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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation I-90-006
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 11:30 A.M., ON NOVEMBER 30, 1988, A TRACTOR-FLATBED SEMITRAILER OPERATED BY HY YIELD BROMINE COMPANY OVERTURNED AT THE INTERSECTION OF TWO FARM ROADS IN A SPARSELY POPULATED AREA OF COLLIER COUNTY, FLORIDA. THE SEMITRAILER WAS LOADED WITH 32 CYLINDERS OF A POISONOUS AND TOXIC BY INHALATION MIXTURE, 98 PERCENT METHYL BROMIDE AND 2 PERCENT CHLOROPICRIN. ELEVEN OF THE CYLINDERS WERE FULL, EACH CONTAINING ABOUT 1,500 POUNDS OF THE POISONOUS MIXTURE, AND THE REMAINDER OF THE CYLINDERS WERE PARTIALLY FULL OR EMPTY EXCEPT FOR RESIDUE. THE DRIVER HAD COMPLETED THE SECOND OF FOUR SCHEDULED STOPS WHEN THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE RESEARCH AND SPECIAL PROGRAMS ADMINISTRATION: MODIFY THE COMPLIANCE PROGRAM TO DETERMINE THAT CONTAINERS ARE REMOVED FROM USE IN TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS WHEN THOSE CONTAINERS ARE IDENTIFIED AS NOT MEETING SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Intermodal
Location: Collier County, FL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA89MZ001
Accident Reports: ​Puncture of a Cylinder Containing a Mixture of Methyl Bromide and Chloropicrin Following the Overturn of a Tractor/Semitrailer
Report #: HZM-90-01
Accident Date: 11/30/1988
Issue Date: 3/23/1990
Date Closed: 10/4/1995
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 10/4/1995
Response: THE BOARD NOTES THAT RSPA, IN RESPONDING TO THESE TWO RECOMMENDATIONS, HAS DEVELOPED FORMAL PROCEDURES FOR EXAMINING & TESTING CONTAINERS THAT DO NOT COMPLY WITH DOT SPECIFICATIONS & FOR ANALYZING RESULTS TO DETERMINE THE RISK ASSOCIATED WITH THE AREAS OF NONCOMPLIANCE. DEPENDING ON THE LEVEL OF RISK INVOLVED, RSPA INTENDS TO REMOVE THESE CONTAINERS FROM SERVICE OR TAKE SOME ACTION TO REMOVE THE HAZARD, SUCH AS RETROFITTING, DERATING, OR REQUIRING ADDITIONAL OPERATIONAL CONTROLS. WHILE THESE PROCEDURES DO NOT REQUIRE STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL REGULATIONS, RSPA'S FOCUS ON ENSURING THE SAFETY OF DOT SPECIFICATION CONTAINERS THROUGH EXAMINATION, TESTING, & RISK ANALYSIS MEETS THE INTENT OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS. THEREFORE I-90-5 & -6 ARE CLASSILFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/28/1995
Response: ACTION TAKEN ON THIS RECOMMENDATION HAS BEEN ADDRESSED IN THE FORMAL WRITTEN PROCEDURE DESCRIBED UNDER OUR RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION I-90-5. AS PART OF THIS PROCEDRUE, CYLINDERS THAT POSE A SERIOUS THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY WILL BE RECALLED & SUFFICIENT ENFORCEMENT ACTION WILL BE TAKEN TO ENSURE THAT THE RECALL OF THE PACKAGINGS INVOLVED DOES TAKE PLACE. ALTHOUGH RSPA IN THE PAST HAS NOT HAD A WRITTEN PROCEDURE FOR ADDRESSING PACKAGINGS FOUND IN NONCOMPLIANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS WE HAVE IN PRACTICE TAKEN ACTION CONSISTENT WITH THE WRITTEN PROCEDURE. FOR EXAMPLE, WE HAVE IN THE PAST DERATED CYLINDERS, REQUIRED RETROFIT, & REMOVED FROM SERVICE CYLINDERS FOUND TO PRESENT AN IMMINENT HAZARD. THEY REQUESTED THAT THE SR BE CLASSIFED "CLOSED--ACCPETABLE ALTERNATIVE ACTION."

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 7/8/1994
Response: THE BOARD NOTES THAT RSPA, IN RESPONDING TO THESE TWO RECOMMENDATIONS, IS DEVELOPING WRITTEN PROCEDURES PERTAINING TO DOT SPECIFICATION CONTAINERS THAT WERE NOT PROPERLY TESTED OR FAILED REQUIRED TESTS, & GUIDELINES CONCERNING THE RECALL OF CYLINDERS DEEMED TO POSE A SERIOUS SAFETY HAZARD. WE BELIEVE THAT THESE ARE POSITIVE ACTIONS, & REQUEST THAT COPIES OF THESE PROCEDURES & GUIDELINES BE PROVIDED WHEN THEY ARE ARE COMPLETED. HOWEVER, THE BOARD IS CONCERNED WITH RSPA'S POSITION THAT IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO REQUIRE THE TESTING OF RANDOMLY SELECTED CONTAINERS FROM LOTS THAT WERE IMPROPERLY TESED OR FAILED THE REQUIRED TESTS AS RECOMMENDED BY I-90-5, & THAT IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO RECALL & REMOVE CONTAINERS THAT FAIL TO MEET SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, AS RECOMMENDED BY I-90-6. WITHOUT RSPA'S STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF TESTING & OTHER SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, THE INTEGRITY OF ANY DOT SPECIFICATION CONTAINER IS QUESTIONABLE BECAUSE THERE IS NO ASSURANCE THAT THE CONTAINER MEETS THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR STRENGTH & INTEGRITY. RSPA HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT CYLINDERS & OTHER CONTAINER MARKED AS DOT SPECIFICATION CONTAINERS MEET ALL MINIMUM SAFETY REQUIREMENTS, INCLUDING THOSE FOR TESTING & INSPECTION, BEFORE THEY ARE USED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. THE BOARD AGAIN ENCOURAGES RSPA TO PROHIBIT THE TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS IN CONTAINERS THAT FAIL TO MEET THE DOT SPECIFICATION, INCLUDING THOSE CONTAINERS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN PROPERLY & SUCCESSFULLY TESTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH DOT REQUIREMENTS. PENDING RSPA'S RESPONSE, I-90-5 & -6 ARE CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/3/1994
Response: ACTION ON THIS RECOMMENDATION HAS BEEN COMBINED WITH THE PROCESS OUTLINED UNDER I-90-5. IN THIS PROCESS, CYLINDERS THAT DO NOT MEET THE REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS WILL BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE IN TRANSPORTATION IF IT IS DETERMINED THAT MINIMAL NONCOMPLIANCE WAS INVOLVED & ONLY A MINIMAL HAZARD EXITS. OUR RECORDS DO NOT INDICATE THAT CYLINDERS POSING A MINIMAL HAZARD ARE A MAJOR FACTOR IN CAUSING SERIOUS ACCIDENTS. WE UNDERSTAND YOUR CONCERN TO ENSURE THAT EVERY CYLINDER IS TRANSPORTED SAFELY UNDER EVERY CONTINGENCY. HOWEVER, THERE ARE NON-COMPLIANCE INCIDENTS THAT HAVE LITTLE OR NO EFFECT ON SAFETY (E.G. FAILURE TO RETAIN TEST SAMPLES) & SHOULD BE MORE APPROPRIATELY HANDLED BY A CIVIL PENALTY THAN RECALL OF THE CONTAINERS. THE FACT THAT A COMPANY TESTS ITS PACKAGINGS, BUT FAILS TO TEST THEM PROPERLY, IS NOT PRIMA-FACIE EVIDENCE THAT THE PACKAGINGS ARE BAD OR INADEQUATE. IT COULD INDICATE THAT THE COMPANY IS LAX IN ITS PROCEDURES, WHICH MAY WARRANT A CIVIL PENALTY ACTION, BUT NOT NECESSARILY A RECALL. ALSO, IN MANY CASES RECALL IS IMPRACTICAL BECAUSE THE CONTAINERS ARE NOT TRACEABLE. WE ARE DEVELOPING A DEFINITION OF "MINIMAL HAZARD" WHICH WILL RELATE TO "REAL WORLD" SITUATIONS INVOLVING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS IN DOT SPECIFICATION CYLINDERS. THIS DEFINITION WILL PROVIDE SUFFICIENT GUIDELINES TO ENSURE THAT CYLINDERS THAT POSE A SERIOUS THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY WILL BE RECALLED.

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 6/21/1993
Response: OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY FURTHER RESPONSE FROM THE RSPA REGARDING THESE RECOMMENDATIONS. WE WOULD APPRECIATE BEING INFORMED ABOUT EFFORTS THAT HAVE BEEN OR ARE BEING MADE TO IMPLEMENT THESE RECOMMENDATIONS.

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 12/13/1990
Response:

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/24/1990
Response: RSPA WILL FORMALIZE AND STRENGTHEN ITS EXISTING PRACTICES FOR DEALING WITH SITUATIONS IN WHICH IT DISCOVERS THAT DOT SPECIFICATION OR EXEMPTION PACKAGINGS WERE NOT TESTED, FAILED REQUIRED TESTS, OR OTHERWISE DO NOT MEET THAT APPLICABLE REGULATORY OR EXEMPTION REQUIREMENTS. UNDER THESE WRITTEN PROCEDURES, THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS WILL BE TAKEN. NONCOMPLYING PACKAGES ARE DISCOVERED DURING INSPECTIONS OR INVESTIGATIONS, THE CHIEF OF THE ENFORCEMENT DIVISION PROMPTLY WILL CONFER WITH THE CHIEF OF THE TECHNICAL DIVI SION WHEN AND EXEMPTION OR APPROVAL IS INVOLVED. THEY WILL DISCUSS THE AVAILABLE INFORMATION, OBTAIN ANY NECESSARY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, AND DETERMINE WHICH ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING COURSES OF ACTION IS APPROPRIATE: 1. IF THEY DETERMINE THAT AN "IMMINENT HAZARD" EXISTS, THEY WILL IMMEDIATELY REQUEST THE APPARENT VIOLATOR TO TAKE APPROPRIATE AND TIMELY CORRECTIVE ACTION (E.G., PACKAGING RECALL OR DESTRUCTION). IF SUCH ACTION IS NOT UNDERTAKEN EXPEDITIOUSLY, THEY WILL REQUEST THE CHIEF COUNSEL OF RSPA TO INITIATE APPROPRIATE ACTION UNDER SECTION 111 OF THE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TRANSP0R- TATION ACT (HMTA). IN ADDITION, WE WILL PUBLISH AN APPROPRIATE NOTICE CONCERNING THE DEFECTIVE PACKAGING IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER IF DEEMED NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC. FINALLY, WE WILL TAKE ADDITIONAL ACTIONS AS DESCRIBED IN THE FOLLWOING PARAGRAPHS AS APPRO- PRIATE. 2. IF WE DETERMINE THAT A LESSER HAZARD EXISTS, WE WILL EXPEDITIOUSLY REQUEST THE APPARENT VIOLATOR TO TAKE APPROPRIATE AND TIMELY CORRECTIVE ACTION. THAT ACTION MAY INCLUDE ADDITIONAL ANALYSIS AND/OR TESTING TO DETERMINE THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM, PACKAGING RECALL OR RETROFIT, DESTRUCTION, NOTIFICATION TO DISTRIBUTORS OR OTHER RECIPIENTS OF PACKAGINGS, AND INSTITUTION OF CORRECTIVE ACTIONS TO PREVENT A RECUR- RENCE OF THE PROBLEM. WE ALSO WILL CONSIDER PUBLICATION OF A FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE AND, THROUGH THE CHIEF COUNSEL'S OFFICE, WILL INSTITUTE APPROPRIATE ENFORCEMENT ACTION. THAT ENFORCEMENT ACTION MAY INCLUDE A COMPLIANCE ORDER UNDER SECTION 109 (A) OF THE HMTA OR WITHDRAWAL OF AN EXEMPTION. 3. IF WE DETERMINE THAT NO HAZARD OR ONLY A MINIMAL HAZARD EXISTS, WE WILL, THROUGH THE CHIEF COUNSEL'S OFFICE, INSTITUTE APPROPRIATE CIVIL PENALTY AND/OR COMPLIANCE ORDER ENFORCEMENT ACTION. BECAUSE OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE ACTIONS PROPOSED, WE REQUEST THAT RECOMMENDATION I-90-06 BE CLASSIFIED AS "OPEN ACCEPTABLE ACTION."