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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation I-90-012
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 A MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION FOR CYLINDERS AND OTHER COMPARABLE CONTAINERS TO DISTINGUISH THOSE THAT CONTAIN SIGNIFICANT QUANTITIES OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS FROM THOSE THAT ARE EMPTY (EXCEPT FOR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS RESIDUE), WHEN IN TRANSPORTATION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Reconsidered
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: 12/13/1990
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: RSPA (Closed - Reconsidered)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: RSPA
Date: 12/13/1990
Response:

From: RSPA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/24/1990
Response: DEVELOPING A PROCEDURE TO DISTINGUISH EMPTY CONTAINERS FROM OTHERS IN A HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ACCIDENT INVOLVES OPERA TIONAL AND COST CONSIDERATIONS THAT COULD PRESENT SERIOUS PROBLEMS TO BOTH SHIPPERS AND USERS OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. TO PUT THE SIZE, COST, AND COMPLEXITY OF THE PROBLEM IN PERSPECTIVE, THERE IS AN ESTIMATED 200 MILLION CYLINDERS IN USE IN THE UNITED STATES. THE APPLICATION AND REVOVAL OF A THE APPLICATION AND REMOVAL OF A LEVEL OF CONTENTS MARKING ON A CYLINDER EACH TIME IT IS FILLED AND EMPTIED WOULD BE VERY COSTLY FOR PRIVATE INDUSTRY TO IMPLEMENT, AND DIFFICULT FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ENFORCE. BECAUSE OF THE WIDE VARIETY OF OPERATING FACTOR TO BE CONSIDERED, A MARKING PROCEDURE THAT MAY BE EFFICIENT AND COST-EFFECTIVE FOR ONE COMPANY MAY BE COMPLETELY IMPRACTICAL FOR ANOTHER. FORCING THIS TYPE OF OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENT ON SHIPPERS AND USERS BY REGULATION WOULD BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO THE FEDERAL ROLE OF PROMOTING SAFETY IN A REASONABLE AND COST-EFFECTIVE MANNER, PARTICULARLY IN REGARD TO THE LIMITED BENEFITS TO BE GAINED FROM DISPLAY OF FILL LEVEL MARKINGS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE SIZE OF MARKING THAT COULD BE DISPLAYED ON MOST CYLINDERS WOULD BE TOO SMALL TO BE USEFUL FOR EMERGENCY RESPONDERS AT A SAFETY DISTANCE, ESPECIALLY DURING THE EARLY STAGES OF AN ACCIDENT. RSPA CONCLUDES THAT FILL LEVEL MARKINGS WOULD PROVIDE LIMITED BENEFITS AND LARGE OPERA TIONAL COSTS; THEREFORE, A REGULATION TO REQUIRE THEM SHOULD NOT BE PROMULGATED. WE REQUEST THAT RECOMMENDATION I-90-12 BE CLASSIFIED 'CLASSED-ACCEPTABLE ACTION."