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BATTERY PACKAGING AND TRANSPORTATION Aviation Organization is in particular focused on ramping up regulations and restrictions on the transport of lithium batteries. ICAO’s regulatory development process does not optimally involve industry participation. Regulators need to ensure that by focusing on lithium batteries safety requirements applicable to air transport that they don’t overlook the consequences of their actions in other sectors of society. Regulators should focus on a multifaceted approach to reducing risk and incidents not just imposing more regulations and restrictions. Consultation with industry representatives can result in regulations that are clear, effective and appropriate. It is critical that the regulations are developed through a process that allows input from all industry sectors so that appropriate alternatives can be implemented, enforced and understood by shippers and carriers alike. These decisions should take into account the implications to supply chains and on other segments of society including issues related to the preservation of human life and preventing injuries and fatalities outside of the aviation community. Restrictions that are implemented without appropriate consideration of the implications outside of aviation safety could have serious and adverse impacts to public safety and health. For instance, lithium batteries are used in medical devices, weather monitoring and warning systems, surveillance, disaster relief, emergency response and security equipment among other applications. A regulation reducing a target risk for one area of focus may increase

Some regulators and industry trade associations have indicated that imposing more regulation may not improve compliance of those shippers who intentionally violate current regulations. Compliant shippers are burdened with new regulations resulting in the expenditure of significant resources while noncompliant shippers continue to ignore the law. Shippers that continue to offer noncompliant shipments to air carriers need to be held accountable for their actions and penalized as appropriate as a means of changing behaviour

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The major problem is shipments coming out of countries where there is little oversight over shippers. In these countries the civil aviation authority puts the regulatory burden on the air carrier rather than the shippers. other risks ultimately resulting in greater loss of life, harm to the environment and the economy. All of these issues must ultimately be balanced. Safety agencies must be careful to avoid overlooking countervailing risks and examine potential risk trade-offs.

What advice do you give your clients, now that you’re a dangerous and hazardous goods regulation consultant? My clients range in size from small companies to large global corporations. Generally, I advise them on how to comply with the regulations and transport their dangerous goods safely and efficiently. I inform them about what any good inspector is going to look for and ensure that they’re prepared should they be visited by an enforcement officer. Most companies want to comply but have difficulty interpreting the regulations, tailoring their operations and training employees. Let’s say you have dangerous goods that you want to ship. That means the person who offers the package to a carrier has responsibilities to ensure that the shipment is compliant with the regulations — that it’s properly marked, labelled, packaged and documented. If there is an incident in trans-

that result in placing the public at risk. Understanding that even with the best safety oversight efforts aircraft may have undeclared shipments of lithium batteries is reason to ramp up the efforts to implement mitigation strategies that focus on enhancing fire suppression and detection systems. As it is, regulators are imposing tighter and tighter rules on US manufacturers who are largely compliant anyway, effectively burdening them with additional regulations, restrictions and higher costs without much risk reduction or safety enhancement.

portation, the carrier is obliged to report it to the DOT. Once an incident is reported, there is a high probability that the shipper will be visited and inspected. One day the inspector will show up and you will have no choice but to let him in. It is always best to be prepared for inspections and to have a robust compliance program and safety culture that encourages employees to identify deficiencies and is not punitive. I tell them what any given violation could cost. Some of the FAA’s fines are steep, but some aren’t tough enough. And yes, some shippers decide to fly under the radar screen, take their chances and if caught just pay the fine. I also recommend, especially if they’re new to shipping, and unfamiliar with all the DOT regulations, to find and work with a hazardous materials professional that can advise them accordingly.

Enforcement resources should be focused on the root causes of incidents and changing the behaviours of those individuals that put us all at risk. To stay solvent these companies often end up pushing manufacturing overseas but then some of the overseas companies that are not properly policed and audited send substandard products back to the US via the same non-compliant operators and shippers that no one is monitoring anyway, and jeopardizing consumer and public safety. Thus US regulators, lacking enough boots on the ground to inspect all those port-of-entry situations, just can’t protect consumers from faulty, poorly manufactured products and batteries.

Batteries International • Fall 2014 • 79

Batteries International — issue 93  

UPS embracing the latest technology — The global implications for energy storage of the latest UK TSO report — The changing rules on transpo...

Batteries International — issue 93  

UPS embracing the latest technology — The global implications for energy storage of the latest UK TSO report — The changing rules on transpo...