review the restrictions concerning placarding on vehicles. The FMCSA is enforcing the restrictions with potential $27500 fines - click onto the following link for more information:

We had alerted truckers about this in our September 2001 Newsletter. For a link to that back issue click onto http://r-a-specialists.com/news/0109.shtml

Surely by now all truck drivers have felt the aftershocks of increased inspections as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Two other links that you should check out are the requirements for Hazmat Registration at http://hazmat.dot.gov/register.htm and,
Training requirements at http://hazmat.dot.gov/pubtrain/trainreq.htm

At the top of our Welcome Page, click on "Contact Us" if you have any questions. We will be pleased to attempt to help you confidentially if you are apprehensive about contacting the D.O.T.'s RSPA, FAA, USCG, or FMCSA directly with your questions. But, honestly, those administrations are there to help you and they really do try. Their goals are the same as yours and ours - to improve safety in transportation.



Thank you for participating in this month's quiz. Happy New Year!

Your HAZMAT quiz for January, 2002:
Just roll your mouse over the for the answer!

You might need a copy of the U.S. Regulations for this quiz….

What placards are required for the following scenarios:

  1. A semi-trailer containing 2,000 pounds of Class 8, 300 pounds of
    Division 4.3, and 4,000 pounds of ORM-D

  2. A semi-trailer loaded with 700 pounds of Class 8, 100 pounds
    of Division 2.2, and 300 pounds of ORM-D.

  3. A truck loaded with 500 lbs. of Div. 4.1 and 600 Lbs. of Div. 5.1.

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