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Dangerous Goods-2 (General)

Q. What is PSN? Why is it needed in addition to the UN number?
Ans. PSN is abbreviation for proper shipping name.

It is expressed in uppercase characters, sometimes, followed by additional descriptive text in lower-case characters.

Proper shipping names may be shown in plural where more products with some variation and different UN numbers may exist.

There are products where the quantity of water is specified. An alternative proper shipping name may be shown in brackets following the main proper shipping name.

The proper shipping name is shown in upper-case characters. It is sometimes described with numbers, Greek letters, ‘sec’, ‘tert’, and the letters m, n, o, p, making the representation complete.

Sometimes, generic name with remark ’not otherwise specified’ can accommodate many products, with similar properties and with the condition that a particular packaging or provision is followed.

Sometimes, generic name with remark ’not otherwise specified’ can accommodate many products, with different sub-classes.

Sometimes, a chemical group is represented by NOS.

The reason that a combination of PSN and UN number is used for identification of the product is:
1. There may be two products sounding similar but having different characteristics and may be of different class. To ensure that there is no confusion amongst the people handling or carrying cargo a combination of number and PSN is provided to a product.
2. This rules out the confusion caused due misprint in the tentative cargo plan or loading list, etc.

Q. What is UN number?
Ans. The United Nations number is assigned to a dangerous good by the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

Q. What special measures must be taken when a certain dangerous cargo is handled? 

Q. Explain how, reporting of incidents involving dangerous goods must be done.

Q. What precautions must be taken to prevent a fire accident with the dangerous goods?
Ans. Since 2001, chapter 2 / II of SOLAS has a modified format, where the approach followed is concept based rather than the ship specific categorization of requirement. It deals with the principle of reducing the possibilities of an accident by eliminating possibility of fire and explosion in the first place. The other measures being effective detection, fire growth potential, suppression of fire, etc. The prevention of fire in a cargo of dangerous goods also, is influenced by such principles. The code must be closely followed. Additionally, the specific carriage instructions provided by shipper also, must be followed. Following thumb rules are worth following:

Q. In respect of a chemical say VINYLTOLUENES, STABILIZED UN 2618, explain how column 6, 16 & 17 help you take precautions in respect of fire. Also state, what is the guidance available in Ems?
Ans. The following information in respect of fire related precautions is derived from code in respect of Vinyltoluenes, stabilized UN 2618:

From column 17 of DGL:

Colourless liquids. Flashpoint: 54°C to 60°C c.c. Explosive limits: 0.9% to 6.1%. Partially miscible with water. Harmful by inhalation. Irritating to skin, eyes and mucous membranes.

Excerpt from part 7. Para 7.1 as guided by column 16a.

7.1.5    Stowage Codes The Stowage codes given in column 16a of the Dangerous Goods List are as specified below:

Excerpt from part 7
7.8.8     Special fire precautions for class 3 Flammable liquids give off flammable vapours which, especially in an enclosed space, from explosive mixtures with air. Such vapours, if ignited, may cause a “flashback” to the place in which the substances are stowed. Due regard should be paid to the provision of adequate ventillation to prevent accumulation of vapours.

An excerpt from special provision 386 from part 3.3 of IMDG code:
When substances are stabilized by temperature control, the provisions of 7.3.7 apply. When chemical stabilization is employed, the person offering the packaging, IBC or tank for transport shall ensure that the level of stabilization is sufficient to prevent the substance in the packaging, IBC or tank from dangerous polymerization at a bulk mean temperature of 50°C, or, in the case of a portable tank, 45°C. Where chemical stabilization……
Excerpt from the EMS for F-E


Q. Name some related Codes and publications which may be appropriate for function-specific training in respect of dangerous good.
Ans. Following Codes and publications will be appropriate:

Chapter 7.8 Special requirements in the event of an incident and fire precautions involving dangerous goods

Q. What is the general procedure followed after a spillage of dangerous goods occur?
Ans. Though, Ems, provides a good guidance in respect of fire as well as spillage of dangerous goods, chapter 7.8, which is ‘special requirements in the event of an incident and fire precautions involving dangerous goods’  provides some useful tips.  7.8.2 of part 7 provides, general provisions in the event of incidents as follows:

Q. How will you ensure that the latest Code is being used? What are the recent amendments in respect of use of the Code?
Ans. Amendment of IMDG Code follows a unique system. Thus, IMDG Code Amendment 35-10 was available for use starting January 1, 2011, and became mandatory starting January 1, 2012. 

Recent Amendments
The IMDG Code is updated every two years to take account of new dangerous goods with new UN numbers, which are included. New technology and methods of working with or handling dangerous goods, which evolve are included. The new inventions and procedures, gained out  of experience and research are added to the Code. The other changes, which are in respect of the format are as follows:

 IMDG Code Amendment 34-08 (mandatory on 1.1.10)

Amendment 35-10, (mandatory on 1.1.12)
Following are incorporated:

A new chapter 5.5, “Special Provisions”, which contains special provisions applicable to fumigated cargo transport units is introduced.

Amendment 36-12, (mandatory on 1.1.14)

7.1 General Stowage Provisions
7.2 General Segregation Provisions
7.3 Consigning Operations concerning the packing and use of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs) and related Provisions
7.4 Stowage and Segregation on Container ships
7.5 Stowage and Segregation on RO-RO ships
7.6 Stowage and Segregation on General Cargo Ships
7.7 Shipborne Barges on Barge-carrying Ships
7.8 Special requirements in the event of an incident and fire precautions involving dangerous goods
7.9 Exemptions, Approvals and Certificates

Amendment 37-14, (mandatory on 1.1.16)

Amendment 38-16, (mandatory on 1.1.18)

Amendment 39-18, (mandatory on 1.1.20) 

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