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“VIDEO: Bad Train Car Axle Likely To Blame For Explosive 2013 Derailment In ND, Final NTSB Report Says”

ntsb

CASSELTON, N.D. — In releasing a long-awaited investigation report, the National Transportation Safety Board said a defective axle that broke was the likely cause of a fiery 2013 collision between an oil train and a derailed grain train just outside Casselton.

At an NTSB meeting Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Washington, D.C., crash investigators said the axle had an empty space in the center of it that should have been solid.

NTSB investigators learned that a Pennsylvania company, Standard Steel, made the flawed axle in 2002, among a total of 48 axles manufactured under similar conditions, investigator Michael Hiller said. Thirty-five of those axles, which may have similar defects, are not accounted for, he said.

“We can only assume that the axles have been removed from service due to life cycle, due to other accidents,” he said.

Hiller said 10 of the axles were found and taken out of service. It was discovered that two others were involved in separate accidents in 2010 in Nebraska, he said. No one was hurt in the two accidents, which were derailments that involved broken axles, according to Federal Railroad Administration records.

The Casselton collision between two BNSF trains happened on the afternoon of Dec. 30, 2013. It forced about 1,500 residents to evacuate their homes. No one was seriously injured.

Shortly afterward, NTSB investigators began focusing on the broken axle, which was on a derailed grain car. They found that the axle’s bearings and wheels were remounted by BNSF in 2010 and that more thorough testing of the axle would have caught the flaw.

The Association of American Railroads began requiring such testing of secondhand axles following an NTSB recommendation in April 2014, Hiller said. BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said this sort of testing wasn’t standard practice in 2010.

The crash, which triggered massive explosions and received national media attention, highlighted the dangers of moving crude oil by rail. The tank cars involved were DOT-111s, which Congress has since required to eventually be replaced by more rugged DOT-117s that are believed to be safer.

“Yet the deadlines for replacing variants of the DOT-111 tank car, for carriage of various flammable liquids, fall along a timeline that extends from 2018 to 2029, leaving Americans at heightened risk for years to come,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart. “While few DOT-111 tank cars remain in crude oil service, a vast fleet of these less safe tank cars continues in service for ethanol and other flammable liquids.”

McBeth said that since 2011, BNSF has “advocated for a new, stronger tank car standard and has worked with our customers to get safer tank cars into service sooner.”

The NTSB investigation found that after 13 cars from the westbound grain train derailed, the train’s emergency brakes were applied. At that point, the eastbound oil train was 18 seconds away, traveling at 42 mph. The oil train was likely moving at about that speed when it hit the grain car lying across the track, the NTSB said.

Twenty oil cars derailed, and 18 of those spilled more than 476,000 gallons of oil, fueling a fire that engulfed intact cars and caused them to explode, the NTSB said.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the NTSB showed a video of the crash, including the frantic radio traffic of an oil train crew member. “We are on fire,” he told a train dispatcher. “We are derailed. We are all over. We got to go.”

The front door of the oil train’s lead locomotive was damaged, so the two crew members narrowly escaped through a rear door shortly before the locomotive was engulfed in flames, the NTSB said.

Between the two lead locomotives of the oil train and the 104 tank cars was what’s called a buffer car that’s meant to protect the train crew from hazardous materials. In its investigation report, the NTSB recommended a study of whether more buffer cars should be required.

NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss has said the three-year-plus investigation into the crash took longer than usual because the agency used it as a vehicle to examine train safety features, such as advanced braking systems. Such braking systems, which can reduce stopping distance, would not have prevented the crash because only a few seconds passed between the time the oil train crew saw the derailed grain car and the moment of impact, Hart said.

The oil train engineer and conductor both sued BNSF after the crash. The conductor reached a confidential settlement with the railroad in July, and the engineer’s suit, which also targeted Standard Steel, is still pending.

Phone messages left for Standard Steel representatives were not returned Tuesday.

Source: AGWEEK 

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“New TSCA Law Starts NOW!”

tsca_carousel

“For the first time in 20 years, we are updating a national environmental statute,” said President Obama before signing the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act on Wednesday. The president noted that the updated law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which took effect in 1976 “didn’t quite work the way it should have in practice.” That was a vast understatement, particularly in regard to the regulation of existing chemicals. The president pointed out that of the 62,000 chemicals in the marketplace in 1976, only 5 have been banned.

“Five,” said the president. “And only a tiny percentage have even been reviewed for health and safety. The system was so complex, it was so burdensome that our country hasn’t even been able to uphold a ban on asbestos—a known carcinogen that kills as many as 10,000 Americans every year.”

The president added that the new law will do away with an outdated bureaucratic formula to evaluate safety and, instead, focus solely on the risks to public health.

Industry Pushed Hard

The law passed both chambers of Congress with overwhelming, but not unanimous, support. Pockets of resistance remain, particularly regarding the law’s provision allowing federal preemption of state action on chemicals the EPA is reviewing. Nonetheless, the law made it to the president’s desk despite today’s extremely partisan climate in Washington. The president noted that passage of the legislation revived the bipartisan tradition of the early 1970s when Democrats and Republicans came together to pass “those pillars of legislation to protect our air, and our water, and our wildlife.”

The president specifically thanked the American Chemistry Council and S.C. Johnson, both of which “pushed hard for this law,” noting also that the law “gives them the certainty they need to keep out-innovating and out-competing companies from other parts of the world.”

In its statement of support following congressional approval, S.C. Johnson spoke favorably of EPA’s new authority to systematically prioritize all chemicals currently in commerce for safety evaluations.

What’s Next?

The law took effect with the president’s signature.  The major deadlines in the law apply to the EPA. As the EPA sees it, the most immediate effect is on the new chemicals review process. The Agency is now required to make an affirmative determination on a new chemical or significant new use of an existing chemical before manufacturing can commence. For companies that submitted premanufacture notices (PMNs) before enactment, which are currently undergoing review, the new law effectively resets the 90-day review period.

EPA’s other deadlines include the following:

  • Within 180 days, the Agency must publish an initial list of at least 10 high-priority chemicals and 10 low-priority chemicals. Within 3.5 years, the EPA must have 20 ongoing risk evaluations.
  • The EPA must publish an annual goal for the number of chemicals to be subject to the prioritization screening process. The Agency must also keep current and publish a list of chemicals (1) that are being considered in the prioritization process, (2) for which prioritization decisions have been postponed, and (3) that are designed as high- or low-priority chemicals.
  • When unreasonable risks are identified, the EPA must take final risk management action within 2 years or 4 years if an extension is needed.
  • Within 2 years, the EPA must develop any policies, procedures, and guidance necessary to carry out the bill’s requirements with respect to (1) requesting safety data from manufacturers or processors, (2) prioritizing existing chemicals for evaluation of their risks, (3) reviewing new chemicals or significant new uses of existing chemicals, and (4) conducting safety assessments and safety determinations on whether a chemical meets the safety standard. Those policies, procedures, and guidances must be reviewed every 5 years and revised as necessary to reflect new scientific developments or understandings.
  • Within 9 months, the EPA must publish a list of those chemical substances it has a reasonable basis to conclude are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT). Within 2 years after enactment, the EPA must designate as a chemical of concern each chemical substance on the PBT list. Not later than 2 years after this designation, the Agency must promulgate a rule with respect to the chemical substance to reduce likely exposure to the extent practicable.
  • Any confidential business information (CBI) claims to protect the specific identities of existing, active chemicals on the list from disclosure would need to be reaffirmed and substantiated. The EPA must maintain both a confidential and nonconfidential portion of its chemical inventory. Within 5 years of compiling that list of active chemicals, the EPA must establish a plan to review all CBI claims.
Funding

Also, the law provides a means for the Agency to collect the money it will need to do all of the above and more. Specifically, the statute allows the Agency to collect up to $25 million a year in user fees from chemical manufacturers and processors in addition to supplements approved by Congress.

The new TSCA law is here.

Source: BLR

“Are You In Compliance?”-“June 1, 2016 – HAZCOM And GHS, The Final Deadline”

HazCom and GHS: The Final Deadline

HazCom and GHS: The Final Deadline by Safety.BLR.com

June 1, 2016, is the final deadline in the 4-year phase-in period for OSHA’s 2012 revisions to the hazard communication standard that aligned with the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, or GHS. Check out the infographic for an overview of what the final deadline requires and tips to make sure your facility is prepared.

“Fall Protection: Working On Tops Of Trucks & Rolling Stock……Which Rule Do I Follow?…. OSHA? DOT? “

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wants more control over trucking, and the latest focus is on fall protection. Tank fleets, in particular, are being targeted in the current OSHA initiative.

The agency is seeking comments from industry on whether or not it should develop specific regulations to “cover falls from rolling stock and commercial motor vehicles.” The May 24 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) defines motor vehicle to include “tractor-trailer trucks, tank trucks and hopper trucks.” A regulation would cover any employee working more than four feet off the ground.

The agency is seeking comments from industry on whether or not it should develop specific regulations to “cover falls from rolling stock and commercial motor vehicles.” The May 24 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) defines motor vehicle to include “tractor-trailer trucks, tank trucks and hopper trucks.” A regulation would cover any employee working more than four feet off the ground.

This is a proposal that we have to take seriously,” says John Conley, president of National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC). “OSHA really wants to get more involved in the trucking industry. I just hope that DOT (the Department of Transportation) will object to this intrusion into what is, and should be, its turf. Transportation vehicles present a unique workplace and not one to which OSHA can just apply its standards from other stationary facilities. NTTC will submit comments — which are due August 23 — reflecting the views and concerns of our members.”

Conley says OSHA is taking an unusual approach to the fall protection issue. Rather than propose new regulations for commercial vehicles in the 292-page rulemaking, which contains many significant changes to 29CFR Part 1910, it is asking for information on whether there is “a need to propose specific requirements for the protection of employees exposed to falls from rolling stock and motor vehicles.” The agency states in its rulemaking that “If, in response to this issue, OSHA receives sufficient comments and evidence to warrant additional rulemaking, a separate proposed rule will be issued.”

There always has been a bit of a gray area regarding what regulatory authority, if any, OSHA has over trucking equipment, according to Conley. Since its inception, OSHA has tried to get its nose under the trucking tent and into the cab and onto the trailer. OSHA and DOT signed a memorandum of understanding in the 1970s where each agency agreed to not regulate where the other had established jurisdiction. DOT has maintained that it regulates truck equipment but has never addressed fall protection and trailers. OSHA’s directive to its field staff is still to not “cite employee exposure to fall hazards on the tops of rolling stock unless the rolling stock was positioned inside or contiguous to a building where the installation of fall protection is feasible.”

“Make no mistake that OSHA would very much like to propose a regulation on fall protection in this proposed rulemaking, but must have felt it would be challenged as to whether it was the responsible regulatory agency,” Conley says. “The effort to ask questions to determine if such a regulation needs to be written should be viewed as an effort by OSHA to either exercise that authority or to pressure DOT to do so. Remember, OSHA is much emboldened in the Obama Administration, and a power grab makes bureaucratic turf sense.

“Please keep in mind that if you conduct operations in mining facilities or locations that are governed by the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), that agency does not have a similar agreement with DOT and does require fall protection equipment for employees who go on top of trailers. Also, the OSHA proposal and request for information does not apply to railroad cars since the Federal Railroad Administration already has jurisdiction over that equipment.”

The Cargo Tank Risk Management Committee (CTRMC) also argues that OSHA has no legitimate reason for wresting control over motor vehicles — specifically cargo tanks — from DOT. The tank truck industry and DOT have done a good job of managing fall hazards on motor vehicles over the years.

“Our data and evidence suggest the frequency of injuries sustained in a fall from a transportation tank is extremely low,” says John Cannon, secretary of CTRMC and vice-president of engineering at Walker Group Holdings. “A typical large cargo tank motor vehicle fleet makes over 300 deliveries per day and has averaged less than two falls from its tank trailers per year. Most of the falls were from the ladder, not the tank top.”

He adds that the effective improvement of worker safety from fall-related injuries on transportation tanks is a complex challenge, requiring the participation of many industry stakeholders. The CTRMC was formed for that very purpose. The group held its first meeting in March, and the next one is scheduled for September.

“We’re taking a proactive approach to fall protection on transport equipment, and we are getting outstanding participation from the fleets, shippers, and equipment manufacturers that are part of CTRMC,” Cannon says. “We believe the best solutions come from those that are closest to an issue. The tank truck industry has many small businesses with fragile economic models. We need to ensure that improvements related to workers on transportation tanks are financially feasible.”

Tank truck fleets do provide fall protection training for truck drivers. Training typically includes fall hazard recognition and company-specific policies to reduce the potential for falls. Trucking companies with the most aggressive training programs cover falls during the initial orientation, recurrent training, periodic safety communications, and remedial training.

Drivers are protected from fall hazards in a variety of ways. Loading racks at shipper facilities have fixed railings. Fall arrest systems (harnesses and retractable lanyards) can be installed at the loading rack or on the transport tank. Some transport tanks have side walkways, handrails, and outer railings. Some transport tanks are built with systems (like bottom loading) that remove any need for the driver to climb on top of the tank.

The battle goes on. The only OSHA rule in place is the 1996 Rolling Stock rule and the GDC.

If it were me, I’d use the following document as guidance: http://resources.xlgroup.com/docs/xlenvironmental/library/risk_consulting/5241_Vehicle_Fall_Protection.pdf

PDF Source: XL Insurance

 

 

“June 1, 2016 – HAZCOM And GHS, The Final Deadline”

HazCom and GHS: The Final Deadline

HazCom and GHS: The Final Deadline by Safety.BLR.com

June 1, 2016, is the final deadline in the 4-year phase-in period for OSHA’s 2012 revisions to the hazard communication standard that aligned with the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, or GHS. Check out the infographic for an overview of what the final deadline requires and tips to make sure your facility is prepared.

“SAFER Systems Unveils Free Chemical Emergency Response Smartphone App. With Real-Time Weather and Traffic Data”

SAFER Mobile Response on the App Store on iTunes 2014-06-26 16-27-15

SAFER Systems Unveils Free Chemical Emergency Response Smartphone App. With Real-Time Weather and Traffic Data

A must-have, “first on scene” tool for every first responder

Camarillo, CA (6/15) – SAFER Systems, the world’s leading chemical emergency response solutions provider, is proud to announce the debut of SAFER Mobile ResponseTM.  SAFER Mobile is a smartphone and tablet supported application that integrates the trusted 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2012) with the power of Google Maps™, Google Traffic™, and live weather updates and forecasting.  The app puts crucial data at the fingertips of first responders and emergency services personnel when called to the scene of a hazardous materials incident.  The app is now available for free via iTunes or the Google Play store.

“First responders the world over recognize the ERG2012 as a trusted source for initial protective information and response guidance,” said SAFER Systems President, Allen Edmond. “We’ve taken that static, printed information and brought it to life in the more easily accessible environment of smartphones and tablets. SAFER Mobile Response converts the ERG protective distance charts into visual hazard zones and identifies key points of concern at risk using Google Maps and Google Places.”

“The app takes the widely accepted ERG2012 hazard zone guidance to the next level with real-time weather and traffic data. It will help responders plan their way to the incident scene and identify key municipal amenities at risk,” said SAFER System Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Bob Gerow.   “SAFER Mobile Response ensures the guide’s crucial information is available, anywhere, anytime.”

SAFER Mobile ResponseTM is just one of the ways SAFER Systems continues to lead in the preparation for and mitigation of hazardous events.  For decades, the company has been one of the most trusted names in chemical facility emergency management with a growing client list that is a who’s-who of the chemical industry and response agencies.

To download SAFER Mobile Response™ visit www.safersystem.com, play.google.com, or itunes.apple.com.  For more information visit www.safersystem.com.

About SAFER Systems: SAFER Systems is the leader in chemical emergency response solutions. For more than 30 years, its software has been used by the leading chemical facilities around the globe to assist in preparedness for and mitigation of chemical emergencies.  Among the more than 600 clients of SAFER are Agrium, Bayer, BP, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, ExxonMobil, Honeywell, Monsanto, OxyChem, PCS and Shell as well as leading transportation companies such as BNSF, CSX, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CN Rail and Canadian Pacific Railway.   SAFER’s real-time, consequence assessment software has won numerous awards and is the only product of its kind to use full weather station and gas sensor data with patented algorithms that support source location and release rate estimation.  For more information, visit www.safersystem.com.

Google Maps™ and Google Traffic™ are properties of Google.

Updated! FMCSA – “Summary of Hours-of-Service (HOS) Regulations”

Who Must Comply HOS Final Rule
Most drivers must follow the HOS Regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle, or CMV.

In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
The Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule [Download PDF Version] was published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2011. The effective date of the Final Rule was February 27, 2012, and the compliance date of remaining provisions was July 1, 2013. The links below provide more details regarding the HOS Final Rule:

Download HOS Reference Materials
Hours-of-Service (HOS) Regulations – Comparison

Comparison to Prior Rule. [Download PDF Version]

PROVISION PRIOR RULE UPDATED RULE – COMPLIANCE DATE
JULY 1, 2013
Limitations on minimum “34-hour restarts” None (1) Must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., home terminal time.
(2) May only be used once per week, 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart.
Rest breaks None except as limited by other rule provisions. May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time for hazardous materials may be included in break if no other duties performed]
PROVISION PRIOR RULE UPDATED RULE – COMPLIANCE DATE
FEBRUARY 27, 2012
On-duty time Includes any time in CMV except sleeper-berth. Does not include any time resting in a parked vehicle (also applies to passenger- carrying drivers). In a moving property-carrying CMV, does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth.
Penalties “Egregious” hours of service violations not specifically defined. Driving (or allowing a driver to drive) more than 3 hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties. Also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
Oilfield exemption “Waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields (which is off-duty but does extend 14-hour duty period) must be recorded and available to FMCSA, but no method or details are specified for the recordkeeping. “Waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on logbook or electronic equivalent as off-duty and identified by annotations in “remarks” or a separate line added to “grid.”
Summary of HOS Regulations as of July 1, 2013
The following table summarizes the HOS regulations for property-carrying and passenger-carrying drivers.
[Download PDF Version]
HOURS-OF-SERVICE RULES
PROPERTY-CARRYING DRIVERS PASSENGER-CARRYING DRIVERS
11-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
10-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
14-Hour Limit
May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
15-Hour Limit
May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
Rest Breaks
May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time may be included in break if no other duties performed]
60/70-Hour Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
60/70-Hour Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. Must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. home terminal time, and may only be used once per week, or 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart.
Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.
Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
 

 

 

FMCSA – “Summary of Hours-of-Service (HOS) Regulations”

Who Must Comply HOS Final Rule
Most drivers must follow the HOS Regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle, or CMV.

In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
The Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule [Download PDF Version] was published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2011. The effective date of the Final Rule was February 27, 2012, and the compliance date of remaining provisions was July 1, 2013. The links below provide more details regarding the HOS Final Rule:

Download HOS Reference Materials
Hours-of-Service (HOS) Regulations – Comparison

Comparison to Prior Rule. [Download PDF Version]

PROVISION PRIOR RULE UPDATED RULE – COMPLIANCE DATE
JULY 1, 2013
Limitations on minimum “34-hour restarts” None (1) Must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., home terminal time.
(2) May only be used once per week, 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart.
Rest breaks None except as limited by other rule provisions. May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time for hazardous materials may be included in break if no other duties performed]
PROVISION PRIOR RULE UPDATED RULE – COMPLIANCE DATE
FEBRUARY 27, 2012
On-duty time Includes any time in CMV except sleeper-berth. Does not include any time resting in a parked vehicle (also applies to passenger- carrying drivers). In a moving property-carrying CMV, does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth.
Penalties “Egregious” hours of service violations not specifically defined. Driving (or allowing a driver to drive) more than 3 hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties. Also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
Oilfield exemption “Waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields (which is off-duty but does extend 14-hour duty period) must be recorded and available to FMCSA, but no method or details are specified for the recordkeeping. “Waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on logbook or electronic equivalent as off-duty and identified by annotations in “remarks” or a separate line added to “grid.”
Summary of HOS Regulations as of July 1, 2013
The following table summarizes the HOS regulations for property-carrying and passenger-carrying drivers.
[Download PDF Version]
HOURS-OF-SERVICE RULES
PROPERTY-CARRYING DRIVERS PASSENGER-CARRYING DRIVERS
11-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
10-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
14-Hour Limit
May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
15-Hour Limit
May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
Rest Breaks
May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time may be included in break if no other duties performed]
60/70-Hour Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
60/70-Hour Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. Must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. home terminal time, and may only be used once per week, or 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart.
Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.
Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
 

 

 

E-log Mandate, Driver Database Rules Expected In January 2014, Per DOT Report

A proposed rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices is expected to be published in the Federal Register Jan. 29, according to a monthly Department of Transportation report, which says the rule is projected to clear the White House’s Office of Management and Budget January. 17, 2014

The report also says the rule will have a 60-day comment period that will last until April 1, 2014

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol clearinghouse rule is also set to clear the OMB January. 17, 2014 and the DOT report projects that the rule will be published in the Federal Register January. 31, 2014

The rule will establish a database of drivers who have failed or refused drug or alcohol tests, and carriers will be required to submit failed or refused tests to the database. Carriers also will be required to query the database when hiring drivers.

The electronic logging device (formerly known as electronic onboard recorders) rule will not only mandate the use of e-logs but will set device standards and address driver harassment relative to e-log use.

In its monthly update in December, FMCSA projected the rule would be published December 23, 2013

Also in the report was an update on the agency’s Safety Fitness Determination rule, which is now projected to be published August 4, 2014 with a projected OMB clearance of July 24, 2014

The rule would change the data set and methodology FMCSA uses to produce an overall safety score for a carrier. Now, it uses only data from compliance reviews, whereas the rule would allow the agency to use data from its BASIC scores in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability system; roadside inspections; and crash data.

A rule complementing the e-log mandate — designed to prevent the coercion of drivers to drive in violation of safety rules by carriers, shippers, receivers or other intermediaries — is projected to clear the OMB April 14, 2014 and be published in the Federal Register on April 23, 2014

– See more at: http://www.ccjdigital.com/

 

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Food Production Safety: “Are Your Forklifts Listeria Carriers?”

Two recent Listeria outbreaks have demonstrated the role of fresh food handling operations in supply chain contamination.

While the processed foods industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have long provided guidance on Listeria monitoring and control, guidance applicable to the unique conditions of fresh produce handling operations has been lacking. That’s why the United Fresh Food Safety & Technology Council developed a new document, Guidance on Environmental Monitoring and Control of Listeria for the Fresh Produce Industry. The intent is to help companies in the food supply chain develop “search and destroy” programs for Listeria. This guide describes in-depth handling techniques for fresh and fresh-cut produce, which offers some unique opportunities and challenges.

Listeria needs moisture to grow, so it can reproduce any place that remains wet for an extended period—generally longer than six hours, and especially in areas of entrapment where free water is constantly present. Listeria is most likely to become established in areas that are not only wet, but also relatively undisturbed. These might include difficult-to-access or difficult-to-clean pieces of equipment such as sorting equipment, bearings, hoist chain bags, “pinch point” conveyance covers, pallet jacks, forklifts, under bumper guards and bumper post sleeves at loading docks.

Case in point regarding lift trucks: during routine environmental swabbing in a fruit and vegetable processing plant, a positive for Listeria was detected on a floor in the raw product storage/staging room. Areas sampled included equipment, forklifts, floors and drains. The Floors and equipment were in excellent condition. However, in looking at traffic patterns, it was noted that one forklift regularly followed the same path as the pattern of positive swabs noted in the plant. The forklift regularly exited the building and drove through an area where a trailer collected cull waste conveyed from the processing room.

After investigation, it was determined that the most probable root cause was the forklift continually exiting and reentering the facility after being exposed to a cull waste area outside. Subsequently, forklifts were segregated for use exclusively inside or outside. Floor sanitizers were also applied at all forklift paths in the facility. Extensive follow-up swabbing was performed for eight weeks, and all subsequent routine swabbing in the area verified that corrective actions were effective and the source of the organism had been eliminated.

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