I attended the sixth Dangerous Goods Instructor Symposium (DGIS VI) hosted by LabelMaster in Memphis TN last week.
Things started on Tuesday evening with the Dangerous Goods Trainers Association (DGTA) meeting. The changes concerning NESHTA, BCSP, IHMM and others were discussed. Bob Richard has suggested the DGTA make application at the UN for consultative status. This would allow DGTA to attend the UNSCOE on TDG as observers or as a NGO (non-governmental organization). The website has been updated, see www.dtga.org/. There was also discussion on which trade shows that DGTA should attend.
Later that night some of us boarded buses to go the the FedEx world hub. Here we were given a tour of the FedEx Memphis Hub (night-side) facilities.
Some interesting points of interest:
- handles approx. 1.3 million packages daily
- averages 140 landings per night (every 90 seconds)
- averages 140 takeoffs per night
- aircraft unloaded in under 30 minutes
- fleet of more than 366 aircraft (727s to A300s to 777)
- 7,000 employees at the hub
- covers 863 acres
- approx. 42 miles (68 km) of conveyor belts
Thanks to David Jones of FedEx for arranging the tour.
The Wednesday morning session on the ABCs of Training Objectives. This workshop covered the basics in making brief, concise, clear learning objectives. After lunch, Howard Skolnik of Skolnik Industries did a hands-on session on Writing of packing and closure instructions: an exercise in authorship. Howard gave each table an exercise on writing an instruction for a simple every day function. Our table were to write a procedure for tying shoelaces. Another table got the wine bottle with corkscrew (the bottle was empty), another on how to fold a fitted sheet, and another on how to blow up a balloon. You can imagine the fun that was created with this exercise! Howard then made available different packaging examples to each table and we had to write the closure instructions. This was a great exercise, we just did not have enough time to complete the exercises. The last session dealt with our Pet Peeves in the regulations. Some examples that came up were:
- why does ICAO require 2 technical names and IATA does not?
- 49 CFR: is it basic description or shipping description or description when it comes to describing the dangerous goods that are to be shipped?
- are closure instructions necessary for compressed gas cylinders?
- IMDG: when listing several paints with different flash points, which flash point gets listed on the shipping document?
- ICAO A69: forces the shipper to recognize mercury as dangerous goods
Thursday began with an ICAO update from Geoff Leach, chair of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel. Over 100 papers have been submitted and each one has to be reviewed during the 8 days that have been scheduled for the 2013/2014 Technical Instructions session. Some of the issues that have been brought forward:
- when it says “not subject to the Technical Instructions”, what does this really mean?
- recurrent training going to calendar date
- oxygen generators – the ValueJet crash needs to be kept in everyone’s mind; recent incident in Australia with these
- EHS (environmentally hazardous substance): ICAO was too quick off the mark to align with the UN when other modes had not, going back to the 15th Edition to allow for transition
- gross mass will only apply to LQ, definition of net mass means the article not the dangerous goods in it
- class 6.1 subsidiary for mercury will be optional unless the content is > 5 kg
- dangerous goods in crew baggage is not addressed, it will be the same as for passengers
- undeclared vs misdeclared: undeclared means that there is no shipper’s declaration, mis-declared means it is not what it is
- how to deal with Ebay, i.e. large lighter with 3 Li batteries flashlight in the handle
- training for the load-master and security staff
- reporting of dangerous goods that have not been loaded properly
- changes to the NOTOC to simplify the form
- Li batteries: remove section II, package according to the TIs
- dangerous goods in helicopters
- maximum spare batteries for passengers/crew is 2; this poses problems for those who have to use a nebulizer, etc.