[ID] => 9694
[post_author] => 43
[post_date] => 2018-05-23 11:49:38
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-23 10:49:38
[post_content] => How does our record look?
I used to live in a closet. Or more precisely, the room I lived in had once been a closet. In trying to allow each child to have their own room, my parents had remodeled a walk-in closet. Somehow they had built-in around the room clothes storage, bookshelves, and a desk, and left just enough room for a single bed. There was almost no floor space, but nothing had to be shared with a sibling.
The older of my two baby sisters loved two things (at least). She loved having her own room, her own private room, which she kept private in her absence by adding a padlock to it. And she loved records, those old, flat, black circles of vinyl with spiral grooves in them that could play pre-recorded music. Records came in two sizes, and the smaller size usually only had one song on each side. In order to play multiple songs in succession, records could be stacked up on a spindle, held flat by a crane-like arm. As each record finished, a new one would drop the down, the needle would re-engage and the new song would begin to play. But if only one record was put on the spindle and the crane-like arm moved off to the side, that record would play over and over and over again. It was a sort of ‘dead technology’ version of auto-repeat.
One memorable afternoon after school, this sister became enraged at the rest of her siblings and took revenge. She turned the volume on her record-player up to 11, plopped one long small record on it, moved the arm to the side, engaged the needle, and padlocked the door to her room. The same song, Day by Day (from Godspell, I think, but I really don’t like thinking about it), began to play throughout the house over and over and over again. My parents weren’t home from work, my sister had gone off to some sort of practice or meeting, and the weather was so lousy there wasn’t any place to go outside. Even in my own room with its door closed and a pillow over my head I could hear that damn song. When a record gets scratched, it can annoyingly play the same fragment of song over and over, something my sister had done to us on a slightly larger scale, and intentionally.
I know, it’s forty years later, and I should let it go. I assure you, I am still in the middle of the process of doing just that.
And now, I get to do it to you. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, almost exactly two years ago I wrote this “… a decade or so ago, I remarked to a former head of the UN Committee (now Subcommittee) of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods that I thought the Committee must be a very exciting place to be. Perhaps wearied by a lifetime of service to the DG community, he told me that the DG regulations were mature, and that only tweaking remained, which I took to mean that he thought the excitement was over and that only minor stewardship work remained…”. Yesterday, at a members meeting (mini-conference) of a notable DG organization a regulator described this view to the room as “fine-tuning of a long-standing system”, although I’m not sure the second regulator necessarily agreed that it was an accurate assessment. Lots of our current system, especially the hazard communication basics are mature and only need fine-tuning, but lots needs major work, especially classification and packaging of articles. Please allow me several examples to explain.
Packaging of chemicals has long been mandated with the object of preventing exposure to the contents. Almost regardless of hazard (Class 1 the notable exception), as long as the chemical remains in the package, everything is fine. Corrosives don’t corrode if still in their packaging, flammables don’t burn, toxics don’t poison, and so on. Now, we’re changing our approach for at least some articles, to be more like Class 1, where mere containment of starting material isn’t enough. The most dramatic example of this is lithium battery packaging, where all the effects of burning are expected to be contained, or at least minimized. And there are murmurings that other articles, such as DG in equipment or devices or machinery should possibly be packaged with an eye toward containing any negative effects of their bad reactions.
Classification of articles has recently changed dramatically, with a whole new series of Proper Shipping Names, covering almost every existing hazard class or division. Some wonder if this will have the effect of preventing future classification problems, or if more work will need to be done on the classification system for articles. Again, a prime example of this begins with lithium batteries, and the possibility of a Class 0 or Class 10 for ‘energy-containment devices’.
Of course, our current chemical classification system is starting to look like it needs a major overhaul. 5.2 materials are in fact oxidizers, just oxidizers that happen to also have a subsidiary hazard of flammability as well. Why should 5.2 even be its own classification? We have some (newer) desensitized liquids that won’t burn in Class 3, and some (older) desensitized liquids that won’t burn in a division we name ‘Flammable Solids’. Also in 4.1, our ‘Flammable Solids’ we have included self-reactive liquids, and self-polymerizing liquids. For flammability we put liquids and solids in different classifications, but for toxic materials we put liquids and solids in the same division. And we’ve even got issues with what is a liquid versus what is in a ‘liquid state’ and how to package and communicate the hazard of a DG that is solid by definition but often a liquid during normal transport.
And yes, I’ve moaned about some of this before. I apologize if I sound like a broken record. But, perhaps, it’s time to get things fixed.
This is the latest in a series of musings from the porch swing of Gene Sanders, principal of Tampa-based WE Train Consulting and chair of the Dangerous Goods Trainers Association; telephone: (+1 813) 855 3855; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[post_title] => View from the Porch Swing - like a broken record
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
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[post_name] => view-porch-swing-like-broken-record
[post_modified] => 2018-05-23 11:50:47
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-23 10:50:47
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=9694
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View from the Porch Swing – like a broken record