[ID] => 11349
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-08-30 08:33:36
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-30 07:33:36
[post_content] => By September 1989, HCB was nearing the end of its first decade of publication and the format of the magazine had settled down: bookended by regulatory updates at the front of each issue (which in this number were extensive) and at the back the latest information on safety issues in the transport of dangerous goods, each copy also contained three or four special surveys on topics of interest to readers. In September 1989, for instance, those included tank container cleaning and repair depots, the transport of cryogenic materials, and dangerous goods warehousing.
As is the case today, the editor was also given the luxury of having a page to himself to discuss hot topics. Those who have been watching our current editor’s weekly videos (available on the HCB YouTube channel – subscribe now!) will have seen him discuss a number of important incidents that have provided lessons for everyone in the industry, being worried that those lessons may be forgotten as the old hands retire and corporate memory fades.
Back in September 1989, then editor Michael Corkhill was musing on exactly one such incident, when a fully laden gasoline tanker ran out of control on a hill in Herborn, Germany in July 1987 and crashed into a café, spilling its load that caught fire and killed four people. In the wake of that incident, the West German (as it still was) government and the European Commission were of the firm opinion that road transport is inherently less safe than other modes. The government put in place restrictions on the transport of dangerous goods by road that still exist – and apply equally to international transport, which comes as a surprise to some.
Another outcome of the Herborn incident was the introduction of the concept of the ‘dangerous goods safety advisor’, something that Germany worked hard to bring into ADR.
Mike Corkhill’s opinion at the time was the imposition of routing requirements over and above anything included in international regulation was contrary to the spirit of the Treaty of Rome and, with the free European market in goods and services about to arrive, this could prove problematic – although it has been allowed to stand now for nearly three decades.
The other major story in 1989 was the introduction of the UN-specification packaging. This had proved something of a windfall for HCB, with a number of manufacturers keen to advertise their capabilities – the September issue, for instance, carried adverts from Plysu Containers, Blagden Packaging, Van Leer and Greif – but it had also encouraged a dialogue through the pages of the magazine, with consultant Arthur Hancock taking the time to argue that the transition to the new system would be fraught with problems.
Indeed, Arthur’s argument sounds very familiar: while the system was meant to introduce greater harmonisation along with greater safety, that was in doubt in international terms as Australia had already implemented a requirement for UN-specification packaging, while Europe was to introduce similar measures on May 1990 and the rest of the world was aiming for January 1991. Furthermore, while there was no possibility that there would be any delay to the deadline, he suspected that shippers might be tempted to take a risk by relying on the lack of sufficient enforcement capacity.
[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: September 1989
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => 30-years-ago-september-1989
[post_modified] => 2019-08-06 08:37:10
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-06 07:37:10
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=11349
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[post_type] => post
[comment_count] => 0
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