Blitz finds hundreds of dangerous goods violations on Canadian roads

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by Emily Atkins

Inspectors discovered 482 dangerous goods violations on Canadian roads during an inspection blitz earlier this summer.

Inspectors in Canada and the U.S. inspected 7,572 commercial motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials/dangerous goods (HM/DG) during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual five-day unannounced HM/DG inspection and enforcement initiative.

Thirty-seven jurisdictions participated in this year’s HM/DG Road Blitz, which was held from June 12 to 16. A total of 8,395 packages were inspected, and inspectors discovered 2,578 HM/DG violations, of which 701 were HM/DG out-of-service (OOS) violations. In Canada, 163 of the total 482 were out-of-service DG violations.

A breakdown of the Canadian inspection blitz findings. Source: CVSA

Vehicles that had out-of-service HM/DG violations were removed from roadways until those violations could be corrected. Vehicles that passed a North American Standard Level I Inspection without any critical inspection violations or specification cargo tank vehicle violations were eligible to receive a CVSA decal and permitted to continue to their destination.

In Canada, a dangerous good is defined as any substance or material capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported in commerce. Shipments of dangerous goods number in the multi-millions annually.

The federal, provincial and territorial governments enacted legislation to regulate the transportation of dangerous goods via the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. Canada’s TDG Regulations prescribe safety standards and shipping requirements for dangerous goods, and communicate the nature and level of hazard and risk associated with those dangerous goods.

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In Canada, 1,449 vehicles and 1,673 DG packages were inspected during the five days of the HM/DG Road Blitz (799 small means of containment, 690 highway tank packaging and 184 other large means of containment).

The transportation of HM/DG demands rigorous training and heightened compliance requirements. For motor carriers and drivers, safely transporting HM/DG is imperative to the safety of the driver, the public and the environment.

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For inspectors, inspecting vehicles transporting HM/DG is a complex and detailed process that involves safely looking for any leaking materials or unsecured HM/DG cargo, and checking shipping papers, placarding, marking, labeling, packaging and loading compliance.

The HM/DG Road Blitz is an annual unannounced HM/DG inspection and enforcement initiative with participation from CVSA member jurisdictions in North America. It is supported by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Transport Canada.

The initiative was adopted by the CVSA Hazardous Materials Committee, which provides technical HM/DG guidance and assistance to government and industry in an effort to reduce HM/DG incidents and encourage uniformity and consistency in the application of the regulations.