[ID] => 10031
[post_author] => 43
[post_date] => 2018-08-28 09:11:37
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-28 08:11:37
[post_content] => Dear Air Carriers,
I hear that you are interested in reducing the number of undeclared Dangerous Goods packages offered to you. If you are serious about this, read on. I think we can dramatically reduce the number of unintentionally undeclared DG shipments. I also have a separate suggestion for those caught intentionally offering DG undeclared, but public hanging isn’t likely to make a comeback as a regular method of punishment, so this letter is about the ‘Un-Un’s’, the unintentionally undeclared shipments.
As background, you should know that I’ve had customers unintentionally offer DG undeclared, and get caught, which is how they became my customers. Their first reaction, without exception, has been “that stuff isn’t hazardous”, usually, but not quite always, followed by “I can buy it in a grocery store”. The goods shipped undeclared were common sizes of lithium batteries or aerosols. So, a quick and dirty root cause analysis leads me to believe that if the public knew these kinds of retail products are Dangerous Goods, they wouldn’t ship undeclared.
Of course, it’s more than a bit much to ask air carriers to educate the public around the world about the regulatory difference between personal transport from retail establishments and commercial airline transport. But rather than try to educate everyone, we do have many, many great opportunities to educate a significant portion of the public, those who fly as passengers. And likely, those who can afford to fly regularly are more likely to be in positions of influence at their jobs.
Now, I do realize that some of you are cargo-only carriers, but bear with me, and remember you are sometimes in conferences or trade associations with the passenger carriers, who are perhaps more likely to listen to you than to me. And you are the ones that suffer most from un-un shipments.
Passengers often - heck, probably usually - bring DG with them when they fly. Not just lithium batteries and aerosols, but perfumes, colognes, hand sanitizers, and other personal items as well. Sure, certain amounts of these personal care items are allowing in checked luggage, carry-ons, or both. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t DG, it just means that they’re ‘allowed’ or ‘permitted’ DG.
It’s this crucial distinction that makes all the difference in whether the passenger learns what’s DG, or, whether they remain with a misconception that leads to un-un. Simple changes could easily teach passengers about what’s really DG. For example, when checking in, a passenger could be asked “do you have more than the allowed 70 ounces of personal care dangerous goods, such as batteries, perfumes, or aerosols”, instead of the typical “do you have any DG”. The latter question, when answered “NO”, and receiving no later correction when bags are inspected, reinforces in passengers’ minds that personal items are NEVER (emphasis added) DG. The former question though, instills in the passenger the idea that their aerosols or fragrances or computers/tablets/phones might possibly be DG.
Again, what my customers have told me about why they committed a violation can be relevant. One customer, whose company had shipped aerosols un-un, lamented that he’d flown on vacation two weeks before, and no one had told him that the aerosol sunscreen in his luggage was DG. The implication is that if he’d been told it was DG, albeit ‘allowed’ DG, he wouldn’t have committed an un-un violation when he returned to his workplace.
An objection that has been raised to this approach is that it may “frighten” the passengers, who may then choose a different air carrier that ‘doesn’t allow DG in the hold’. First, I’m not convinced that passengers will suddenly become afraid of their personal articles. But, more importantly, second, if all passenger carriers started communicating the regulations more effectively, and at the same time, there would be no alternative airlines that are ‘less frightening’.
So, that’s it. If all air carriers work together to make sure that passengers understand that although their DG is allowed, it is still DG, then when those passengers get back to work, they can stop offering those things as un-un. All it requires is a bit of cooperation and coordination amongst yourselves. Are you truly serious about reducing unintentionally undeclared shipments being offered? Show us.
A DG consultant not afraid to lose some business as violations decrease.
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 email@example.com.
[post_title] => View from the Porch Swing: Put your money where your mouth is
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => view-porch-swing-put-money-mouth
[post_modified] => 2018-08-28 09:12:44
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-28 08:12:44
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10031
[menu_order] => 0
[post_type] => post
[comment_count] => 0
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View from the Porch Swing: Put your money where your mouth is