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CVSA posts inspection bulletin for certain gases in bulk packages

Watch out for fumes, plumes, and gas vapors

Posted July 7, 2023

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) posted an inspection bulletin in response to safety concerns during roadside inspections on:

  • Bulk packages containing natural gas or methane in compressed or refrigerated liquid forms, and
  • Hydrogen in a compressed or refrigerated liquid form.

The inspection bulletin is intended to provide safety guidance to roadside inspectors when conducting inspections on bulk package shipments of these gases or refrigerated liquids.

Bulk package inspection guidance

When conducting inspections of natural gas or hydrogen in compressed or refrigerated liquid form, take the following safety precautions:

  1. Cell phones or electronic devices should not be permitted within 25 feet of the trailer operating compartment. Remove all potential ignition sources possible. Ensure the tractor engine is shut off.
  2. Before the compartment is opened, ask the driver if they are equipped with a personal air monitor. If they are, have them use the monitor to check for a flammable atmosphere around the trailer.
  3. Visually inspect the top and area around the truck vent stack. Look for fumes, plumes, or gas vapors. Do not begin the inspection procedure if there is any evidence of fumes, plumes, or gas vapors. Opening a compartment can ignite vapor.
  4. When opening the rear of an enclosed trailer or the rear compartment of an MC-338 cargo tank, stand at least 10 feet to the side of the trailer and avoid being downwind while the driver opens the doors.
  5. Observe the compartment or trailer, looking and listening for signs of a leak or other hazards.
  6. Let the trailer or compartment air out for at least one minute before approaching and completing your inspection.
  7. Have the driver close the doors when you are finished inspecting the necessary components.

If a driver refuses to open the rear of a trailer or compartment due to safety concerns, the trailer may not be eligible for a CVSA decal since this situation does not fall under the hidden compartment policy.

This article was written by Michael Atkinson of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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