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Since 1987 taking the danger out of dangerous goods

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  • The Amendment 37-14 to the International Maritime Organization's IMDG Code, which regulates the transportation of dangerous goods by sea, is voluntary to apply since January 1st 2015, and will become mandatory on January 1st 2016. Some of its changes are shared with other modes of transportation, while others are specific to sea transport. This article will highlight the most significant changes introduced in the Amendment 37-14.

    IMDG-37-14

     

  • The upcoming new edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) has introduced segregation provisions for certain packages containing lithium batteries. This has been a result of our better understanding of the risks posed by one of the most common dangerous goods that are shipped worldwide. While some of these provisions will come into effect immediately together with the rest of the new provisions on January 1st, 2018, for others a transitional period has been devised.

    New segregation provisions for lithium batteries

     

  • Safety Data Sheets – SDSs – are an important and well-known element of hazard communication. Every day thousands of SDSs are asked for those agents involved in dangerous goods activities in order to check storage conditions, proper classification or personal protective equipment (PPE).blog 8

    However, do we check lacking of information? How can we deal with the statement “data not available” in some sections? The purpose of this article is to provide general guidelines to ensure that all your dangerous goods requirements have been checked.

    The Safety Data Sheet follows a 16 sections format which is internationally agreed:

    • Section 1: Identification of the substance/mixture and of the company/undertaking
    • Section 2:  Hazards identification
    • Section 3: Composition/information on ingredients
    • Section 4: First aid measures
    • Section5: Firefighting measures
    • Section 6: Accidental release measures
    • Section 7: Handling and storage
    • Section 8: Exposure controls/personal protection
    • Section 9: Physical and chemical properties
    • Section 10:  Stability and Reactivity
    • Section 11:  Toxicological information
    • Section 12: Ecological information
    • Section 13: Disposal considerations
    • Section 14: Transport Information
    • Section 15: Regulatory information
    • Section 16: Other information 

    For dangerous goods transport purposes, the most relevant section is Section 14, Transport Information. This section shall provide basic classification information for transporting/ shipping substances or mixtures mentioned under section 1 by the different modes of transportation: air, road, sea, or rail. It shall provide the following information:

    • The UN number
    • Proper Shipping Name (PSN)
    • Hazard classes (primary and or subsidiary)/divisions assigned to the substance or mixtures
    • Packing Group assigned to the substance or mixture in accordance with their degree of hazard
    • Environmental hazards: it shall be indicated whether the substance or mixture is environmentally hazardous according to the criteria of Regulations. Example: marine pollutant under the IMDG Code.
    • Special precautions for users
    • Transport in bulk containers: only when applicable

    However, additional information (e.g.: tunnel code according to ADR, segregation groups according to IMDG Code, Special Provisions or Packing Instructions) can be required to draft the Dangerous Goods Declaration and not provided in the Safety Data Sheet.

    Regulations such as ADR, ICAO-IATA-DGR, RID, IMDG Code or 49-CFR shall be always checked. An SDS does not always contain updated information and all requirements needed by transport regulations.

    • Section 2: Hazards identification: This section describes the hazards of the substance or mixture and the appropriate warning information associated of those hazards such as label elements. This information shall support classification criteria specified in Section 14.
    • Section 3: Composition/information on ingredients: the information provided in this section can help in completing the N.O.S “not otherwise specified” entries by supplementing the Proper Shipping Name with the technical name or chemical group. Example: UN 1993, Flammable liquid, n.o.s (contains xylene and benzene), 3, II.
    • Section 9: Physical and chemical properties: information such as Boiling Point and Flash Point shall be provided in this section. Physical and chemical properties can be decisive to assign the packing group.
    • Section 11:  Toxicological information: the relevant toxicological properties of the hazardous substances or mixtures such as Lethal Dose LD50or Lethal Concentration LC50 shall also be provided. Toxic parameters will help in the assignment of packing group of Class 6.1 substances and mixtures.
    • Section 16: Other information: this section shall incorporate other information that it is not included in sections 1 to 15, including information on revision of the Safety Data Sheet such as: full text of R phrases, the hazard statements, safety phrases and/or precautionary statement.

    To sum up, the Section 14 of a Safety Data Sheet offers relevant information for the transport of dangerous goods and hazardous materials. However, it is recommended to check some information provided in other sections for the accuracy of the content. However, the Safety Data Sheet is just a hazard communication element that does not replace transport regulations.

    DGM helps customers to ensure the safety of their shipments by checking all transport legal requirements.

     

     

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