The Dangerous Goods Symposium for Instructors (DGIS III) was held at the Embassy Suites, Deerfield Beach, Florida. The symposium ran from October 21st to 24th. The agenda focus was “Best Practices”.
The symposium opened with the Dangerous Goods Training Association (DGTA) meeting. The DGTA is now up and running under the auspices of NESHTA (National Environmental, Safety and Health Trainers Association). The first step to becoming a certified Dangerous Goods Trainer will be to obtain your CIT – Certified Instructional Technologist, from NESHTA. To prepare for the test, one would sit the NESHTA’s Designing and Delivering Effective Training workshop, then the test. The certification programme for dangerous goods instructors is in the design stages.
Following this was a presentation on defining the hazmat professional – what do we expect the hazmat professional to be? Some of the things that came of this were professional, presentable, knowledgeable, prepared, have a plan B, etc.
Wednesday morning started with Ross McLachlan (U.K. CAA) talking about changes to the ICAO packing instructions:
- some 20 UN numbers have changed regarding the outer quantity,
- the IPs (inner packagings) disappear from the PIs, but the tests remain, with IP1 and IP8 being combined as IP1 all glass; and IP3 and IP3A becoming IP3 all metal
- the PPRs (particular packing instruction) disappear as they were not consistent – will now be included in PI as “Additional packing requirements”,
- for LQ, all info will be in the PI and the PI starts with the letter “Y”,
- PI650 and PI910 do not change,
- the current numbers will not be reused, the majority of numbers will start at X50,
- absorbent and leak proof intermediate now become mandatory for 3 PG I materials (he didn’t tell us which ones),
- ICAO’s view is that anything to do with packaging should be in the PIs,
- ICAO is introducing a secondary means to closures, i.e. tape, wire, seal, etc.
- 2011.01.01 is the start date for the new PIs with a three month transition period which gives industry two years to prepare
- Labelmaster presented Ross with the first Dangerous Goods Keystone award for CAP483 -Training for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (UK).
Mike Hoysler (FedEx) was next and he provided information on lithium batteries. He outlined the hazards of lithium batteries such as an incident, which occurred at a FedEx facility during the unloading of a ULD. A lithium battery, which packed in a FedEx bubble wrap envelope, fell between the ULD and the conveyor. During the off-loading, “Dude” smelled something burning but kept working until the ULD was moved and found the package to be burning – a result of a battery short-circuit. Delta Airlines have tested lithium battery fires and have found that any non-flammable liquid will extinguish a lithium battery fire.
There was discussion about the ethyl chloride cylinder incident – 10 days after the initial fill, a cylinder with ethyl chloride exploded in a warehouse. It was determined that the mix was 99.95% pure ethyl chloride, but because very small amounts of another gas were added, the classification was done as a mixture. As a result, the PI did not address the issue of incompatibility between the ethyl chloride and the aluminium cylinder used. ICAO moved very quickly to amend the PIs to add the incompatibility issue.
Katherine Rooney (ICAO) went over some of the issues with the changes to 2009-2010 Edition:
- training, recurrent: this is mainly an airline issue as it involves the logistics of scheduling staff in a timely manner, therefore, there is now a 90 day pre-expiry period in which to re-qualify with the expiry date being the current expiry date plus 2 years,
- category 5 & 8 staff involved with handling/storage must be trained,
- for operators not carrying dangerous goods as cargo, they will need to be trained to recognize dangerous goods and there may be occasions where the airline carries comat,
- the UN has adopted the excepted quantity for all modes of transport; Air Canada had asked if the UN number could be included on the label and the answer is no.
- class 2, inflated balls: if the balls are for sports purposes, then it is not regulated for transport,
- EHS mark (environmentally hazardous substance): the US is taking a permissive view, not mandatory in relation to Special Provision A97; PHMSA will be more concerned with fuel, oils, etc. if an aircraft goes down; Katherine related an incident of a package that was damaged on the tarmac in Australia and the substance got to surface water,
- A112: the EHS mark can be applied under ID8000,
- packing instructions (PI): if packed prior to 2010.12.31, then that PI will be accepted until 2011.03.31 otherwise the new PIs will become mandatory on 2011.01.01,
- PI915, dry ice can be shipped in LQ when in first aid kits or chemical kits,
- A45: is now in the PIs,
- the supplement is mainly for the civil aviation authorities (CAA) but may contain info for trainers in this edition.
The next session was The Games the Trainers Play where some of the participants did some R&D (rip-off and duplicate). The participants were divided into groups and given a challenge of developing/presenting a game for the topic that they were issued. This was a fun learning experience for all.
The next day a presentation was done using a PowerPoint programme developed by Skolnik Industries for youth. The intent of this presentation was to provide elementary and high school youth with information on a potential career path. Everyone recognizes that there is a shortage of dangerous goods professionals and this is a tool to get students thinking about what they might want to do when they finish school.
Bob Richard (PHMSA) was up next on best practices implementation. Bob talked about how to improve training at PHMSA:
- PHMSA is working with DGAC, COSTHA and DGTA
- the focus is on quality training
- for the hazmat publications, the item on training may go to an NPRM
- information will be for the employer and what to look for in the different training methods – in class, CBT, off-site, etc.
- define the long term goals (refreshers)
- what is the difference between a certificate and certification?
Joyce Beerbower brought us up to date on DGTA. It is a committee of NESHTA which means start-up costs, etc. are being kept very low. The steps to becoming a certified dangerous goods training were reviewed. The main focus areas are: 49CFR, ICAO, TDG, IMDG, rail.
A comparison of the North American MSDS and the GHS SDS was done by Chrim Middleton (Monarch Regulatory Services):
- there are no standards of qualification for MSDS authoring,
- GHS SDS is based on the ANSI/ILO standards,
- GHS has been adopted by:
- New Zealand
- Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States have a cost analysis in progress
Larry Harshbarger (Heritage Group Safety) followed with Uses and Abuses of PowerPoint (or What Pisses me off about PowerPoint). Some suggestions Larry gave us:
- always insert photos – do not cut and paste – saves space,
- always use Save As, not Save – as this will save space; he was given a 28 meg PPT presentation and reduced it to just under 12 meg,
- KISS – keep it stupidly simple – the presentation is YOU not the slides,
- don’t give the handouts at the beginning of the presentation, you will find participants reading ahead instead of listening to YOU
Bob Richard (PHMSA) took to the floor again to give us information on PHMSA initiatives and Bob’s priority list (of 60 items):
- in the US, one million dangerous goods shipments per year
- the highest risks have been identified as fire on an aircraft
- TIHs via rail; putting them on trucks is far more dangerous than having the train go through a town
- tanker truck crashes; the majority of these are on straight roads, not on ramps or curves
- loading/unloading of bulk is the biggest problem in the US
- undeclared dangerous goods shipments
Some things under review to improve safety:
- rollover protection
- focus on driver training and awareness
- technology enhancements
- enhanced road design and signage
- a national hazmat fusion centre for responders helping responders
- WISER: Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders: hosted by the National Library of Medicine, it provides a wide range of information for emergency responders
- PHMSA has a DVD on how to use the ERG 2008
- the 15th Edition of the UN Model Regulations comes into effect 2009.01.01
- HM215J will harmonize 49CFR with the UN Model Regulations, ICAO Technical Instructions and the IMDG Code
- PHMSA has created a website to assist the travelling public – http://safetravel.dot.gov/
Katherine Rooney (ICAO) gave us some highlights on what ICAO is working on for 2011:
- from the UN: pressurized light bulbs may not be regulated for transport by air – this depends on the packaging used; if the package will contain the incident, then it is not regulated
- UN3166: the proper shipping name is changing from Fuel cell engine to Fuel cell powered with flammable liquid or gas
- the LQ mark is being revised to show a black diamond in the top and bottom; it is now at the UN and will replace all LQ markings
Haldis Fearn (HMF2) brought us up to date on the IMDG Code’s new training requirements:
- as of 2010.01.01, anyone involved with dangerous goods MUST be trained
- shore side personnel extends back to the shipper and training will be mandatory
- from Chemtrec: it is permissive to add the trade name to the declaration as it aids emergency response
From Europe, Leif Soderman (Optimal Assistens) talked about what North American shippers need to know about ADR:
- the EHS (environmentally hazardous substance) mark is a mark, not a hazard label and it only applies under ADR
- tunnel codes should be on the shipping documents – this will depend on the country of entry
On the last day, Gene Sanders (Thermo Fisher) lead off with In-house Training – Barriers to Success:
- Fisher minimizes out-sourcing training because of their systems, packaging requirements and documentation generation
- example: formaldehyde – Fisher ships as aviation regulated due to a study that shows 8 ppm is irritating, so how will an out-sourced trainer enforce company policies?
- Fisher’s rating system:
- online training – yellow light
- CDs – red light
- webinar – yellow light (with appropriate controls)
- face to face – must be a SME and an excellent communicator – green light
- they train the trainer for local facilities where someone is a SME but only for recurrent training
Haldis Fearn filled in for Dean Cooper of Union Pacific who was unable to attend due to breaking his leg. The topic was Rail – the ‘other’ intermodal mode:
- on average a shipping container weighs 18 tonnes
- intermodal shipping containers are the #2 customer for railways, coal is #1
- for stacking drums in containers, shippers are to use 5/8” plywood but shippers have been using chipboard as it is cheaper but is causing problems as it does not wear as well as plywood resulting in damaged packaging
- securement of the load is the goal, not just block and brace
Larry Gaines (Safety Training Inc.) covered Class 7 for Non-Radioactive People:
- radioactive isotope – unstable material releasing energy trying to become stable
- there are 3 million shipments per year in the US in all modes of transport
- make sure consignee is licensed and ready for acceptance
- in the US, be aware of RQ requirements
Bob Wichert (Fuel Cell Council) gave us Understanding Fuel Cells Before Your Teach Them:
- a fuel cell is a device where there is a chemical reaction between the fuel supply and oxygen
- the fuel is the dangerous goods – methanol, formic acid, hydrogen, natural gas, etc.
- fuel cells come in all sizes from industrial applications such as power sources for breweries to handheld uses such as laptop computers.
The symposium provided a wealth of information along with opportunities to network including R&D. Looking forward to next year’s.