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March 2011 Newsletter

Tsunami – Japan
Our sympathy and prayers are extended to our Japanese customers and their families and the entire population of Japan over the present crisis resulting from the Tsunami and to those affected by the problems with the nuclear power plants. 

Upcoming Dangerous Goods Training Classes - 2011 (All Feature Lithium Batteries)

  • March is reserved for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and some in-house training programs
  • Dangerous Goods by Air – Recurrent April 12, 2011
  • Dangerous Goods by Ai – Initial Training, May 10-11-12, 2011
  • Warehouse Employee Hazmat Training, May 24, 2011
  • Domestic Cosmetics and Perfume Shippers On-Line Program available 24/7 (Features Special Permit 9275)

In-House Training subject to schedule availability.

* The Dangerous Goods by Air programs will feature the 2011 IATA Regulations.
** The Dangerous Goods by Ocean programs will feature the new Amendment 35

Check our website for the 2011 Schedule which is now available.

Warehouse Employee Hazmat Training
At least once a year we address the failure of warehouse operators to train their employees in the proper acceptance, recognition and handling of dangerous goods. Meanwhile, their clients, shippers and forwarders, are relying on the warehouse personnel to not only check on compliance with U.S. and International Dangerous Goods Regulations but also to insure that there is no damage to the cargo.

In the U.S. a hazmat employee is an individual a person (including a self-employed person) who:

  • loads, unloads, or handles hazmat;
  • tests, reconditions, repairs, modifies, marks, or otherwise represents packagings as qualified for use in the transportation of hazmat;
  • prepares hazmat for transportation;
  • is responsible for safety of transporting hazmat; or
  • operates a vehicle used to transport hazmat.

Key Words – loads, unloads, or handles hazmat; is responsible for safety of transporting hazmat or operates a vehicle used to transport hazmat.

We think that the above language is quite clear. It covers everyone who performs those functions.

The training requirements also includes job safety and emergency response. Therefore if a leaking package of dangerous goods is in a warehouse, employees have to be trained on the correct procedures to insure their own safety and the safety of other employees and the general public as well as what emergency actions they must initiate.

The employees must be retrained every 3 years.


Major changes on the horizon

  • UN 6D testing for 8 UN ID numbers in order to maintain a 1.4S classification. The mandatory compliance date is 1 April 2011. The explosives affected by this rule are: UN 0323, 0366, 0441, 0445, 0455, 0456, 0460, 0500.
  • The elimination of Consumer Commodities, ORM-D effective January 1, 2014.

Lithium Batteries -- still waiting, and waiting, and waiting….and waiting

We are still waiting for the U.S. proposed changes. Stay tuned. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is still reviewing the proposed regulation. OMB can accept the rule, reject the rule, or send it back to DOT/PHMSA for additional work or changes.

Keep checking our website for the updates. The final rule will have an effect on both imports and expports.

We have been following the lithium battery industry for some time now and new technology seems to be surfacing every day. Electric automobiles and trucks surely will be the wave of the future as we try to cut back on our reliance on oil.

Wind, solar, and hydro electric sources are receiving greater attention than ever as we try to reduce our reliance on oil and coal to produce electricity and to power our equipment.

Visit our website often in order to check on the U.S. D.O.T. changes regarding lithium batteries.

Our soap box:

We rant and rave and preach about safety in transportation most of the time.

FedEx implemented their requirement for a self-correcting type of electronic dangerous goods declarations in mid January of this year. Their program failed to take into account that there may be someone other than the shipper providing the dangerous goods declaration. We had an IT wizard from FedEx working with our staff for many hours and he was unable to come up with a solution. Under the FedEx system a packer or freight forwarder is unable to complete the dangerous goods declaration.  We do not know if FedEx plans to work on an alternative.

Send your Soapbox Rant to raclass@r-a-specialists.com.

We might have to edit them a little but we will remain true to your real frustrations.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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