Grounding and bonding requirements for dangerous goods facilities

How to prevent electric sparks that may cause fire while transferring a dangerous good from railway equipment to a bulk storage facility.

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Dangerous goods with a primary or subsidiary classification of 2.1, 3, 4 or 5 must take fire safety measures to prevent the ignition of the dangerous goods, including grounding and bonding the tank cars, before any loading or unloading related activities have begun and must remain until all loading or unloading activities have concluded.


These practices also apply to storage facilities on or near railway property where dangerous goods, with a primary or subsidiary classification of 2.1, 3, 4 or 5 are loaded or unloaded.

Bonding and grounding

Bonding and grounding is required when dangerous goods with a primary or subsidiary classification of 2.1, 3, 4 or 5 are transferred to or from rail equipment and must meet the requirements identified within Schedule 7 of the Industrial Railway Regulation. This practice applies to all new installations and for replacement on existing installations.

This practice is complementary to Transport Canada's Railway Prevention of Electric Sparks Regulations. Should there be any conflict between this practice and the regulations, Transport Canada regulations shall govern.

Inspection and maintenance

Permanent bonding and grounding must be installed and inspected in accordance with American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) – Communication and Signals Manual of Recommended Practice.

A low resistance earth ground is essential for personnel protection. A periodic inspection program is recommended as per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – 29.4 Grounding System Inspection, Testing and Monitoring.

Ground resistance testing

Ground and earth resistance testing must be conducted every 2 years and the test results must be retained on file for a period of 3 years. Test records must be made available for inspection by a railway safety officer when requested.