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.
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 188.8.131.52.2 (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.
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.