American Cylinder and Safety, LLC
|Posted on April 19, 2020 at 10:30 AM|
NOTICE OF ENFORCEMENT DISCRETION REGARDING CYLINDERS THAT HAVE EXCEEDED THEIR PERIODIC REQUALIFICATION TEST DATE
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) understands that due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, many members of the medical and industrial gas industry may be experiencing difficulty in obtaining cylinders due to the increased demand for these gases or a disruption in the normal business model for cylinder exchanges. This has made it difficult for the industry to consistently obtain cylinders which can be filled in accordance with the requalification provision specified in 49 CFR 173.301(a)(6). PHMSA gives notice that it will not take enforcement action against any person who fills a DOT-specification cylinder used to transport Division 2.2 non-flammable gas provided the cylinder meets all requirements of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) except that the cylinder is overdue for periodic requalification by no more than 12 months. Depending on the cylinder type, periodic requalification is required at either a 5-year or 10-year interval. This enforcement discretion is in response to unprecedented changes in business practices related to the COVID-19 outbreak and is intended to minimize disruptions in the supply chain, especially those related to providing medical gases to the health care industry. This enforcement discretion will be exercised by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and PHMSA. This relief applies only to transportation by motor vehicle, and does not extend to transport by air, vessel, or railroad. Prior to filling and offering for transportation, all cylinders must be inspected in accordance with the applicable Compressed Gas Association Pamphlet and DOT requirements. Any cylinder that does not pass the prefill inspection criteria must not be filled. This notice is limited to the filling and offering of cylinders containing Division 2.2 gases when such cylinders are no more than 12 months past their periodic requalification test date. These cylinders must be in compliance with all other requirements of the HMR. This Notice of Enforcement Discretion is effective while the Department of Health and Human Services determination that a public health emergency related to COVID-19 exists or 90 days from its date of issuance, whichever is sooner.
Issued April 6, 2020, in Washington D.C.
|Posted on April 19, 2020 at 9:50 AM|
NOTICE OF ENFORCEMENT POLICY REGARDING TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) understands that many hazardous materials (hazmat) employers may be experiencing difficulty in either obtaining or providing recurrent training as required by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR, 49 CFR Parts 171-180) due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
PHMSA gives notice that it will not take enforcement action against any hazmat employer who is unable to provide recurrent training consistent with HMR training requirements. This enforcement discretion is in response to unprecedented changes in business practices related to the COVID-19 outbreak and is intended to minimize disruptions in the supply-chain. Thisenforcement discretion will be exercised by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, PHMSA, and the United States Coast Guard.
PHMSA does want to take this opportunity to remind employers that the HMR does not require training to be provided in a traditional classroom setting or through on the job training. Any method of training delivery, including web based, self-paced computer instruction, remotely delivered classroom instruction, on the job training, or some combination of those methods that cover the required elements in 49 CFR 172 Subpart H are acceptable. PHMSA encourages the utilization of any of these training methods to provide hazmat employees with appropriate recurrent training even if testing is not possible. This notice is limited to the recurrent training requirements found in 49 CFR 172. 704( c )(2). Hazmat employers must comply with all other obligations under the HMR and other applicable laws. This notice will remain in effect for 90 days from the date of issuance.
Issued March 25, 2020, in Washington D.C.
|Posted on November 26, 2019 at 11:10 AM|
Don’t think that penalties imposed by PHMSA for violations are anything to worry about? Think again! If you willfully violate 49 CFR, it can cost you, your business, and your pocketbook plenty. In October of this year (2019), PHMSA increased the amount of money it can fine you in the event of a violation. The new adjustments are summarized as follows:
Minimum penalty for a hazardous materials training violation - -$493
Maximum penalty for a Hazardous Materials Violation - $81,993
Maximum penalty for a Hazardous Materials Violation that results in death, serious illness, severe injury to any person, or substantial destruction of property - $191,316
As you can see, the cost rises significantly depending on the severity of the violation. All of these can simply be avoided by proper training at your facility. Contact us to schedule training or to discuss whether your facility training already covers the PHMSA requirements.
|Posted on November 25, 2019 at 1:05 PM|
Important update for customers of Linde Gas.
Linde and its affiliates, including Praxair, Inc., will increase the prices of product and equipment rentals in North America, beginning 1st December (2019), or as contracts permit.
The industrial gas giant today announced the following increases:
Up to 15% for nitrogen and oxygen
Up to 20% for carbon dioxide, argon and hydrogen
Up to 15% for facility fees or equipment rentals
Helium prices will also be increased as contracts permit.
The adjustments are being made to help maintain reliable supply to customers through infrastructure reinvestment, including continued capacity upgrades and expansion where possible.
|Posted on November 8, 2019 at 10:25 AM|
PHMSA is issuing this safety advisory notice to inform the public, industrial gas stakeholders, and relevant government officials of the risks associated with re-qualifying, filling, and transporting cylinders bearing the DOT specification markings ‘‘DOT 4E’’ or ‘‘DOT 4BA’’ that were produced by a company located in Thailand by the name of Metal Mate. Metal Mate does not have an approval from PHMSA to manufacture cylinders to DOT specifications; therefore, cylinders marked with the Metal Mate name are not DOT specification cylinders. These cylinders are to be considered fraudulent and should not be filled.
|Posted on July 28, 2019 at 6:30 PM|
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|Posted on April 30, 2019 at 12:45 AM|
One of the more recent controversies in the compressed gas market is the use of MAE testing to extend the service life of Carbon Fiber SCBA Cylinders. You can refer to previous blog articles to understand what all of the hoopla is about. In the meantime, it has come to our attention that SP 16320 which allows the procedure is expired. USDOT Permits office published a notification on their website confirming the permit holder Digital Wave applied for renewal but at this time their application has been denied. USDOT indicated they expect ongoing discussion regarding the permit and at some point it may be renewed.
In the meantime, since this is a testing SP and not a manufacturing SP, it is not clear the ramifications to cylinders tested with this method but USDOT will follow up with information on what this means for previously tested cylinders (if anything). However until the permit is renewed, testing by this method is not allowed.
|Posted on November 29, 2018 at 1:10 PM|
I am always amazed when asked the question; “Why do I need refresher training, when I have been doing this job every day?” Many people have the belief that if they do a job day in and day out, they should not need refresher training or that the need for this training does not apply to them. For the record, I want to state that this attitude or belief is patently false. A lack of refresher training opens an organization to liability, fines, and other issues.
As a quick refresher, any compressed gas over 29psi, is considered HAZMAT by the federal government. Any employee that fills, handles, or is likely to be affected by this HAZMAT is considered a HAZMAT Employee and the DOT has specified the training requirements this type of employee.
Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 172.704 lists the various types of training required for hazmat employees. This training includes function-specific training, general awareness training, and training in safety and security awareness. 49 CFR 172.704 also requires that employees retake their training at least once every three years. Depending on the organization it may also require that employees undergo recurrent training for their regulations even sooner. It is up to the individual organization to conduct this training (either through their own trainers or through an outside training agency) and certify that their employees have received this training.
As the saying goes, there is a method to the madness. Refresher training plays an important part in the health and safety of the employees. One of the most important reasons for refresher training is that federal regulations can change since the last time training was conducted. The DOT reviews and revises 49 CFR every year. Likewise, other governing agencies update their own regulations, normally on an annual basis. Occasionally, if the change is vital to the safety of an employee, the regulations might be updated outside of the normal review period. Some of these changes may be small, while others can be significant. However, it does not matter how major or minor these alterations may be. Anyone involved in the hazardous materials transportation process must know all of them. Remember, ignorance of the law is not an excuse when it comes to an investigation. Refresher training allows them to stay on top of everything that is new and different in this field.
In addition to educating the HAZMAT employee to new regulations, refresher training helps to reinforce the training they have received in the past. Occasional refresher training helps the employee remember information and tasks that are vital to their job, yet might not be performed every day. By both updating the employee’s knowledge, and reinforcing skills and knowledge previously learned, safety of an organization is strengthened. This safety benefits everyone, to include employees, employers, shippers, receivers, and even innocent bystanders. Because of this, recurrent training should be looked at as an investment in the business, and a properly trained employee as a valuable asset to the workforce.
An organization should properly manage the training of employees and schedule refresher training when needed. American Cylinder and Safety is happy to help. We can provide training in all of the required types. We can accomplish this through coming to your facility, or through online options. Contact us today to schedule your training or answer your questions.
|Posted on November 16, 2018 at 2:55 PM|
Entities that work with compressed gasses fall under the jurisdiction of both the Department of Transportation (via 49 CFR) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) via 29 CFR. Because of this, employers are mandated to conduct training for their employees dictated by both government entities. The result of not complying can be extremely expensive in the event there is an accident where an employee is injured. Employers who have hazardous materials in their workplace are required to train employees on safety data sheets, labels, and the associated hazards of the materials. Recently, a company in Alabama was fined for just this violation. Legend Directional Services LLC, was fined $28,445 by OSHA when an investigation into the death of an employee found that a lack of training resulted in the rupture of multiple cylinders. Help to keep your employees safe, and your pocketbook intact, by conducting the mandated training, and keeping it up to date. American Cylinder and Safety can assist in this training either at your facility, or through online training. Contact us for more information.
|Posted on October 30, 2018 at 10:35 AM|
Luxfer has finally released its position on Eddy Current Testing of Luxfer cylinders made of 6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy. The short version is that Luxfer does not require or recommend Eddy Current Testing of cylinders made of 6061-T6. These are cylinders manufactured by Luxfer after 01 July 1988. This position reflects the official position released by Catalina Cylinders a few years ago. The full position statement and release can be found here:
Eddy Current testing of cylinders manufactured out of 6351-T6 Aluminum Alloy is still required by law as mandated in 49 CFR.