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Each year more and more states are adopting International Codes.  The chart below is a list of all states and US Territories that have adopted these codes, the code edition they adopted, whether the code is enforced state wide or local governments, etc.  This listing is up-to-date thru February 2015.  Are you complying with your state's HAZMAT, Fire, Building, and Mechanical Codes?  Those of you working at facilities that handle/store hazardous materials, you should take some time out of your busy days and read those state codes that are applicable to your facility.  I am not a big fan of using codes and standards to drive safety, but they do represent our lowest safety denominator for how we manage these hazards.  OSHA and EPA regs get all the attention and $, but some of these codes contain some REALLY GOOD requirements that will add value to any safety program.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission has adopted new conditioning standards to improve the safety of Bakken crude oil for transport.  Order No. 25417 sets operating standards for conditioning equipment to properly separate production fluids into gas and liquid. The order includes parameters for temperatures and pressures under which the equipment must operate to ensure that light hydrocarbons are removed before oil is shipped to market.  The three-member commission approved Commission Order 25417 after receiving additional comments on the working draft which the Commission discussed on November 13, 2014.  The new standard -- Commission Order No. 25417 -- requires operators to condition Bakken crude oil to a vapor pressure of no more than 13.7 pounds per square inch (psi).

Over the years I have posted several articles about hazardous materials being unloaded to the wrong tank.  And it seems that each time I do I get several e-mails stating how rare these events are and that I am being an alarmist.  So I thought I would post a section of a PHMSA Investigation Report from an incident where Sulfuric Acid was unloaded into a tank with Hydrochloric Acid.  The host facility knew what was in the tank; however, they did not inform the driver of the tank contents.  The acid tank was NOT labeled and things go downhill from there.  Count the number of failures from this listing of the events leading up to the gas release...

Propane cylinders must be periodically requalified to be safe for use. Do not use cylinders that have not been requalified because you risk property damage, severe injuries, or death.  To see if your cylinder is okay to use, look for these markings:

PHMSA is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations to maintain alignment with international standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations, and vessel stowage requirements. These revisions are necessary to harmonize the Hazardous Materials Regulations with recent changes made to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions (ICAO TI) for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN Model Regulations) and subsequently address three petitions for rulemaking.  CLICK HERE for details

News reports of disasters often quote witnesses who said they heard some sort of explosion connected to the event. While deaths, injuries and damage resulting from explosions are devastating in every way, there are distinctions in the model fire codes among explosion types.  In general, an explosion is the rapid and violent expansion of gases, which may include a shock wave, that can disrupt materials and enclosures in the vicinity. Explosions can result from chemical changes (such as rapid oxidation), physical changes (such as catastrophic failure of pressure vessels), or atomic changes (nuclear fission or fusion).  The model codes differentiate between two types of explosions based on the shock wave travel speed.

 
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