THINK SAFETY - Fall 2013 Edition
New Hazardous Communication Reporting
Find out more in this issue of Think Safety!
Go to our Newsletter Page and Download Think Safety!
CHECK OUT THE CURRENT ISSUE OF THE PROPANE EXCHANGE
In this issue:
Click here to read more!
- Website & Social Media Provides News Quickly to State Propane Industry
- Safety Modules Help Customers Prepare for Winter
- Railcar Product Safety Info Updated
- Mower Incentives Program Gears Up for 2014
- NFPA 58 2014 Edition Published
West Virginia Division of Weights & Measures Issues
Important Reminders and New Operating Procedures
Officials with the WV Division of Weights & Measures are reminding all propane marketers doing business in the state that there are specific regulations
governing sales, advertising and receipts for all purchases of propane.
They also have new procedures which need to be followed when an inspector is checking a propane facility.
This document details what must be followed and what a company can be cited and fined.
Sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Products
Any questions may be directed to the Office of Weights & Measures, telephone 304-722-0602
Governor Thanks WVPGA!
After extensive storms left thousands without food and shelter in late June, WVPGA made a generous contribution so that food banks
around the state could be re-stocked.
Read what Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has to say!
DOT Issues Hours of Service (HOS) Final Rule
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published the long awaited Hours of Service of Drivers' Final Rule. The new
definition of on-duty time is effective February 27, 2012. The definition is revised to allow a team driver to log as off duty up to 2
hours spent in the passenger seat either immediately before or after the 8-hour period in the sleeper berth. Additionally, time spent
resting in or on a parked commercial motor vehicle is excluded from the definition of on-duty time. Compliance for all other rule
changes is not required until July 1, 2013. The purpose of the rule is to reduce the possibility of driver fatigue by limiting, on a
continuing basis, the ability of drivers to work the maximum number of hours currently allowed, or close to the maximum. Long daily
and weekly hours are associated with an increased risk of crashes and with the chronic health conditions associated with lack of sleep.
The rule purports to reduce the risk of fatigue and fatigue related crashes, as well as harm to driver health.
The following summarizes some of the rule's more significant provisions:
- Daily Driving Time Limit - NPGA successfully voiced objection to FMCSA's proposed change to limit daily driving time to 10 hours.
The current 11-hour daily driving time limit is unchanged.
- 60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit - The 60- and 70-hour limits are also unchanged. A driver may not drive after 60-hours on duty in 7
consecutive days, or 70-hours in 8 consecutive days.
- 14-Hour Driving Window - The maximum driving window will continue to be 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty.
- 34-Hour Restart - FMCSA is revising the HOS regulations to limit the use of the 34-hour restart provision to once every 168 hours
(7 days). On average, this will cut the maximum work week from 82 to 70 hours. The new rule also requires that drivers working
long enough to need a restart take off 34-consecutive hours that includes two night periods from 1am to 5am Only drivers who
drive nights or work more than 60 or 70 hours in a week will be affected.
- 30-Minute Break - The rule includes a provision that allows truckers to drive if they have had a break of at least 30 minutes,
at a time of their choosing, sometime within the previous 8 hours. However, the final rule requires that if more than 8
consecutive hours on duty have passed since the last off-duty (or sleeper-berth) period of at least half an hour, a driver must
take a break of at least 30 minutes before driving. For example, if the driver started driving immediately after coming on duty,
he or she could drive for 8 consecutive hours, take a half-hour break, and then drive another 3 hours, for a total of 11 hours.
Alternatively, a driver could drive for 3 hours, take a half-hour break, and then drive another 8 hours, for a total of 11 hours.
In other words, this driver could take the required break anywhere between the 3rd and 8th hour after coming on duty. A driver
who plans to drive until the end of the 14th hour and wants to take only one break will need to take a break between the 6th and
8th hour after coming on duty. Drivers will have great flexibility in deciding when to take their break. By postponing the latest
point at which the break can be taken from the 7th to the 8th hour, the rule will make it significantly easier for team drivers to
fit their break into their schedules.
- Team Driving - A team driver may log as off duty up to 2 hours in the passenger seat of a moving vehicle immediately before or
after an 8-hour period in the sleeper berth.
DOT Prohibits Cell Phone Usage for HAZMAT Drivers
Beginning January 3, 2012, a new regulation from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) restricts drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) from using
hand-held mobile phones while driving. DOT's final rule, published December 5, 2011, amends both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 390, 392) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration's (PHMSA) Hazardous Materials
Regulations (49 CFR 177.804).
This ruling follows on the heels of a previous 2010 DOT decision to mitigate risks associated with 'distracted driving' by banning commercial drivers from
texting while driving.
The new restrictions on using hand-held mobile phones applies to both intrastate and interstate drivers as PHMSA's jurisdiction applies to all motor carriers
operating CMVs hauling hazardous materials requiring a DOT placard.
DOT's rule is important to propane marketers because dispatchers typically communicate with cargo tank drivers in the field by cell phone. The bottom line for
compliance is that if the phone is mobile and must be held in the driver's hand when used, then its usage is prohibited when operating (driving) a CMV on a
public highway or street.
The prohibition includes periods when the CMV is stationary at traffic lights, stop signs or heavy traffic, etc. However, a CMV driver may still use a
hand-held mobile phone as long as he/she is pulled over on the side of a public highway or street where the vehicle may safely remain stationary.
Additionally, hands-free cell phones such as a speaker-phone are still permitted to be used while driving. Drivers waiting in line at a terminal with engines
idling are permitted to use hand-held mobile phones as long as the CMV is stationary. Under emergency conditions, hand-held mobile phone use by HAZMAT drivers
operating a CMV on a public highway or street is permitted. Two way radio communication such as with a Two-Way Radio/CB is unaffected by the new rule and
still permitted as the DOT lacks jurisdiction to regulate such devices.
Drivers that violate the new policy can be fined up to $2,750 for each offense, while companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held mobile phones while
driving could be fined up to $11,000.
Click here to see a list of FAQ
Remind Your Customers About Appliance Maintenance
As cold weather prompts your customers to turn up the heat, remind them to have a trained service professional perform a complete
check of their home heating system and other propane appliances. An online module on appliance maintenance makes sharing the message
with your customers as easy as pressing a computer key.
View the module on appliance maintenance
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR WINTER STORMS?
A recent poll on WVPGA's Facebook page has
indicated that most respondents expect this winter to be colder than last year.
How prepared are you for this winter? There are things you should be doing before the first flake falls as well things to do during and afterwards.
Watch this informative and interactive program on Winter Storm Preparedness (you will need Adobe Flash player to watch).
See how prepared you really are!
NEW PLUMBERS REGULATIONS DO NOT INCLUDE PROPANE TECHNICIANS
Responding to some questions and concerns from the West Virginia Propane Gas Association that recently issued licensing regulation from the West Virginia Division of Labor
include propane technicians, the Commissioner of West Virginia, David W. Mullins responded:
Pursuant to the ... codes, and based on the information you [Rudy Seacrist] have supplied, these
[propane] technicians would not be required to obtain a plumbers' license."
A letter, dated October 29, 2008, to WVPGA Lobbyist Rudy Seacrist from Commissioner David W. Mullins details the statement. Please download and read the letter.
Download the letter...
DHS Publishes Final Appendix A in Federal Register
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final "Chemicals of Interest" list
or Appendix A in the Federal Register on November 20. The 60-day compliance countdown for propane
marketers is now ticking down. Propane marketers must register with DHS by January 19, 2008.
For more info...
NPGA MEMORANDUM ON UNIFIED MOTOR CARRIER REGISTRATION FEE
On August 24, 2007, DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) finalized a rule
that established initial fees for 2007 and a fee bracket structure for the Unified Carrier
Registration (UCR) Agreement.
For more info...
New Fleet Calculator Shows Cost Benefits to Using Propane-Powered Vehicles
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) recently launched a new online Fleet Calculator to assist
the industry in comparing the cost of propane-powered vehicles versus gasoline and diesel vehicles. The tool
will help potential customers understand the financial benefits of switching to propane, especially with new
propane products available or soon to be on the market (GM 8.1-L engine platform, Roush/F-150, Blue Bird
school bus programs, and numerous aftermarket systems available) combined with the alternative fuel tax
credits. The Fleet Calculator is an interactive tool that provides marketers and customers with hard numbers
to demonstrate the savings realized by driving propane-powered vehicles. The worksheet results can be printed
or emailed to the user
For more information on the NEW Fleet Calculator...