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

Archive for 2011

Don’t Cry Over Spilt Wine

November 3rd, 2011 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Wine

Most of you who regularly read our monthly Newsletter are accustomed to hearing the latest news about our stainless steel wine barrels. This month however, we are taking a departure from that format. A recent story out of Sheboygan, WI caught our attention and reminded us that even in the wine world, two other Skolnik products can be of great useā€¦the Salvage Drum and our line of Recover-All spill containers. A couple of months ago at Superior Discount Liquors in Sheboygan, WI, a shelf running the length of the store suddenly gave way, sending 6,810 bottles of wine and champagne hurtling to the floor. The collapse flooded the store and sent two nearby workers scurrying out of the way. The four level shelves had been successfully secure for 31 years. The company still doesn’t know what caused the shelf to fail. One lesson learned from this spill is that accidents can and do happen and every company, whether they are making wine, paint or perfume, needs to be prepared for spills. Even at the best run wineries, one wrong turn by a fork lift driver and an oak or even a steel barrel can be gashed or split open, spilling its valuable contents all over the floor. Keeping an extra Salvage Drum around is always a good idea for companies dealing with bulk liquids. Same goes for our line of Recover-All spill containers that are available with heavy duty casters or fork-lift attachments. If this story is not enough to convince you to be ready for an accidental spill, check out the video!

A Busy Month for Howard!

October 11th, 2011 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, Industry News

In this past month, I have made a number of presentations and appearances that I want to share with our customers and friends.

Skolnik recently completed the development and implementation of a documented Sustainability Plan. This plan addresses all aspects of the products we purchase, use in fabrication, sell and scrap. On September 9th,, 2011, I was invited by Mindful Metropolis Magazine to participate in a Green Seminar held at Moraine Valley Community College. As one of four Chicago-based panelists, I presented the basis for our Sustainability Plan, the process of development, the implementation, and the ongoing maintenance of the plan.

Great Western Containers of Canada established their support of Kids Cancer Care in Calgary, Canada and hosted their first annual golf outing/dinner fundraiser. Skolnik was a corporate sponsor and I had the good fortune to attend this worthwhile and touching event. Ms. Savannah Brown, a 12 year old cancer survivor was the key note speaker and told her story from initial diagnosis, to treatment, to participating in the Kids Cancer Care summer camp. Thank you GWC!

Labelmaster held their 6th Annual Dangerous Goods Instructors Symposium in Memphis, TN at the Peabody Hotel — “the one with the ducks.” On September 27th, 2011, the first night of the Symposium, 40 fortunate attendee’s were able to participate in the Night Time Hub Tour of FedEx. The Hub Tour is a highly coveted hazmat opportunity and I was excited to partake. From 10:30pm to 2:30am, we witnessed the arrival of a large percentage of the global fleet, about 170 planes, as they landed, were unloaded, their cargo uploaded, sorted and reloaded, then watched as the planes started departing. During the 4 hours, 7,800 employees transition more than 1.5 million packages every night. It was like a “tsunami of packages” that all pass through this incredibly complex, high speed, high energy hub. Thank you Fedex!

At Labelmaster’s DGIS VI, I presented a workshop on the Writing of Closure Instructions.
The workshop was designed to emphasize that the most important part of a dangerous goods package is the closing process. With Closure Instructions required, the instructions need to be written in a manner which conveys required tools, types of inspections, proper assembly and a finite closure point. Participants were first asked to write simple instructions for simple tasks (ie, how to tie shoe laces), and eventually they were given UN certified drums or boxes and asked to write a closure instruction. The exercise did highlight the nuances of good instruction writing and all who attended claimed that their communication skills were improved. I will be giving the Workshop again at the DGAC Annual Conference in Tampa on November 8th, 2011.

HazMat Fines: More Common, More Expensive!

October 11th, 2011 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

Fines for non-compliant shipments of dangerous goods are getting larger and more frequent.

Only recently, Jones International Groups, Inc. agreed to pay EPA $17,000 for failing to comply with requirements related to the export of universal waste – spent lead-acid batteries — to Hong Kong through the Port of Portland in Oregon. Quality Carriers, Inc. will pay more than $46,000 to settle hazardous chemical reporting violations at its facility in Kent, Washington, for storing large amounts of hydrogen peroxide above threshold planning quantities without properly reporting it to the Kent Fire Department, King County Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the state emergency response commission. The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced $3,876,000.00 in fines against American Welding & Tank, LLC (AWT) of Fremont, Ohio for violating federal hazardous materials safety standards. The company was fined for manufacturing and selling unsafe nurse tanks — a type of cargo tank used to store and transport anhydrous ammonia, a hazardous material used in farming operations.

But the fine that is the most astounding is that Logitech was fined $261,000 for making unsubstantiated pesticide claims for its computer keyboards. The company incorporated a silver compound designed to protect a keyboard against deterioration, then marketed the keyboard as protecting the user from bacteria and microbes. To promote such benefits for that use a company must have the product tested, then registered by the EPA. Products that kill or repel bacteria or germs and/or claim to do so are considered pesticides, and must be registered with the EPA before their sale or distribution, pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions.

Super Sonoman Testing Seamless Stainless Barrels

October 10th, 2011 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Wine

We are always excited to hear when our winery friends and customers have big news, and that is exactly what we are hearing about our friends at Super Sonoman. Winemaker Chris Taddei is making big waves in the wine world with his amazing artisanal wines. It began with his desire to make the best Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County has ever produced. The diverse geology of Sonoma County and its topography have made it the ideal location to make world class wine for years but the grapes that are most often associated with the region have been Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel to name a few. If you were looking for an elegant, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon however, the choice was easy, go to the Napa Valley. Super Sonoman is now bringing wine lovers another choice. The first grapes were harvested in October of 2003 and they now have the first four vintages in the bottle and two vintages in barrel. Chris is now experimenting with Skolnik’s new 55 GALLON SEAMLESS STAINLESS STEEL WINE BARREL with the CREVICE FREE INTERIOR. We can’t wait to try what Super Sonoman releases next, their wines truly are in a class of all their own.