Hazmat hopes 2019: Top Dangerous Goods professionals share their wishes

Work in Dangerous Goods long enough, and you may find yourself wishing things were different.

Couldn’t that new IATA regulation be worded more clearly? Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to explain Limited Quantities to your customer—for the third time? And how exactly does a 2mm-thick label border make a hazmat shipment safer?

We at Labelmaster have our own hazmat hopes, too. That’s why, for the second straight year, we asked DG pros a simple question: What’s your biggest wish in the entire Dangerous Goods galaxy for 2019?

Here are the best responses. We’re proud to reveal the 2019 Dangerous Goods Wish List!

Dreaming the big picture

I wish all DG pros had an endless amount of DG analytics to share with our executive teams. One of the biggest hurdles in getting C-suite buy-in is showing what we bring to the table in the way of numbers. We are seen as a cost center vs. a profit center because we don’t directly create revenue. Our C-suite often doesn’t see the value we bring or the competitive advantage we provide for potential new business. Having hard, factual data goes such a long way in selling what we do. —Cody DeGrush, GEODIS

My wish is for C-suite executives to fully understand, quantitatively, the financial value of being compliant: how their companies can outperform their competition—in market share, revenue and earnings—by supporting how DG/hazmat is managed and executed throughout their organizations and across their supply chain partners. —Rob Finn, Labelmaster

It would be my wish that BD/sales personnel, and regional and local management, be required to participate in various daily DG operational management processes. In the movie “Equalizer 2,” after Denzel Washington’s character has just killed three bad guys, he tells their boss there are two types of pains in the world—the pain that hurts and the pain that alters. When BD/sales and management understand the daily “pains” required to avoid the “pains that alter” (loss of revenue, loss of customers, fines and penalties, bad publicity, etc.), that company will achieve a level of success so many others can only dream of. —Rusty McMains, CEVA Logistics

Rethinking regulations

I wish all lithium ion batteries were safe for transport and became unregulated. (I know, I know—never going to happen, but a girl can dream!) — Shannon Noble, Specialized

I wish every success to the dedicated souls who are working toward a common set of South American international road transport DG regulations. We have done it in Europe with ADR—it works brilliantly in the EU countries and is progressing nicely across the ex-Russian Federation countries and into the Middle Eastern countries. Even Nigeria has recently signed up. —Richard Masters, DG Masters Ltd.

A re-write of the 49 CFR to make it more user-friendly. —Jim Shimko, Labelmaster

The concept of combustible liquids under 49 CFR should be removed to better align with other transport regulations. —Paula Reavis, ICC Compliance Center

Agreement and harmony between shippers and carriers with regard to the latest changes to the Lithium Battery/Cell Exception (49 CFR 173.185(c)). —LaQuita Donald, Motion Industries

I would wish for complete harmonization of the GHS standard across the EU and U.S. At present the differences, though minor, can represent hindrances to cross-border trade. — Nikki Burgess, Labelmaster

My wish would be that all regulations be completely harmonized—no special requirements for the U.S., Europe or anyone. Just the same requirements for everyone, around the globe. Hey, if you want to dream, you might as well dream big. —Torsten Helk, BDP International

Seeing more safety and training

The one big thing I’d like to change is this: Get hazmat/DG drivers back into the habit of doing a walk-around of their vehicles before they leave the yard. So many non-compliance issues could be really easily avoided! —Peter Mackay, HCB

Better training for employees and employers. Many of us shippers wear multiple hats, and unless shipping DG is a major part of the work required, people don’t all have the same level of commitment to safety and compliance. —Veronica Kinsey, Purolator

More enforcement from regulators to stop hazmat shipping violators! Increasing the number of inspections and resulting citations will strengthen the importance of hazmat training and re-training, and ultimately improve safety throughout the world. —Brian Beetz, Labelmaster

I wish our customers (especially e-commerce customers) were better educated about regulations surrounding items they want to ship express to people’s mailboxes. Plus, I wish the 49 CFR was harmonized with USPS Pub 52. —Erin Gaul, GEODIS

That some university offered a degree in Dangerous Goods, and that the program was filled with new DG candidates! —Howard Skolnik, Skolnik Industries

And finally, one we might just take you up on

If I could have one thing in the galaxy of Dangerous Goods, it would be to have more DG podcasts. I would love more opportunities to hear about case studies and incidents and the lessons that were learned from them. Kind of like therapy for DG professionals during your commute! —Jacqueline Hardt, Zoubek Consulting

What’s on your 2018 DG Wish List? Leave a comment and let us know!

Labelmaster is a full-service provider of goods and services for hazardous materials and Dangerous Goods professionals, shippers, transport operators and EH&S providers. See our complete line of solutions at labelmaster.com.

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