|April 2010 Newsletter
Upcoming Dangerous Goods Training Dates at JFK and on the web (All Feature Lithium Batteries)
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 by e-mail or telephone a few days prior to the class.
D.O.T. Hazmat Website
From time to time we check out the DOT/PHMSA website at http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat
U.S. Shippers and Carrier personnel should check the website frequently. 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 (2008). Security plans also received a lot of attention as well as “failure to train employees”.
If you are not registered with DOT/PHMSA you should check the following link - http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/registration
For enforcement issues check out this link - http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/enforcement
Take the time to read the entire form.
One of the first things we look for on the MSDS:
Section 14 - Transportation Information
Now, wasn’t that simple?
There are other sections of the MSDS that are equally important such as Flammability, Chemical Properties, Reactivity and Toxicological Information and usually all of that vital information is on the MSDS too.
Always check for the MSDS anytime you ship a chemical. Stay in compliance with the transportation regulations and stay safe if you have an incident.
And if the above is a mystery to you, note the following…..
U.S. D.O.T. is offering a free Seminar & Workshop (to the first 450 pre-registrants)
While the seminar focuses on domestic transportation it’s an excellent primer for those transportation workers who have yet to be trained. We recommend it for domestic shippers and importers.
If you ship by air or ocean, yes, you’ll need special training in ICAO/IATA or the IMDG Regulations.
Go immediately to the D.O.T. Website in order to be one of the first 450 individuals to qualify for the free training. http://hazmat.dot.gov/training/training.htm
You never see “freebies” when dealing with hazardous materials so you better hurry!
Block and brace your load of freight on that truck. Recently we were driving behind an 18 wheeler at JFK Airport. The tractor-trailer was moving from one airline to another. His rear freight door was open and we could easily see cargo bouncing around inside the trailer as the driver was maneuvering on the roadway. Since we are always concerned about hazardous cargo getting damaged we immediately noticed that the driver failed to block and brace that load. We would not be surprised if a number of those bouncing packages ended up damaged. But even if there were no hazmats on that trailer, FMCSA, the people who enforce highway safety, would have issued a ticket to that driver because of the safety issues created by shifting cargo.
If that driver was spotted by a TSA Inspector he would have surely been in a lot of trouble due to security considerations.
Lithium Batteries (What? Again?)
Probably the weakest link in transporting lithium batteries commercially by air would be the wholesale distributors. At a recent in-house recurrent training class that we conducted for a major freight forwarder the lithium battery issues were discussed at length. Almost every attendee agreed that the distributors did not know that there were two major changes in the air regulations and updated MSDS were not being filed or distributed by those shippers.
We remind everyone that the packing instructions for lithium batteries require “any person involved in preparing or offering cells or batteries for transport must receive adequate instruction on these requirements commensurate with their responsibilities.”
While outreach programs by the U.S. D.O.T., FAA, ICAO and IATA have been fairly successful with carriers and manufacturers, other participants in the supply chain simply are unaware of the dangers or the regulations.
A typical example is an e-mail we received a couple of days ago (during a heavy rainstorm in NYC):
The sender was a wholesale electronics distributor who ships world-wide!
He could have learned extensive information about lithium batteries at the Portable Rechargeable Battery Association website - http://www.prba.org
Check it out.
Dangerous Goods by Air Mail
International Postal Regulations prohibit any hazardous materials/dangerous goods from being shipped via postal services. Domestic U.S. Post Office Regulations does permit certain dangerous goods to be shipped via the mail but you must present a copy of the MSDS and you must have written permission to ship, mostly by surface mail only. You can check the U.S. postal regulations for hazardous materials/dangerous goods at http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/601.htm#wp1064962
Yes – we love those links. They keep the newsletter nice and short. Please check them out.
Yes, we had a Very Happy St. Patrick’s Day in NYC.