DG Digest: Key OSHA deadline extended; Transport Canada publishes revisions and harmonizes on lithium batteries

The Federal Railroad Administration published a revised list of current Information Collection Requests; items which carriers will be responsible for executing if affected. A UP freight train climbs the long wooden trestle leading to the Green River Bridge in Kent, Washington on July 4th, 2017. Photo © 7/2017 by Nikki Burgess; all right reserved.

Happy July everyone! Hopefully, everyone enjoyed a long and relaxing Independence Day holiday. Our nation’s 241st birthday finds regulatory activity continuing to be slow; here’s the most recent standout items:


On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a rule entitled ‘‘Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses’’ with an effective date of January 1, 2017 for the final rule’s electronic reporting requirements. The final rule sets an initial deadline of July 1, 2017, as the date by which certain employers are required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A to OSHA electronically. This action proposes to extend the initial submission deadline for 2016 Form 300A data to December 1, 2017, to provide the new administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements prior to their implementation and allow affected entities sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system, which will not be available until August 1. The proposed five-month delay would be effective on the date of publication of a final rule in the Federal Register. OSHA also intends to issue a separate proposal to reconsider, revise, or remove other provisions of the prior final rule. Written comments must be submitted by July 13, 2017. Here’s your link to the comment portal.

Under its DOL umbrella the agency will promulgate a renewed ICR in reference to Ethylene Oxide, a chemical widely used as both a component of and a reactant for many other chemical products. See the request here.


The agency published a new summary of its Information Collection Requests (ICR’s). The list helps railroads determine which regulatory areas they may be subject to reporting on. See the new summary here.

Transport Canada

Our northern neighbors were busy last week, with several new items published. A proposed revision to the security revisions for transport of hazardous materials by rail was published; comments are due by July 24thHere is the proposed revision.

The agency also published revised technical standards dealing with both IBC’s as well as infectious substances; both those standards are available here.

Finally, the agency announced that it intends to publish its version of the UN harmonization (with the 19th revision of the UNMR) on July 12th.  This will bring the TDGR into accord with respect to items like the revised Lithium Battery labels and expanded Dangerous Goods Listings.  Look for more information on the final version of this revision once it is actually published.

US Postal Service

The USPS is a large carrier of hazardous Materials, albeit usually in fairly small quantities.  The service has published new guidance outlining changes to its requirements for shipping air-eligible ethanol-based flammable liquids or solids.  The guidance simplifies things for shippers, eliminating several requirements for labels and markings. See the new guidance here.

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