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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for 2007

Even Our Stainless Wine Barrels Are Green

November 6th, 2007 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Wine

It’s been a long time since we’ve mentioned the benefits of stainless steel over oak for wine making, but recently, we attended a symposium in which these benefits were eagerly touted. Wineries wanting to “go green” are including Skolnik’s Stainless Steel Wine Barrels in their environmental strategies. Made from recycled materials and with the ability to be re-used for many years, stainless steel wine barrels are being seen in a new light by winemakers wanting to reduce their environmental footprint. With increasing concern about the use of oak barrels, which requires the chopping down of trees, stainless steel barrels offer a unique and long lasting alternative. Once hidden from winery visitors, stainless steel wine barrels are now being proudly used as an example of environmental stewardship.

Closure Verification Is Essential Prior To Every Shipment

November 6th, 2007 by Veronica Crouchelli

Filed under: HazMat, Safety

In our October 2007 edition of the SKOLNIKNEWS, we reinforced the need for hazmat shippers to follow a manufacturer‘s closure instructions prior to every shipment. Several readers responded and indicated that my word of warning was timely. Per 49CFR 178.2(c) closures should be checked for tightness prior to shipment. Without being checked, it is likely that the DOT will consider the drums to be in violation of the CFR, and the shipper will be fined. We have so many customers that want to prepare their packagings to be compliant that we try to alert them to all the nuances of the CFR requirement. Therefore, be certain to re-tighten all closures (plugs and rings) prior to shipment to confirm compliance with the manufacturer’s Closure Instruction. Failure to do so is considered non-compliant if discovered by a DOT inspector. Furthermore, during a DOT inspection, if a shipper does not demonstrate that they reconfirm the Closure Instruction process, they can be sited for non-compliance.

Why All The Talk About Lithium Batteries On Aircraft?

October 9th, 2007 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Safety

In my June 2007 Newsletter, I wrote about the DOT taking regulatory action to insure the safe transport of lithium batteries aboard aircraft. As a result of this article, many readers have called asking why lithium batteries are drawing so much attention from the DOT. In the June Newsletter, I referenced two incidents in which transportation vehicles (in the air and on the road) were involved in fires that started as a result of the lithium batteries on board. What most airline passengers don‘t know is that since 2005, there have been at least 29 incidents (smoke and/or fire) related to aircraft cargo and baggage in the US alone. We’ve been fortunate that these incidents were discovered in time to avert a catastrophe, but here are just a few of the incidents logged in by the DOT and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration): 1) a ramp worker removed a checked bag that was on fire when loading a passenger aircraft — on fire was a battery-pack for a Sony video game; 2) on a domestic passenger flight that was taking off, smoke poured out of an overhead bin that when opened spewed smoke and flames. The flight made an emergency landing and flight attendants were able to extinguish the fire which was caused by loose batteries packed in a bag with audio-video equipment; 3) on an international flight, a passenger found that the battery-powered photographic flash in his bag had burnt holes in some of his clothing. To date, the battery related incidents have gone relatively unnoticed by the traveling public so it is prudent that DOT establish packing and packaging regulations to address this growing concern.

Reverse Logistics Requires Compliance To DOT Regulations

October 9th, 2007 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

Most shippers recognize that when transporting a hazardous material (dangerous goods), there are regulatory requirements affecting the safe transport of the shipment. However, once the initial shipment is made, fillers and re-shippers often fail to comply with these same regulatory requirements, resulting in hefty fines. In addition, companies that have Return Logistic Programs, or Recall Programs, must convey to their customers the need to present packagings for shipment that are in compliance with the DOT, including continuing use of the packaging manufacturer‘s Closure Instructions. Only recently Home Depot was required to pay a fine of nearly $10 million dollars as a result of "aggressive cost cutting procedures, which lead to non-compliance" for 55 gallon drums in which hazardous waste was stored and eventually transported in a non-compliant mode. As a result of this widespread breech of shipper practice, DOT is aggressively looking at packagings that indicate a potential for non-compliance.