Leakage of Dangerous Goods in Air Transpiration

leakage of dangerous goods in air transportation The changes to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous goods Regulations have been implemented to address the growing concerns regarding incidents involving leakage of dangerous goods in United Nations (UN) specification packaging during air transport. The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations are published to provide proper procedures for the shipper and the operator by which articles or substances meeting the definition of dangerous goods can be safely transported by air on all commercial aircraft. These regulations are formatted to provide the user a readily understandable and easy to use publication, and are closely tied with the requirements outlined in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions.

Since the number of dangerous goods shipment continues to increase, along with heightened security measures, it is important to examine these changes to properly understand and implement the new requirements.

New Provisions

Packages containing dangerous goods are more closely scrutinized today than ever before. The potential for leaks has elevated concerns from both specific airlines and various regulators. There are several causes which lead to container leakage, but most commonly these incidents occur from accidental damage handling or incorrectly closed inner packaging.

The existing requirements for absorbent material to be added in combination packaging have only proved time and again to be insufficient to properly contain the contents of the specific package. When the package does not properly contain the inner contents, the potential for a hazardous incident dramatically increases and ultimately poses special safety concerns.

In the interest of safety, the following new requirement has been added to the 43rd edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations:

Unless otherwise provided of the packaging instructions, all liquids of Hazard Class 3, 4, 8 or in Division 5.4, 5.2 or 6.1. when packed in an outer package which is not considered leak tight, must be provided with means of containing the liquid in the vent of leakage. This may be achieved with the use of a leak-proof liner, plastic bag or other equally efficient means of containment.

It is extremely important to insure that the type of containment used is compatible with the specific material it is containing. Certain materials may permeate or compromise certain means of secondary containment.

This information is added as an additional paragraph under Section 5.0.2.12.2 (Section 5-Packaging). This change is currently in effect and must be used when shipping any hazard class of dangerous goods identified above aboard nay commercial aircraft.

Training Requirements

As with any changes to transport regulations, proper training is also considered an essential part of maintain safety compliance. Each hazardous materials employee must be properly trained based on the specific job function performed, which may entail general awareness/familiarization as well as function-specific training elements. Safety training may also be required.

It is important to review the new provision and to insure that ll hazardous materials employees who ultimately affect hazardous material transport safety are trained on how to properly implement these changes. A company’s training program should include a review of the specific commodities and packages it ships and sample displays (mock-up packaging) to ensure that the new secondary containment requirements are properly implemented.

By properly preparing and handling dangerous goods the number of transport related incidents will dramatically decrease. Complying with the new provisions will provide a safety transport environment for all parties concerned.

Transportation of HAZMats by Vessel

Transportation of HAZMATs by VesselThe regulations involving the transportation of hazardous materials by vessel can often appear somewhat complex; however one area specific to the packaging and/or loading of these materials continues to be overlooked by some parties involved in the movement of these commodities. Each cargo transport unit containing a hazardous material such as a freight container, flat trailer or other vehicle intended for transport by sea must be packed and/or loaded in accordance with the regulations defined in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

It is important that those involved in the packaging and/or loading operations of these materials fully understand and comply with the container packing certification requirements outlined below.

Certifications Requirements

As defined in the IMDG Code, Section 5.4.2.1, those responsible for the packaging/loading of a cargo transport unit should provide a “container/vehicle packing certificate” which specifies the container/vehicle as well as the cargo transport unit identification number(s). This certification is provided to insure that compliance with these requirements has been properly met.

This certification can be in checklist format and must define the following conditions:

  1. The cargo transport unit was clear, dry and apparently fit to receive the goods
  2. If the consignments include goods of Class 2, other than Division1.4, the cargo transport unit is structurally serviceable in conformity with 7.4.6
  3. Goods which should be segregated have not been packed together onto or in the cargo transport unit (unless approved by the competent authority concerned in accordance with 7.2.2.3).
  4. All packages have been externally inspected for damage, leakage or sifting, and only sound packages have been loaded.
  5. Drums have been stowed in an upright position, unless otherwise authorized by the competent authority
  6. All packages have been properly packed onto or in the cargo transport unit and secured.
  7. When dangerous goods are transported in bulk packaging, the cargo has been evenly distributed.
  8. The cargo transport unit and the packages therein are properly marked, labeled and placarded.
  9. When solid carbon dioxide (CO2- dry ice) is used for cooling purposes, the cargo transport unit is externally marked or labeled in a conspicuous place, which as at the door end, with the words “Dangerous CO2 Gas (Dry Ice) Ventilate thoroughly before entering.”
  10. The dangerous goods transport document required in 5.4.1 has been received for each dangerous goods consignment packed onto or in the cargo transport unit.

It is additionally; recommended that the following be incorporated on the packing certificate: “It is declared that the packing of the goods into the unit has been carried out in accordance with the provisions of 5.4.2.1 of the IMDG Code.”

The container packing certificate must be signed by the person who prepares this statement. IMDG Code, Section 5.4.2.2 requires the person who affixes the signature also be identified on the document.

Achieving Compliance

The intended purpose of the container packing certificate is to convey a statement that the container has been properly inspected and packages containing the hazardous materials inside the container are in good condition and properly secured.

Although the container packing certificate is often missing during shipment, it would only make sense that the person who prepares the container for shipment is ultimately responsible to insure that the goods, as well as the container, are properly prepared for safe transportation.

Therefore, proper education of all parties involved with these requirements is paramount. Understanding the intent of these regulations, as well as complying with them, will only help to reduce many of the current identification and safety problems associated with hazardous material transported by vessel.

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