|September 2008 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.
Warehouse Training –
A couple of weeks ago we received a phone call from an old colleague who retired a number of years ago. He was the warehouse manager for one of the three largest air freight forwarders of that era. He was curious as to whether or not your writer was still working (or perhaps alive?).
While reminiscing about the good old days he had remarked that when he first instituted hazmat training for his warehouse employees he had noticed an immediate reduction in damaged freight, not only with dangerous goods but with other freight as well. Why? Because personnel started to handle all cargo with a little more care resulting in reduced claims as well as eliminating spills, injuries and the headaches of cleaning up and proper disposal of hazardous wastes.
I was reminded of that conversation just before sending off the original version of our September Newsletter – the original version was quickly revamped. The reasons? Two.
Reason number 1: The Quantas Airline B-747 ruptured fuselage preliminary report was released on August 29.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau preliminary report indicates that the oxygen cylinder failure was most likely the cause of the incident that occurred on 25 July 2008. The cylinder failure caused the cylinder to violently move upward within the forward baggage compartment, burst through the passenger compartment deck, damage a passenger door and an overhead baggage compartment, fall back into the hole in the flooring, and then get sucked out of the damaged fuselage which had already been ruptured by the failed cylinder.
For the preliminary report and diagrams click on the reports above the newsletter link on our opening page. Or click here to view the Quantas B-747 ruptured fuselage preliminary report.
Reason number 2: Two warehouse employees killed by chemical spill in St’ Louis.
On August 31 a news article noted that 2 employees of a cargo packing/repacking company in St. Louis were killed and 8 others were quarantined in two St. Louis hospitals as a result of a chemical spill. The accident occurred when a drum was dropped causing the lid to pop off causing the release and a white powder identified as nitroaniline, a toxic (6,1) packing group II substance that is used in the manufacture of dyes, pharmaceuticals and medicines, corrosion inhibitors and gasoline additives. The powder caused a dust cloud in the warehouse and apparently the employees did not react quickly enough, Nitroaniline is quickly absorbed through the skin.
Did their training program cover job safety? We do not know. Do your employees follow safe practices and are they familiar with emergency response procedues?
Why we check every package!
We recently inspected a shipment at the request of a freight forwarder client. The shipper was not a frequent air freight customer. The shipment consisted of a large number of UN4G boxes that were distinctly marked by the box maker as complying with air regulations. The boxes were purchased through a well-known supplier of compliance products. The contents were 4 one gallon oblong cans of a PG II flammable liquid.
The boxes were unique in the way the top flaps folded over to provide cushioning between the oblong cans – a novel but very efficient method of providing cushioning during transportation.
The problem: IATA rule 188.8.131.52.3 requires an inner liner for liquids in class 3, 4, 5, 8, or in Division 6.1 when packed in an outer package when not leak-tight. There was no inner liner nor any instructions to add it for shipments by air.
Dangerous Goods Advisory Council
For thirty years the DGAC has been a leader in promoting safety in transportation. The council has been and advocate for the chemical industry as well as for transporters of dangerous goods/hazardous materials.
Over the past few months DGAC has proudly highlighted its accomplishments and if you are involved in manufacturing or transporting dangerous goods it would be well worth your while to visit their website at www.dgac.org to get an idea on how DGAC operates.
Mark Your Calendar
30th Annual Conference and Hazardous Materials Transportation Exposition
Check the DGAC website for additional information – www.dgac.org
If you are not a DGAC Member, you should consider joining this great organization.