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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation I-90-008
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: REQUIRE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS CARGO TO BE SECURED IN TRANSPORTATION WITH ADEQUATE CARGO RESTRAINT SYSTEMS TO PREVENT EJECTION OF CARGO FROM VEHICLES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable 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: 7/20/2001
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 7/20/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that RSPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in 1998 to require cylinders containing hazardous materials in motor vehicles to be securely lashed to prevent them from shifting, overturning, or being ejected from the vehicle. The Safety Board is disappointed to learn that commenters strongly objected to the costs and operational impacts of such a requirement. Although RSPA states that it needs to broaden its requirement that hazardous materials packages be secured against movement within the vehicle under conditions normally incident to transportation from covering only certain hazard classes to cover all hazardous materials, no such rulemaking currently exists. It has been more than 10 years since this recommendation was issued without RSPA's issuing any regulations to require hazardous materials cargo to be secured in transportation with adequate cargo restraint systems. The intent of this recommendation is to keep containers holding hazardous material cargo attached to the vehicle. While we agree, and have so recommended (as discussed later in this letter) that attachments be designed to minimize the risk of puncturing other hazardous materials packagings (as proposed by RSPA), we do not believe such action can be considered an acceptable alternate approach to this recommendation. Because RSPA has not issued requirements, as recommended, Safety Recommendation I-90-8 is classified "Closed-Unacceptable Action."

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 3/9/2001
Response: On October 4, 1995, based on information provided in RSPA’s letter of July 28, 1995, Safety Recommendations I-90-8 and -9 were classified "Open--Unacceptable Response." To date, the Safety Board has received no further information from RSPA and would appreciate learning what action has been taken to implement these safety recommendations.

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/13/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 02/20/2001 1:49:20 PM MC# 2010138 RSPA Comments. On October 30, 1998, RSPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register under Docket No. RSPA-98-3684 (HM-220). A copy is enclosed. Among numerous other changes, we proposed to revise the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), at 5 177.840(a)(l), to require cylinders containing hazardous materials in motor vehicles to be securely lashed to prevent them from shifting, overturning or being ejected from the vehicle. The comment period on the proposed rule closed September 30, 1999. Commenters strongly objected to the costs and operational impacts of a requirement that restraints must prevent cylinders from being ejected in accident and overturn situations. They argued that the standards for cylinder construction and RSPA's incident records do not justify the burden of the requirement. The Safety Board's accident report states the cylinder puncture was most likely caused by the corner of a saddle-type foot on another cylinder. Attachments with sharp points are rarely used on cylinders. We proposed in HM-220, at 9 173.301(m), to prohibit the use of sharp metal attachments on cylinders to reduce the likelihood of puncturing other packages. We believe this corrective measure directly addresses the suspected problem and will impose minimal costs on cylinder owners and users. This proposal also responds to Safety Recommendation I-92-1 that urges RSPA to require that attachments to DOT hazardous materials packagings be designed to minimize the risk of puncturing other hazardous materials packagings. After reviewing the HM-220 comments and considering that a wide range of packagings with different configurations and sizes may be loaded on a vehicle, we find it neither practicable nor cost-beneficial to require carriers to secure each hazardous material package on a vehicle in a manner that will withstand every conceivable accident or overturn situation. The current regulations require hazardous materials packages containing Class 2 (gases), Class 3 (flammable liquid), Division 6.1 (toxic), Class 7 (radioactive) or Class 8 (corrosive) materials to be secured against movement within the vehicle under conditions normally incident to transportation. We believe this standard provides an acceptable level of safety. However, we recognize that the requirement probably should be broadened to include all hazardous materials packages instead of hazardous materials of certain hazard classes. We will propose these changes in a future rulemaking. Also, having determined that a final rule to prohibit the use of sharp-pointed attachments on cylinders appears to be cost-beneficial, we will propose a sharp-pointed attachment prohibition for other types of hazardous materials packagings. In view of the high costs and operational impacts of a requirement for restraints to prevent each hazardous material package in a vehicle from being ejected in an accident or overturn situation, we believe that implementing measures to ensure that sharp-pointed attachments are not used on hazardous material packagings and that all hazardous materials packages are secured under normal transportation conditions can adequately reduce risks of packaging punctures at lower costs. Therefore, we request that Safety Recommendations I-90-8 and I-92-1 be classified as "Open-Acceptable Alternative Action."

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 1/9/2001
Response: On October 4, 1995, based on information provided by RSPA in a letter dated July 28, 1995, Safety Recommendations I-90-8 and -9 were classified "Open--Unacceptable Response," pending further response. To date, the Safety Board has received no further response from the RSPA on these safety recommen-dations. We would appreciate learning what action has been taken since October 1995.

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 10/4/1995
Response: THE BOARD IS CONCERNED THAT RSPA HAS NOT FOLLOWED UP ON ITS PRIOR COMMITMENTS & HAS NOT MADE NOTICEABLE PROGRESS ON THE SAFETY ISSUES ADDRESSED BY I-90-8 THROUGH -10 IN MORE THAN 5 YEARS. RSPA INDICATES SUPPORT FOR THESE RECOMMENDATIONS BUT HAS DEMONSTRATED NO SUBSTANTIVE PROGRESS. THEREFORE I-90-8 THROUGH -10 WILL REMAIN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 7/28/1995
Response: RSPA AGREED THAT DEVELOPMENT OF A RESTRAINT SYSTEM COULD BE HELPFUL REDUCING INJURIES & DAMAGE IN HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ACCIDENTS & PLANNED RULEMAKING ACTION TO ACQUIRE THE NECESSARY SUPPORTING COST INFO. WE ARE INITIATING ACTION IN THE NEAR FUTURE TO ADDRESS SAFETY ISSUES IN THE CYLINDER AREA. THEY REQUESTED THAT THE SR BE CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ACTION" PENDING PUBLICATION OF THE RULE-MAKING.

From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 7/8/1994
Response: THE BOARD IS CONCERNED THAT AFTER 4 YEARS, RSPA HAS YET TO BEGIN OR IS STILL GATHERING INFO NEEDED TO INITIATE REGULATORY ACTION ON THE SAFETY ISSUES ADDRESSED BY RECOMMENDATIONS I-90-8, 9, & -10. THE BOARD DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT RSPA HAS MADE ANY SUBSTANTIVE PROGRESS TOWARD THE IMPLENTATION OF THESE THREE RECOMMENDATIONS, & WE URGE RSPA TO EXPEDITE ITS EFFORTS TO COMPLETE THE NEEDED REGULATORY ACTION. ALSO REGARDING I-90-10, RSPA INDICATED THAT THE ANPRM WILL FOCUS ON HIGH-PRESSURE CYLINDERS, WHICH MAY NOT INCLUDE SPECIFICATION 4BW CYLINDERS (THOSE INVOLVED IN THE ACCIDENT THAT LED TO THIS RECOMMENDATION). BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF SUBSTANTIVE PROGRESS, RECOMMENDATIONS I-90-, -9, & -10 ARE CLASSIFIED "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/3/1994
Response: IN OUR ANALYSIS OF THE VARIOUS FACTORS INVOLVED IN ADDRESSING THIS RECOMMENDATION, THE COST IMPACT OF USING RESTRAINT SYSTEMS, INCLUDING WEBS & STRAPS, COULD HAVE SERIOUS FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES FOR MANY SMALL COMPANIES INVOLVED. IN ORDER TO RECEIVED THE NECESSARY ECONOMIC & OPERATIONAL INFO TO PROPERLY STUDY THE CARGO RESTRAINT SYSTEM AREA, WE ARE INCLUDING THIS RECOMMENDATION IN A "NOTICE OF PETITIONS FOR RULEMAKING RECEIVED & OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RULEMAKING" (INCLUDING NTSB RECOMMENDATIONS) WHICH IS CURRENTLY UNDER DEVELOPMENT. WE EXPECT TO PUBLISH THIS NOTICE IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER BY THE END OF THIS YEAR. THE NOTICE WILL REQUEST INFO IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: 1) ESTIMATED INCREMENTAL COSTS & SAVINGS; 2) ANTICIPATED SAFETY BENEFITS OR INCREASED RISKS; 3) ESTIMATED BURDEN HOURS ASSOCIATED WITH PROPOSALS RELATED INFO COLLECTION; 4) IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESS; & 5) IMPACT ON THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT. SINCE RSPA IS COLLECTING RELEVANT DATA & ANALYZING THE USE OF RESTRAINT SYSTEMS FOR SECURING CYLINDERS DURING THE TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, WE REQUEST THAT I-90-8 BE RECLASSIFIED FROM "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION" TO "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

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: THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS RECOMMENDATION IS TO REQUIRE VERTICAL RESTRAINT SYSTEMS ON TRUCKS TO PREVENT CARGO FROM BEING EJECTED DURING AN ACCIDENT. LACK OF VERTICAL RESTRAINTS AND SHARP APPURTENANCES ON PACKAGINGS CONTRIBUTED TO THE SEVERITY OF THE COLLIER COUNTY ACCIDENT. THE RELEASE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS IN THIS ACCIDENT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED BY ELIMINATION OF EITHER CONDITION. ACCIDENT EXPERIENCE HAS NOT SHOWN EJECTION AND PACKAGING FAILURE TO BE A MAJOR PROBLEM. CONSIDERING THE LARGE VARIETY OF PACKAGING TYPES AND THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PACKAGES SHIPPED EACH YEAR, VERTICAL RESTRAINT IN ACCIDENTS COULD BE VERY COSTLY AND DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE, AND CREATE NEW OPERA TIONAL PROBLEMS AND HAZARDS. WE CONCLUDE A VERTICAL RESTRAINT REQUIREMENT COULD NOT BE PROMULGATED AS REGULATION BECAUSE ITS COST WOULD FAR EXCEED ITS BENEFIT. IN CONTRAST, WE BELIEVE ELIMINATION OF SHARP APPURTENANCES ON PACKAGINGS IS A MORE COST EFFECTIVE WAY TO MITIGATE THE CONSEQUENCES OF AN OVERTURN ACCIDENT. THEREFORE, AS AN ALTERNATIVE ACTION, RSPA WILL PUBLISH AN ANPRM TO ADDRESS SHARP APPURTENANCES ON CYLINDERS AND OTHER PACKAGINGS AS RECOMMENDED IN I-90-08 (SIC) ACTUAL RECOMMENDATION, I-90-07). RSPA CONCLUDES THAT RECOMMENDATION I-90-08 SHOULD NOT BE PROMULGATED AS A REGULATION BECAUSE ITS COSTS WOULD SUBSTANTIALLY EXCEED ITS BENEFIT. ACCORDINGLY, WE REQUEST THAT RECOMMENDATION I-90 08 BE CLASSIFIED AS "CLOSED - ACCEPTABLE ACTION."