More than 3 billion tons of regulated hazardous materials are transported in the United States each year. At present, DOT has two new efforts under way that officials expect will enhance the current approach for discovering undeclared haz-mats entering the US. First, DOT received enhanced authority to discover hidden shipments of haz-mats. The new authority allows DOT inspectors to open and inspect cargo when they have “an objectively reasonable and articulable belief that the package may contain a hazardous material.” Previously, they could not generally open and inspect packages without a warrant or the shipper‘s consent. Second, DOT now requires individuals who discover undeclared haz-mat in transportation to self-report the discovery. DOT revised its hazardous materials incident reporting form (Form 5800.1) and data collected through this form can help in defining the extent of the problem and in developing programs to mitigate the risk of undeclared haz-mat. Approximately 1,000 undeclared haz-mat incidents were reported in 2005, with 70 of those involving undeclared shipments entering the United States.
STEEL DRUM INDUSTRY NEWS, TRENDS AND ISSUES
Archive for April, 2006
There is a growing threat that a pandemic influenza outbreak could become reality in the US. Many are wondering what the effects will be on business. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that among working adults, an average of 20% will become ill during an outbreak while school-aged children will be about 40%. It is estimated that a pandemic outbreak will last about 6 to 8 weeks. Multiple waves of illness could occur with each lasting two to three months. When an influenza pandemic occurs, many people will become sick and will be unable to go to work. Many will stay at home to care for sick family members. Schools and businesses might close to prevent the disease from spreading further. Public transportation might be shut down. These are examples of challenges that local communities, schools, and businesses will have to prepare for as a pandemic response. Business owners and managers must become knowledgeable about these risks and its characteristics. Once they are able to understand the disease, they can create a business continuity plan and begin to work through the logical social and economic impacts of the outbreak on their businesses.
The entire design of a UN drum, and all its components (metal thickness, heads, ring, gasket, bolt, nut, plugs), is defined at a performance test. These elements comprise a drum type, or certification, that must meet a specific test standard for classified haz-mat products. Packaging users cannot alter or change any of these components, as it will impact the ability for the drum to perform as certified. If replacement parts are needed, fillers must make sure that they get the originally tested components from the manufacturer. Once a drum enters transportation, compliance with the UN certification is the responsibility of the shipper.