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

Archive for 2008

We Are Teaching HazMat Awareness At School!

July 8th, 2008 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News

Teaching children about the presence of hazardous materials is our new “grass-roots” approach to educating the public on dangerous goods transport. Combining the brain trust of Skolnik and Labelmaster, we have developed a 33 slide presentation that is geared for both elementary and high school children. Questions such as “What are hazardous materials?” and “Why can these be dangerous?” start the students on a brief understanding of everyday products that can be dangerous and the perils of wrongful shipments. The students are asked to step up and become “HazMat Hero’s” and even consider careers as HazMat Professionals. At a recent presentation to children ranging in ages from 10 to 18, they were surprised to learn that “most of the students in my school carry small amounts of hazardous materials” and “this is a topic that needs to be discussed more often.” The goal of the program is to prevent children, and their parents, from accidentally shipping or carrying on-board aircraft, products that can react badly when in a transport mode. The presentation is in the “beta-testing” mode and can be viewed by going to: www.skolnik.com/hazmatawareness. Since this is not yet a final edition, we would welcome your suggestions for additional points and clarification. Also, if you have familiarity with the HazMat profession, we would like to encourage you to present this program in your local community. Contact me at 773.362.1900 or at howard@skolnik.com to receive a copy of the PowerPoint presentation.

HazMat Shipments Approaching One-Million Per Day

July 8th, 2008 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat

As a HazMat Professional, I am more aware than most that HazMat shipments are all around us, everyday. Many people don’t realize that in the US alone, there are more than 800,000 HazMat shipments every day! The US economy and our living standard is based on a stream of hazardous materials that help us to heat and air condition our homes, purify our drinking water, fertilize our farmlands and treat those who are ill. Whether a tanker refilling a fuel station tank, or a placarded truck on the highway, we depend on our HazMat transportation system to keep our roads, rails, waters and sky, safe from hazmat incidents. At Skolnik, our primary products are United Nations (UN) certified steel containers (drums) for the safe transport of many dangerous goods. Because we recognize the risks associated with the transport of hazardous materials, we make every steel drum thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards. Even when HazMat shipments surpass the million-per-day mark, we will stand by our philosophy to exceed regulatory minimums and provide packagings that offer the highest quality, durability and reliability. Our staff welcomes the packaging challenges posed by new and existing customers.

Business Owner Guilty For Shipping Hazardous Material

June 11th, 2008 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News

We’ve written about enforcement proceedings regarding non-complaint shipments of hazardous materials by air. As a case in point, on May 1, 2008, Mark Henry pled guilty to a one–count indictment in U.S. District Court, Brooklyn, New York, to illegally shipping hazardous materials on an aircraft and admitted that he had violated DOT hazardous materials transportation regulations when he offered to ship undeclared hazardous materials aboard the aircraft. Between June 2006 and March 2007, Mr. Henry, owner of two shipping companies, offered several shipments for international air transport that contained undeclared, hazardous materials. Mr. Henry falsified several FedEx Air Waybills by indicating the shipments did not contain hazardous materials. He also failed to produce required shipper certifications and properly label outer packages. Sentencing is scheduled for September 4, 2008. Shipping undeclared hazardous materials is dangerous to all of us and now, carries significant penalties, including prison.

Olympic Preparations Include HazMat Restrictions

June 11th, 2008 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

In order to prepare for the upcoming summer Olympics in August, China is adopting various restrictions on the transportation of dangerous goods as well as manufacturing restrictions to control pollution. There are possible plans to completely restrict hazmat imports and exports for some time prior to the Olympic events. While the US Departments of Transportation and State have been responsive in conveying concerns to the government in Beijing, we are not aware of a formal written response from China which identifies the specific restrictions that will be in place for inland transportation, sea or air ports. While the information should be helpful for those impacted directly, many who have operations in China claim that the system is extremely complicated to predict. The system is decentralized and individual authorities may either have different information or interpretations or may impose different restrictions for their areas of operation. From a practical standpoint, if you purchase products from China or ship your products to China, contact your logistics provider or carrier as soon as possible to determine if such restrictions might affect your in-bound or out-bound shipments.