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

Archive for 2009

Radioactive “Poop” Triggers Clean-Ups at DOE

November 11th, 2009 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: HazMat, Safety

Concerns for radioactive clean-up usually focus on items such as contaminated chemicals, tools, clothes and even vehicles. But now, DOE facilities around the country are attempting to prevent stray animals from wandering onto their sites and ingesting contamination. Detectors at the Hanford nuclear reservation (in Washington State) are claiming that “anything that hops, burrows, buzzes or crawls near a nuclear weapons plant may be capable of setting off a Geiger counter.” Last month, a government contractor mapped radioactive feces, at Hanford, with detectors mounted in a GPS equipped helicopter flying 50 feet over the desert scrub. Concentrations of droppings were recorded and ground workers then were sent out to “scoop the poop.” In California, at the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Lab, they attempt to prevent endangered species from entering the contaminated areas. Processing mostly plutonium, the short range alpha particles travel only a few inches in the air and make it harder to track. At the Savannah River Nuclear site in South Carolina, neighbors can enter a lottery once a year, to hunt on-site deer. Once shot, the deer are monitored for levels of Cesium-137. If the deer do show elevated contamination levels, the specific contamination source is removed and the hunter is allowed to take his “radiation free” carcass home. These programs indicate the level of containment that the DOE is funding in order to keep their sites clean and free from contamination.

Wine Drum Distributors are Going West

November 11th, 2009 by Jason Snow

Filed under: Wine

In recent years, the usage of stainless steel drums for winemaking has increased dramatically. Throughout the US and in many contemporary wineries, winemakers find stainless drums beneficial due to greater cleanliness, ease of availability, reliable longevity, and affordable price. In addition, these stainless drums offer various closure fitting configurations that can be located on the drum, suitable for the most unique placement requirement. Adding to the popularity of these drums in the west coast vineyards, Central Industrial Sales, of Pasco, Washington, joins the The Vintner Vault and Davison Winery Supply as a west coast distributor for Skolnik’s stainless steel wine drums. Central, Vintner and Davison all offer our standard 55 gal drums and our increasingly popular 16 gal drums as well. Both drum sizes come complete with the 2″ tri-clover fitting in the center of the top head, similar to a keg style. At Central, Jay Jarrett can be reached at 509-547-0341 or visit their web site at: centralindustrialsales.com. Also, it’s not too soon to start planning for the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento in January 2010. We have a limited number of free passes available and will gladly send them to you – just let us know you’re interested.

Thanks Labelmaster! DGIS IV Was A Great Success!

October 14th, 2009 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

The basis of all regulatory standards is the ability to communicate effective understanding and implementation of the requirements. Nowhere in the world are regulatory inspectors more aggressive than in the US, and nowhere in the world are companies more susceptible to non-compliance fines than in the US. For the last 4 years, Labelmaster has privately hosted the Dangerous Goods Trainer’s Symposium — a gathering of DG trainers from around the world to learn how to communicate and implement hazardous material requirements more effectively. Held just last month in Chicago (from September 23-25, 2009), the Symposium featured guest speakers Bob Richard and Nancy White of PHMSA-DOT, Donna Lepik of Chemtrec, James Gaidry of the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management, Jorge Cardena of the Instituto de Capacitacion International en Carga Aerea in Mexico, Bashyam Govinarajan of Tirwin Management Services in India. In addition, there were a host of Labelmaster staff presentations on dangerous goods initiatives from Jeanne Zmich, Rhonda Jessop, Tracie Cady and Neil McCullach. I was asked to present “A Clear Language Approach to Proper Closure Instructions — How to Interpret and Use Them.”

In addition to the educational aspect of the Symposium, the newly formed Dangerous Goods Trainer’s Association (DGTA) also used the Symposium to offer their DG Training Course and to hold their Board Meeting. The continued success of the meeting is possibly due to the common interest that affords participants a place for embracing creative solutions to emerging issues. Thank you Labelmaster, you gave the gift of learning to all those present.

Regulators Say ‘No’ To Working With Industry

October 14th, 2009 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

In a sudden turnaround of the US Department of Transportation, a decade of efforts to work with industry to improve the safe transport of dangerous goods is being brought to an end. Once an Agency that relied on fines to teach compliance, the DOT of the 1960’s – 1980’s used financial penalties as a means to encourage industry to properly manufacture, package, transport and dispose of hazardous materials. In the 1990’s, this method was ultimately deemed an “old school” approach and with the introduction of Performance Oriented Packaging, the DOT set out to improve the education and training of HazMat professionals in both manufacturing and service industries. DOT regulators saw the benefits of teaching industry to proactively “do the right thing” rather than wait for accidents to occur and issue non-compliant fines. Last month, DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) was brought under investigation for their work with industry. DOT has signaled that there will be a return to a less cooperative effort with industry that will return to emphasizing fines, not education. Two organizations which submitted response papers to the Congressional Hearings are the Council on The Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) and the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC). Both organizations represent companies worldwide that collaborate with DOT to improve dangerous goods transport. Noting the accomplishments of PHMSA’s “partnerships with industry,” both the COSTHA Submission and the DGAC Submission are available for review and, in my opinion, offer excellent references to the success of DOT’s past efforts to improve HazMat safety.