[ID] => 10040
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-09-03 18:11:34
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-03 17:11:34
[post_content] => Delegates to this year’s annual Dangerous Goods Seminar, hosted by the UK Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT), had the chance to hear all about the rule changes that will face them next year. Senior officials from the various regulatory bodies provided a full overview of the 2019 text for all modes, as detailed in the first part of this report (HCB September 2018, page 62).
Also on the agenda at the Seminar, which took place at the Daventry Court Hotel in early June, were speakers from industry and from the enforcement agencies, who reported on what is going on down on the ground. Among those was Nick Deal of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), who gave an insight into what drivers face when subjected to a roadside inspection, both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
A common issue during a roadside inspection is that the driver reacts badly to being pulled over; this alone can lead to trouble, and Nick advised drivers to remain calm and courteous. After all, the inspector is only doing his or her job.
Issues also occur when UK drivers go across the English Channel. There are some apparently minor requirements in other countries that can trip up the unwary. For instance, in Germany, anyone driving a load of explosives must have undergone training (in German) on the German Explosives Act on top of ADR. In the Basque region of Spain and in Catalonia there are specific routing requirements for loads that require the orange-coloured plate: vehicles must only use motorways and other major roads, leaving at the nearest exit to their final destination. In Poland, the transport document must declare the owner of the goods. Nick illustrated these and other differences with some cases from his notebook, which sometimes finish with the driver having to pay a fine, in cash.
DRIVERS AT THE SHARP END
Nick also stressed the importance of safe loading. The Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency (DVSA) and the Police, which carry out roadside inspections in the UK, will be looking to see that the load is secured. An insecure load can lead to a fixed penalty of £100 and if the vehicle is deemed to be in a dangerous condition it can result in prosecution, which affects the owner’s rating under the Operator Compliance Recognition Scheme. RHA has a document that provides guidance to its members on load securing.
A big non-compliance issue involves fire extinguishers, which account for something like half of all enforcement actions. The rules require extinguishers to be protected from the weather but also be easily accessible; hauliers need to think about where they place extinguishers on their vehicles – and make sure they are kept up to date.
Nick also spoke about the orange-coloured plates required for some dangerous cargoes. They must be affixed to the front and rear of the transport unit and “set in a vertical plane”. That means they cannot be put inside the windscreen and cannot be left dangling on a chain.
Speaking from the other side of the inspection, Phil David, who was just about to retire after a 29-year career with South Wales Police, gave a perspective on what the enforcement agencies are finding on the roads.
In general, Phil said, drivers often lack the knowledge they ought to have; five years between refresher training is, he said, too long. There is also often a laziness on the part of drivers, who fail to apply the training they have received. Drivers are also under pressure from their employers to get more done. Too often there is no overarching control at the dispatch point and no qualified person in charge. This all amounts to a system failure, Phil said.
Phil followed this up with plenty of illustrations of the kinds of problems that emerge during roadside inspections – the audience always lap this up – before offering some solutions. Of the 3,500 or so annual checks made, 37 per cent involve some sort of prohibition, but there is no end deterrent and no mechanism for cancelling a driver’s ADR certificate. Increased sanctions are needed, he said, but there simply are not enough enforcement personnel out there to do an effective job. The only way to bring industry into line, he said, is a graduated system of fines.
ROADSIDE, PORT SIDE
Phil Lapczuk of DVSA also had plenty to say about roadside inspections, noting that around 85 per cent of all dangerous goods-related infractions are under the control of the driver. The driver should know and check that the correct personal protective equipment, fire extinguishers, instructions in writing, etc are on the truck when he sets off. It is vital to make sure that drivers, fleet managers and other personnel involved in moving dangerous goods by road all have specific responsibilities under the regulations.
DVSA has introduced a system of ‘earned recognition’ and working with partners to look at future activities. “We want you to be compliant,” Phil said.
There was also an update on enforcement in the maritime mode from Helen North, who at the time of the Seminar was at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) but has since returned to DfT’s Dangerous Goods Division. MCA’s Enforcement Unit has the job of following up on significant breaches of safety and environmental issues covered by Merchant Shipping legislation. It had 138 surveyors based in nine offices around the UK. Last year the Enforcement Unit started 87 investigations and 12 prosecutions; however, hardly any of those involved dangerous goods.
As an example, Helen quoted a case at Heysham, which MCA attended after being alerted by the Lancashire Police. The load included some undeclared dangerous goods; the driver was not ADR-trained; there were no placards for maritime transport; and the dangerous goods notes were either inaccessible or non-compliant. The Enforcement Branch wrote to the freight forwarder, haulier and consignor, notifying them of the non-compliance and requiring improvements. The next call to Heysham was to attend a similar vehicle, with the same parties involved. The freight forwarder was then interviewed under caution and is now in liquidation; the consignor was also interviewed under caution, given a Formal Caution and has now taken corrective measures.
MCA is also responsible for inspecting containers at the dock although, compared to its counterparts in some other countries, it has very limited resources available. An average of around 200 containers have been inspected each year, with one-third receiving a prohibition notice. Half of the deficiencies found relate to securing and 25 per cent to placarding and labelling.
LET’S GET TECHNICAL
In addition to issues surrounding enforcement, the VCA Seminar also found time for some more technical presentations. Steve Gillingham, principal engineer with DfT’s Dangerous Goods Division, reported on progress with the faults found in certain road tankers over the past few years. These largely revolved around the weld quality of tanker barrels, discovered during routine inspections. DfT has invested £2m in a research programme, early results from which had been presented at the previous three Seminars.
ADR requires that welds must be “skilfully made” and “afford the fullest safety” but the research programme found some circumferential welds containing numerous and extensive indicators of fusion defects; there was also evidence of cracking and shell distortion. Going further than the initial problem, DfT found that initial surface cracks can be found in certain tankers built before a twin-wire welding process was introduced in 2010 are predicted to cause failures during rollovers.
Steve’s presentation was of most use to engineers in the audience, delving very deeply as it did into some very technical areas; the work undertaken by DfT has raised a number of issues, much of which was to be discussed at the autumn Joint Meeting of RID/ADR/ADN Experts and the Working Group on Tanks.
Ziyad Akhlaq of VCA’s Dangerous Goods Office spoke on the theme of tank and pressure vessel approvals, explaining the way in which DfT can deal with tanks that had non-conformities at the time of construction. If presented with such tanks, DfT will be able to issue an authorisation, based on a review of the relevant regulations, standards and codes and on tolerances and allowances; this may involve the retrofitting of material to strengthen the tank and additional tests, checks or inspections. Any such authorisation will be for domestic carriage only and will be time-restricted.
Ziyad also spoke about the P15Y approvals system, which allows for the extension of the inspection period for pressure receptacles used for certain gases. Companies applying for such approvals must be audited to the ISO 9000 quality standard and have to produce annual returns giving details of the cylinders involved.
Also on a technical point, Richard Hakeem, director of safety and technical policy at the UK LPG Association, with the assistance of DfT’s Darren Freezor, looked at the risk estimation work being done by the EU Agency for Railways (ERA). This four-year project aims to flesh out the requirements for risk management, such as those in Chapter 1.9 of RID and ADR.
It has so far generated a guide for risk estimation and a guide for decision makers, which are due for release later this year. These guides are not compulsory and ERA will be looking for feedback from industry with a view to revising them over the next few years.
However, the LPG sector is not convinced by the recommendations resulting from this work, Richard said, especially those for the retrofitting of thermal protection on road tankers, where the costs appear to be disproportionate.
Richard moved on to the informal working group on boiling liquid evaporating vapour explosions (BLEVEs), which met in February 2018. Work is still going on but, Richard said, the outcome should improve the quality and transparency of assumptions used in risk estimations and drive wider harmonisation across industry.
VCA’s Dangerous Goods Seminar always hears from someone from outside the UK’s borders and this year it was the turn of Eric Miggelbrink, senior policy officer at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, who explained the Dutch perspective on the regulations.
That perspective has to take into account the massive fireworks storage explosion in Enschede in May 2000 that killed 22 people. It was, Eric said, the trigger for renewed thinking on risks and risk-based decision making in the Netherlands. “We can’t exclude risks, but we can minimise them and prepare for response,” he said.
The Government has established a national risk profile, covering territorial security, physical safety, economic security, ecological security and social and political stability. Tectonically accurate, this sees the highest risk as being severe flooding, and the lowest risk an earthquake. The government is now provided with information on an annual basis, showing the relative risks, in order to guide decision making.
The national risk profile allows an integrated approach to safety, the ‘Safety Chain’. This starts with removing unsafe situations or putting in place measures to reduce the severity of an unsafe event. “Dealing with risk demands policy decisions,” Eric said.
Eric quoted a 2013 European Commission study on harmonised risk acceptance criteria in the transport of dangerous goods. There is, in general, increasing demand for safety but different EU member states have developed different answers. This means there is the potential for risk to be shifted from one country to another and, potentially, an overall increase in risk for the population. This approach calls into question the effectiveness of the regulatory system.
In 2014, the Joint Meeting of Experts decided to develop a method for the sharing of knowledge on risks and to draw up guidance, including a common understanding on the calculation of risks and the subsequent decision-making based on those risks.
For the Netherlands, the approach to risk in the transport of dangerous goods builds on RID, ADR and ADN and consists of a ‘Base Network’ involving clusters of chemical industry activity, the main ports in the country, and international routes to and from the hinterland. This approach is designed to resolve the growing tension between the transport of dangerous goods and spatial planning, especially the spread of housing and other construction into risk zones. This had led to pressure by municipalities to ban the transport of dangerous goods on certain routes, threatening to increase bottlenecks in the supply chain.
The Base Network now creates a boundary and a clear distinction between dangerous goods activities and residential populations. Eric explained the mathematics behind the risk assessment and said that the restrictions that emerged have now been embodied in legislation.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019
As ever, the VCA Dangerous Goods Symposium ended with an invitation to the audience to take time to speak to the regulators and other speakers, who made themselves available throughout the two days – even over breakfast.
The date of next year’s Symposium – the 34th in the series – has not yet been settled; those interested in attending should keep an eye on the dangerous goods page on the VCA website
, where details will be posted as soon as they are available.
[post_title] => Enforcement: Do the right thing
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[post_name] => enforcement-do-the-right-thing
[post_modified] => 2018-08-31 18:16:12
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-31 17:16:12
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[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10040
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