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Sept 2011 Newsletter


Ten years ago America experienced the enormous tragedy of 9-11. Our September 2001 newsletter was already on our website and did not reflect this tragedy. For the days that followed we came to work but there was no work to be done…the nation’s transportation system was shut down. Each day our eyes were glued to the TV witnessing over and over again the tragedies of that infamous Monday morning. Like most Americans our eyes were filled with tears for the victims. Our hearts were filled with grief  as the thousands of funeral services began. We grieved for the families and particularly for the children of the victims.

In our October 2001 newsletter we gave a link to a newspaper article by Kathie Scobee Fulgham, the daughter of Dick Scobee, commander of the space shuttle Challenger on its final mission, Jan. 28, 1986. She wrote this essay for Gannett News Service. It appeared in the newspaper Florida Today on September 20, 2001. We suggested that it might help those children to better cope with their grief. Mrs. Fulgham walked that same path.

One passage in the article still stands out in our memory. Ask the people who love you and who knew and loved your Mom or Dad to help you remember the way they lived - not the way they died. You need stories about your Mom or Dad from their friends, co-workers, teachers and your extended family. These stories will keep your Mom or Dad alive and real in your heart and mind for the rest of your life. Listen carefully to the stories. Tell them. Write them. Record them. Post them online. The stories will help you remember. The stories will help you make decisions about your life - help you become the person you were meant to be.”

For months after 9-11 we learned from newspaper articles that friends, clients, and some neighbors from our communities that we never knew personally, and an enormous list of first responders perished that terrible day. And in the years that have followed more names have been added to that list – police, firefighters, medical technicians, clergy, construction workers and other volunteers who assisted in the recovery efforts. They had suffered from environmental exposures resulting from their humanitarian efforts. A few we have known personally and were considered close friends and we continue to mourn and honor them with their surviving families.

We miss them terribly and will never forget them.

9/11 Declassified Pictures

Upcoming Dangerous Goods Training Classes - 2011

(All Feature Lithium Batteries)

  • Dangerous Goods by Ocean – Initial Training November 15-16-17
  • Dangerous Goods by Ocean – Recurrent Training November 22
  • Dangerous Goods by Air – Recurrent Training November 29*
  • Dangerous Goods by Air – Initial Training December 6-7-8*
  • Domestic Cosmetics and Perfume Shippers On-Line Program available 24/7 (Features Special Permit 9275)

Domestic Cosmetics and Perfume Shippers On-Line Program available 24/7 (Features D.O.T. 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.

2012 IATA Changes in the Regulations

You can download advance information at: http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dangerous_goods/Documents/DGR53_SignificantChanges.pdf


From MSDS On Line:

Do Your MSDSs Measure Up to Global Regulatory Requirements?
During OSHA’s recent Web chat on its Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, the Agency announced that the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) would be set to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) this month (September). For chemical manufacturers, this means you may need to re-author your MSDSs and labels to conform to the prescribed GHS format requirements once GHS is adopted.

Manufacturers and shippers can get more information at: http://www.msdsonline.com/NewsReleases/OSHAAdoptionOfGHS.aspx

For those shippers who are members of Chemtrec or other agencies we remind you that your MSDS information must be up-to-date and transportation information must be current. Your hazmat documents must identify the agency and include the contract or other identifying number.


Our soap box:

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

Last month we ranted about U.S. DOT/PHMSA approvals for explosive power devices (cartridges) covered by UN numbers 0323, 0366, 0441, 0445, 0455, 0456, 0460, and 0500. The former approvals for those articles became null and void on January 1, 2011.

Since the “old” approvals had no expiration date how would the average airline acceptance agent know that the approval was no longer valid? We suspect that the SP A165 is being overlooked and the USDOT/PHMSA HM-215K was so voluminous that key personnel have missed this important requirement.

PHMSA has advised us that they are aware of the problem but the manufacturers are only just sending in the new test results based upon the UN manual of Tests 6(d). The procedure usually takes 6 weeks – probably longer due to the DOT’s backlog of Special Permits and Approvals. Hurricane Irene no doubt has also affected the processing since Washington DC suffered electrical blackouts and extensive flooding causing many federal workers difficulties in returning to work.

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.

Lithium Batteries – another incident?

In our September 2010 newsletter we noted two airline accidents that may have been caused by lithium batteries. On 27 July a Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 freighter crashed at the airport at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. On 6 September a UPS B-747-400 freighter crashed at the airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Last month we added a last-minute item about Asiana Airlines:
“The  Asiana Airlines cargo plane crashed off the southern coast of South Korea on Thursday,
July 28, after reporting a fire in its cargo compartments.  The Boeing 747-400F took off from the Inchon airport west of Seoul at 3:05 a.m. on Thursday, bound for Pudong, China. It was carrying 58 tons of electronic and machine parts, including lithium batteries.”

We pointed out that there is no definitive cause of the fire but we noticed how quickly those having professional interests in airline safety were quick to sense that there might be a relationship between a cargo compartment fire and the presence of lithium batteries.

And, now this from the U.S. FAA: http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=13083

If you ship lithium batteries IATA has an excellent guidance document for shipping lithium batteries by air. It is available also in French and Spanish. You can download a copy at:


If you do not know what you are doing – don’t ship lithium batteries!

The life you save may be mine.


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