Search

PHMSA Releases Safety Advisory for Defective or Damaged Lithium Batteries

Posted on 9/22/2016 by Roger Marks

The US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today posted a safety advisory to the Federal Register to inform the public of the hazards posed by defective, damaged, or recalled lithium batteries and devices containing these batteries.

Lithium battery shipments have faced increased scrutiny over the past few years, in part due to incidents like an ongoing smartphone recall that affects millions of customers worldwide. The lithium batteries that power these smartphones (the Samsung Galaxy Note 7) have been identified as a cause for dozens of incidents that resulted in fire.

Lithium ion button cells

US DOT Rules for Shipping Defective or Recalled Lithium Batteries

For consumers, PHMSA’s guidelines for preventing lithium battery incidents include turning off the device and disconnecting it from the charger, protecting the power switch to prevent inadvertent activation, and keeping devices in carry-on baggage, not checked luggage.  

Battery and device manufacturers and shippers, meanwhile, must comply with specific requirements that apply to the transport of damaged or defective batteries, found at 49 CFR 173.185(f).

To ship lithium batteries designated by the manufacturer as defective, shippers must:
  • Completely enclose each cell or battery in an individual, non-metallic inner packaging 
  • Surround the inner packaging with non-combustible, non-conductive, absorbent cushioning material
  • Select an outer packaging suitable for Packing Group 1–level materials
  • Mark the outer package to indicate it contains a “Damaged/defective lithium ion battery” and/or “Damaged/defective lithium metal battery”   
See the full PHMSA lithium battery safety advisory in the Federal Register here.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a similar note about lithium batteries to the public earlier this month.

Read more about how lithium batteries become a workplace and transportation hazard.

DOT, IATA &IMDG Lithium Batteries Shipper Training

If you ship lithium batteries, staying up to date on the latest rules is crucial to avoid incidents in transit, injury to employees and transportation workers, rejected shipments, and DOT fines now as high as $77,114 per day, per violation. The Shipping Lithium Batteries Online Course is designed to satisfy US DOT training mandates for hazmat shipping personnel at 49 CFR 172.704, and help employees follow the specific, unique requirements for lithium battery shipments.

Want live, instructor-led training? The next Shipping Lithium Batteries Webinar will cover the latest updates to US and international regulations from the shippers’ perspective and will be presented on November 8, 2016. Sign up now! 

Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, lithium batteries, PHMSA

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

I really enjoyed this training. Even after years on both sides of the comprehension coin, I find myself still learning! The quality of the delivery exceeded much of the training I have received in the past.

Neil Ozonur

Safety Officer

The instructor was great, explaining complex topics in terms that were easily understandable and answering questions clearly and thoroughly.

Brittany Holm

Lab Supervisor

The instructor clearly enjoys his job and transmits that enthusiasm. He made a dry subject very interesting and fun.

Teresa Arellanes

EHS Manager

The course is well thought out and organized in a way that leads to a clearer understanding of the total training.

David Baily

Hazmat Shipping Professional

The instructor took a rather drab set of topics and brought them to life with realistic real-life examples.

Tom Berndt

HSE Coordinator

I love that the instructor emphasized the thought process behind the regs.

Rebecca Saxena

Corporate Product Stewardship Specialist

The instructor created a great learning environment.

Avinash Thummadi

CAD & Environmental Manager

Energetic/enthusiastic! Made training enjoyable, understandable and fun!

Amanda Walsh

Hazardous Waste Professional

My experience with Lion training, both online and in the classroom, is that they are far better organized and provide a better sequential explanation of the material.

Robert Roose

Manager, Dangerous Goods Transportation

Our instructor was very dynamic and kept everyone's interest. Hazmat shipping can be a dry, complicated topic but I was engaged the entire time.

Kimberly Arnao

Senior Director of EH&S

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Knowing why TSDFs reject loads of hazardous waste—and the exact steps to follow if it happens—can reduce your anxiety and uncertainty about rejection.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.