PHMSA will discuss electronic hazmat shipping documents
Sep 29, 2009 12:17 PM
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)will hold a public meeting October 13–14 in Washington DC to discuss an upcoming proof-of-concept study on the use electronic documents for hazardous materials shipments.
PHMSA officials say they want feedback regarding the upcoming HM-ACCESS Proof-of-Concept Study from a wide audience, including hazmat shippers, transporters, freight forwarders, emergency responders, government agencies, and technology providers. PHMSA officials say they want to identify and eliminate barriers to the use of paperless tracking and hazard communications technologies.
Paper-based communication is slow, limits the information available, and is fraught with the potential for error, according to PHMSA. Inefficiencies and errors in the handling of hazardous materials produce increased risk throughout the transport chain due to increased storage time, mishandling, and ineffective or inaccurate hazard communication. Moreover, paper-based communication may be least effective at the very time when hazard communication is most critical—in the immediate aftermath of a transportation incident.
Key discussion points for the public meeting include:
1. What are shipping papers used for?
2. What information from a shipping paper should be immediately conveyed to emergency responders in the event of an incident?
3. What work has been/is being done on standardizing shipping paper information?
4. When electronic shipping papers are used, how is required information shared with emergency responders and compliance inspectors/officers?
5. What benefits will electronic shipping papers have for companies shipping hazardous materials, including transporters, freight forwarders, emergency responders, and other government agencies?
6. What challenges will electronic shipping papers create for hazmat shippers, transporters, freight forwarders, and others?
7. What existing efforts (government or private) are related to HM-ACCESS, and can these efforts be coordinated?
The meeting runs from 9 am to 3:30 pm October 13 and 14. It will be held at the DOT Headquarters, West Building, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE. Anyone planning to attend should send an e-mail with name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on HM-ACCESS go to http://hazmat.dot.gov/HM-ACCESS/index.html.
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