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Part 2

Scuba Cylinders and Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulation

Part 172 – Hazardous Material Table, Special Provisions, Hazardous Materials Communications, Emergency Response Information and Training Requirements 

Subpart A – General

  • 172.1 Purpose and Scope
    This part lists and classifies those material which the Department of Transportation has designated as hazardous material for purposes of transportation
  • 172.3 Applicability
    • 172.3(a)(b) This part applies to each person who offers a hazardous material for transportation and each carrier by air, highway, rail, or water who transports hazardous material.

Subpart B – Table of Hazardous Materials and Special Provisions 172.101

Purpose and use of hazardous materials table. The following compressed gases (of interest to scuba divers) are listed in the Hazardous Materials Table. Their hazard class/division numbers, UN (United Nations) identification numbers, and placard labeling are as follows:

GasHazard class / Division numberUN ID numbersPlacard labeling
AirDiv 2.2UN 1002Non-flammable gas
ArgonDiv 2.2UN 1006Non-flammable gas
HeliumDiv 2.2UN 1046Non-flammable gas
NitrogenDiv 2.2UN 1066Non-flammable gas
OxygenDiv 2.2UN 1072Non-flammable gas/Oxidizer

Subpart C – Shipping Papers

  • 172.200 Applicability

Each person who offer a hazardous material (compressed gas in one or more cylinders) for transportation shall describe the hazardous material on a shipping paper. This subpart goes on to explain, in great detail, how the hazardous material being offered for transportation shall be described.

Subpart D – Marking

Each person who offers a hazardous material for transport shall mark each package. This subpart goes on to explain, at great length, how he hazardous material being offered for transportation shall be marked. The purpose of the markings is to quickly describe the contents of the shipment to whomever might be scrutinizing the shipment.

  • 172.303 Prohibited Marking
    • 172.303(a) No person may offer for transportation or transport a package which is marked with the proper shipping name or identification number of a hazardous material unless the package contains the identified hazardous material

Subpart E – Labeling

  • 172.400a Exceptions from labeling
    • 172.400a(a)(1)(i)(ii)(iii)(iv) A label is not required on a cylinder containing a Division 2.2 gas that is not poisonous; is carried by a private or contract motor carrier; is not overpacked; and is durably and legibly marked. Applies to scuba cylinders
  • 172.401 Prohibited labeling
  • 172.401(b) No person shall offer for transportation and no carrier may transport a package bearing any marking or label which by its color, design or shape could be confused with or conflict with a label prescribed by this part. Required labels are so-called “diamond configuration” (square-on-a-point) at least 3.9 inches on each side. People affixing any labels to scuba cylinders should read “Part 172. Subpart E-Labeling” in its entirety to be sure that they are not in conflict with its requirements. For starters, use of diamond shaped visual inspection stickers should be avoided.
  • 172.402 Additional labeling requirements
    • 172.402(f) Division 2.2 materials. In addition to the label (2.2) specified in column 6 of the 172.101 table, each package of Division 2.2 material that alo meets he definition for an oxidizing gas (oxygen for example) must be labeled OXIDIZER

Subpart H – Training

  • 172.700 Purpose and Scope
    • 172.700(a) Purpose. This subpart prescribes requirements for training hazmat employees
    • 172.700(b) Scope. Training means a systematic program that ensures that a hazmat employee has familiarity with the general provisions of this subchapter, is able to recognize and identify hazardous materials, has knowledge of specific requirements applicable to functions performed by the employer, and has knowledge of emergency response information, self-protection measures and accident prevention methods and procedures.
    • 172.700(c) Modal-specific training requirements. Additional training requirements for the individual modes of transportation are prescribed in parts 175, 176 and 177 of this subchapter.
  • 172.701 Federal-State Relationship
    For motor vehicle drivers.. a State may impose more stringent training requirements. provided they do not conflict with this subpart and with part 177 of this subchapter and provided they apply only to drivers domiciled in that State.
  • 172.702 Applicability and responsibility for training and testing.

A Hazmat employer shall ensure that each of its Hazmat employees is trained and tested in accordance with the requirements prescribed in subpart (subpart H – Training)

  • 172.704 Training Requirements

Hazmat training shall include:

  • General/awareness familiariation training
  • Function Specific Training
  • Safety training
  • OSHA or EPA training
  • Initial and recurrent training
  • Recurrent training
  • Relevant training
  • Compliance
  • Recordkeeping

Dive shop owners and others should familiarize themselves with 49 CFR, 172, Subpart H – Training (172.700 et al)