DG Digest: Shipping Accident in Baltimore: A Reminder of Safe Cargo Practices

Shipping accident in Baltimore

As most people already know, last week the Singapore flagged container ship MS Dali collided with the Francis Scott Key road bridge at the mouth of the harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. The bridge subsequently collapsed, tragically killing six maintenance workers on the span. Casualties may have been far greater but for the sterling work of local police agencies that quickly closed the bridge to the flow of vehicle traffic when notified of the out-of-control ship’s approach to the bridge.

News subsequently broke that among the Dali’s voluminous cargo bound from Baltimore to Sri Lanka were dozens of containers of dangerous goods. As of press time, the Dali remains tangled in the bridge’s fallen wreckage, and there are unconfirmed and frankly shifting reports in the media regarding leaks of dangerous goods from the ship. Whatever turns out to be the actual case, the incident points to the continuing need for shippers to be aware of the importance of the compliant consignment of shipments. Here is a link to a short Associated Press (AP) video discussing the incident.


The agency announced a meeting of the Lithium Battery Air Safety Advisory Committee (Committee). The meeting will be held on April 25, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Fort Myers, Florida. For more information on how to attend or submit comments, see the notice.

Transport Canada

The ministry amended the Contraventions Regulations (CR) is to ensure the effectiveness of the ticketing (i.e. citation) procedure established under the Contraventions Act, known as the Contraventions Regime. They are required in order to increase the monetary fine amounts for offences under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 (TDGA). These increases are required as fine amounts have not been increased in over 15 years and in the Ministry’s judgment are no longer sufficiently significant to deter potential offenders. See the full rule here.


The agency published a final rule that will govern the use and handling of chrysotile asbestos (a hazardous material also regulated for transport) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The rule imposes new restrictions and requirements for safety and is effective on May 28th, 2024. See it here.

The agency is proposing to require manufacturers (including importers) of 16 chemical substances to submit copies and lists of certain unpublished health and safety studies to EPA. Health and safety studies sought by this action will help inform EPA’s responsibilities pursuant to TSCA, including prioritization, risk evaluation, and risk management. See the proposed rule and the list of affected chemicals here.


In a final rule, OSHA is amending its Representatives of Employers and Employees regulation to clarify that the representative(s) authorized by employees may be an employee of the employer or a third party; such third-party employee representative(s) may accompany the OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) when, in the judgment of the CSHO, good cause has been shown why they are reasonably necessary to aid in the inspection. See this new rule here.

The agency has extended the comment period for its proposed rule regarding the Emergency Response Standard. The new deadline is June 21st. Find details here.

The agency is proposing a new ICR related to its various training programs and formal training institute. See the ICR here.

The agency is also renewing an ICR related to its standards for the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in general industry. See the renewal here.


The agency published an ICR related to the training that employees in recognized safety positions must have. See this ICR here.

Here it is “April Fool’s Day” right after what was a big holiday weekend for many people. No one wants “April Fool’s” to apply to our workplaces, so even if you are sharing jokes and gags today, be sure that you also use the day as an opportunity to take a new handle on the safety of your site and its employees. No one wants to spend the new spring season coping with accidents. Here’s the week’s news in the regulatory world:

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