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OCR for page 49
Database Analysis 49 Table 4-12. Further breakdown of en route accidents, 2005 and 2006. Report Type Truck Rail Incidents 521 87 Undeclared Shipments 4 4 Cargo Tanks, No Release 33 0 Total In-Transit Accidents 2005-2006 558 91 environment, the root cause of spills is probably related to the handling of the packages, infor- mation that HMIRS captures very well. The focus of this project, however, is transportation acci- dents. Specifically, these include the 558 truck and 91 rail transportation accidents that occurred en route over the two-year period shown. Table 4-12 presents a summary of the HMIRS database accidents for 2005 and 2006. Table 4-12 shows eight incidents of undeclared shipments. Five of these shipments were empty cargo tank shipments and the regulations require them to be placarded even when empty. The other three contained hazardous materials and were not placarded. The new requirement to report damage to cargo tanks having a capacity of 1,000 gallons or greater when they suffer damage to the lad- ing system or its protective system even though there is no release, manifests itself in the record- ing of 33 additional truck accidents over a two-year period. 4.2.2 Purpose and Function HMIRS was developed in the early 1980s and has been maintained ever since. Its purpose has always been to provide regulatory agencies with the information they need to monitor the safety of hazmat transport, document the effectiveness of current regulations, and--if shown to be warranted--provide the data required to support new regulatory initiatives. As stated previously, the focus is on package performance. Most of the incidents reported occur during normal transport and are not related to accidents. Since this project focuses on acci- dents, the majority of the records reported in HMIRS are not referenced in the following analysis. 4.2.3 Data Collection When an HMIRS reportable incident occurs, the carrier is required to fill out DOT Form F 5800.1 and submit it to PHMSA. As follows, there are four filing methods, but most of the reports are received by the first three of these: 1. XML submissions--five carriers do this on a nightly basis and most follow up with a paper copy, 2. Online 5800.1 incident reporting application, 3. PDF--some follow up with an e-mail that includes a PDF attachment, and 4. Faxes from some filers and package carriers from other filers who deliver, on a monthly basis, the paper forms for all incidents within the past month. A carrier has 30 days in which to file a report. PHMSA does Web searches of newspapers and also receives a list of incidents in which NRC was notified. By comparing the list of incidents that have been reported by these sources, carriers that have not filed within the 30-day period are identified. Those carriers are notified by phone or mail regarding their delinquent status.