Industry news in your inbox. March 5, 2012

NFPA References to Portables Updated (Finally!)

It's been seven years since the last edition of NAFED's valuable resource, NFPA References to Portable Fire Extinguishers, was produced, and we all know how many changes the NFPA standards have seen in that time. NAFED has put together an updated, more comprehensive guide to all the NFPA standards that mention portable fire extinguisher requirements. Your techs will want this handy reference in their vans! Place your order for this must-have reference today.

DOT News

DOT Bans Handheld Cell Phones
The US DOT has issued a new regulation that bans commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers from using a handheld phone while driving. This regulation was issued by both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). CMV drivers are prohibited from using a hand to hold a mobile phone to communicate, dialing or answering a mobile phone by pressing more than one button, and leaving a seated, belted position to reach for a mobile phone. Push-to-talk phone features are also banned. Hands-free phones and radios are still allowed.

Violations can be up to $2,750 for drivers and $11,000 for employers that allow drivers to use a handheld phone.

Under US DOT guidelines, a CMV includes trucks that have a GVRW of 10,001 pounds or more. Under the FMCSA regulations this ban only affects interstate transportation but since PHMSA also issued this regulation it applies to CMVs used to transport hazardous materials in intrastate transportation as well.

Although this rule currently applies only to CMVs, NAFED believes this to be a major safety concern and encourages all distributor companies to adopt this type of policy for all of their vehicles. For more information see

Limited Quantity Packages
Over the past year the DOT has made several regulatory changes regarding labeling, marking, and shipping paper entries as they relate to Limited Quantity Hazardous Materials. Most fire extinguishers that are being transported can be shipped as a Limited Quantity package if the extinguisher is pressurized to more than 241 psi and is contained inside a box (six-sided enclosure).

The changes may seem subtle but they are important.

Shipping Papers
CFR 49 Section 172.200 Subpart C--Shipping Papers Applicability has been revised to no longer require the inclusion of Limited Quantity packages on shipping papers.

Section 172.200 (a) and (b) now states:
§ 172.200 Subpart C - Shipping Papers Applicability.
(a) Description of hazardous materials required. Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, each person who offers a hazardous material for transportation shall describe the hazardous material on the shipping paper in the manner required by this subpart.
(b) This subpart does NOT apply to any material, other than a hazardous substance, hazardous waste or marine pollutant, that is-
(1) Identified by the letter A in column 1 of the §172.101 table, except when the material is offered or intended for transportation by air; or
(2) Identified by the letter W in column 1 of the §172.101 table, except when the material is offered or intended for transportation by water; or
(3) A limited quantity package unless the material is offered or intended for transportation by air or vessel and, until December 31, 2013, a package of ORM-D material authorized by this subchapter in effect on October 1, 2010 when offered for transportation by highway or rail.

The requirement for marking packages containing Limited Quantity materials has also changed. Previously, packages containing a Limited Quantity material (in our case, fire extinguishers in a box) needed to be marked with just the proper shipping name; the use of the identification number was not required. You could include the number if you wanted to, but you did not have to. That has now changed. The current DOT requirement does require that packages of Limited Quantity materials be marked with both the proper shipping name and the identification number as provided in 49 CFR Table 172.101.

Sections 172.300 and 172.301 now state:
Section 172 Subpart D - Marking
§ 172.300 Applicability.
(a) Each person who offers a hazardous material for transportation shall mark each package, freight container, and transport vehicle containing the hazardous material in the manner required by this subpart.
(b) When assigned the function by this subpart, each carrier that transports a hazardous material shall mark each package, freight container, and transport vehicle containing the hazardous material in the manner required by this subpart.
(c) Unless otherwise provided in a specific rule, stocks of preprinted packagings marked in accordance with this subpart prior to the effective date of a final rule may be continued in use, in the manner previously authorized, until depleted or for a one-year period subsequent to the compliance date of the marking amendment, whichever is less.
§172.301 General marking requirements for non-bulk packagings.
(a) Proper shipping name and identification number. (1) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, each person who offers a hazardous material for transportation in a non-bulk packaging must mark the package with the proper shipping name and identification number (preceded by UN, NA or ID, as appropriate) for the material as shown in the §172.101 Table.

The following exception was removed from the new regulation:
Identification numbers are not required on packagings that contain only ORM-D materials or limited quantities, as defined in § 171.8 of this subchapter, except for limited quantities marked in accordance with the marking requirements in § 172.315.

So what does this mean for your service vehicles? You should change your hazardous materials shipping papers by removing the entry for Fire Extinguishers Ltd Qty.

Any boxes, cages, cabinets, etc., that you use to transport DOT-defined fire extinguishers (see CFR 49 Section 173.309) need to have the ID number UN 1044 added next to the name Fire Extinguishers. Any fire extinguishers you are transporting that are not contained in a box are still to be included on the hazardous materials shipping paper as UN 1044, Fire Extinguishers, 2.2.

Book Your Atlantic City Hotel Now

For those of you attending the Atlantic City conference--it's coming up really soon! Reserve a room before March 11 to get the NAFED rate at Caesars.
Call 1-800-345-7253 and use the group code GCNAF-12.

Set Your Sights on New Orleans

Our New Orleans conference is going to be a lot of fun. Clear your calendar on May 10-11, send in your registration, and book your hotel room now.
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