Expanding into the Distribution Center World? Be Careful! You Might be Handling Dangerous Goods

, Expanding into the Distribution Center World? Be Careful! You Might be Handling Dangerous Goods, ICC Compliance Center Inc - USA

The one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has recently passed, and many businesses have had extreme challenges – leading them to pivot their business into the distribution of online sales. But, have companies researched enough to know whether or not their products are dangerous goods?  There is the possibility that these shipped goods are being regulated and could lead to hefty fines. In 2016 Amazon was fined $86,000 for shipping batteries, deodorant, and hair mousse on passenger aircrafts. Companies need to make sure their employees are trained to perform such activities as handling and packaging dangerous goods. Management needs to be prepared to undertake inspections from Transport Canada.

In the last couple of months, while working ICC’s Regulatory Help Desk, I was extremely fortunate to assist two different customers who were planning to expand their business into the dangerous goods world (in particular, lithium batteries). With limited knowledge in dangerous goods, they required assistance deciphering regulatory matters and to better understand any possible impacts it could have on their ROI.

Company # 1 is already in distribution of regular everyday consumer products and small amounts of dangerous goods in limited quantities. They are in the process of growing their business due to the opportunities that presented themselves from the pandemic. This company wanted to ensure whether or not distributing lithium batteries would impact their current process or negatively impact their ROI. Their solution was to call ICC’s help desk, and after discussion, they booked a compliance audit. As a Regulatory Expert, I was able to complete this audit. I recommended bolstering their employee training, assisting their management team in creating SOPs in key areas of storage segregation, employee PPE, and reporting framework.  

Company #2 is in the distribution of construction material from their large storage facility and has decided to venture into the assembly and distribution of electric scooters. Money was spent, contracts were signed – all before inquiring about how to handle, ship, store and transport the lithium batteries that were coming from overseas. Fortunately, an employee of this company reached out to ICC to inquire about regulations and soon realized their company underestimated the necessary requirements of training and having the proper facilities for this product. This caused delays and negatively impacted their ROI.  

Luckily in these two examples, both companies contacted ICC’s help desk, which prevented any major potential issues. But, some smaller issues did arise for company #2, which cut into their profits. I always recommend an audit by one of our many Regulatory Experts when either planning on expanding or ameliorating at your company. ICC’s experts can evaluate your compliance with regulation from WHMIS and/or handling and transporting dangerous goods. Please call for more information – a fresh set of eyes to take a closer look at compliance is always worth it.    

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, Expanding into the Distribution Center World? Be Careful! You Might be Handling Dangerous Goods, ICC Compliance Center Inc - USA
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, Expanding into the Distribution Center World? Be Careful! You Might be Handling Dangerous Goods, ICC Compliance Center Inc - USA
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, Expanding into the Distribution Center World? Be Careful! You Might be Handling Dangerous Goods, ICC Compliance Center Inc - USA
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Elton Woodfine

Elton Woodfine

Elton Woodfine CD (Canadian Decoration) served 22 years as a member of the Canadian Forces. Initially as an Infantry section Commander in the Princess Patricia Canadian Lite Infantry (PPCLI), he served on two peace keeping missions in the former Yugoslavia, and one combat tour in Afghanistan where his unit was awarded the Governor General Unit Citation for actions in combat. He then continued to serve as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force as a firefighter, where he completed a diploma in Fire Science/ Fire-fighting from Memorial University and Occupational Health and Safety diploma from the University of New Brunswick. Lastly, in his career with the Canadian Forces, he served as a member of the Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Operator (CBRN Op), part of the Canadian Special Operation Command (CANSOFCOM). Upon his retirement from the Canadian Forces, he took a position as a Life Cycle Management of hazardous materials instructor for the logistical branch of the Department of National Defense and is knowledgeable in NFCC, CEPA 1999, IMHWR, TDGR, ICAO, IATA, IMDG, GHS and OH&S federal regulations.