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

Archive for February, 2017

Steel Drums are all about GREEN

February 28th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

Recognized worldwide as the leading package used for transporting liquids and solids, steel drums are not new to the world of industrial packaging. In fact, steel drums are one of the most recognizable types of packaging that fulfill GREEN initiatives. In addition to being the most widely used package for liquid and solid shipments, it also is the packaging type that is most used for global hazardous material shipments. The steel drum is one of the few packagings that has a “maiden voyage”, then depending on the metal thickness, can be reconditioned for another 3-7 more “trips,” and eventually the exhausted packaging can be 100% recycled. This means that a single steel drum can serve as many as 4-8 shipments of product before being sold for scrap!

It’s important to point out that the number of reconditioning lives of the drum is a function of the top, bottom and body wall metal thickness. While many drum manufacturers choose to reduce the metal thickness to reduce the initial raw material cost, this also substantially reduces the number of “trips,” the drum will make before recycling. Hence, the small initial savings might, initially, reduce the cost of packaging, but it also increases the RISK of a packaging breach. Unlike other packagings that have only a single life, or that are “recycleable” but not reusable, the steel drum qualifies for the GREEN objectives by using our natural resources more efficiently and encouraging reuse and recycling of industrial packaging.

Downstream Liability: Myths versus Reality

February 21st, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Some persons in corporate management believe that outsourcing the corporate transportation function will help to insulate the company from liability in the event of a motor carrier accident or a hazardous materials incident. This is not necessarily true — outsourcing to third parties does not necessarily eliminate or mitigate this risk. Outsourcing transportation to a for-hire motor carrier (or an intermediary such as a broker or freight forwarder) does change the target of due diligence from private fleet drivers to the third party transportation provider, but it does not eliminate the shipper’s responsibility for investigating the person or company that will be transporting their goods, performing their pre- and post-transportation functions adequately, or even supervising their carrier’s performance. But the aggressive exercise of management over carrier practices could also provide evidence that the shipper is responsible for the carrier’s negligent acts or omissions. Ultimately, shippers must balance the need to control their transportation service and the acceptance of a certain degree of liability for injuries caused by transportation operations.

To further investigate these liabilities, Richard (Rick) Schweitzer, General Counsel to the Council on the Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), and General Counsel to Skolnik Industries, has prepared a paper entitled Downstream Liability: Myths Versus Reality. This paper deals with civil liability for incidents or collisions that cause personal injuries or death and that occur in the stream of commercial motor vehicle transportation. View the entire paper here.

Corporations Urge DOT to Approve Rule to Harmonize Hazardous Material Handling Regulations

February 16th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Safety

Earlier this month, 22 corporations and trade associations signed on to a letter addressed to the new Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao. In this letter, the companies plea with Secretary Chao to push through the approval and release of a final hazardous materials safety rule that would harmonize US hazmat shipping regulations with international standards.

The final rule, coded HM-215N, was initially posted on the Federal Register website, but was then rescinded and put on hold per the regulatory freeze imposed by the Trump administration on January 20th.

The letter formally urges Chao to review and approve the rule as soon as possible. Putting the rule into effect will not create any new risks in hazardous material handling or transport, in fact, according to the letter, “it will ensure the U.S. hazardous materials regulations maintain alignment with international standards, thus assuring safety and avoiding disruptions to supply chains.”

As a hazmat storage drum manufacturer, the Skolnik team is aware of the importance of hazmat regulation compliance across the U.S. and abroad. The transportation of dangerous goods is heavily regulated, and rightfully so. Manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, exporters, importers, carriers and industries alike would benefit from the harmonizing of the U.S. HMR with international standards to avoid confusion and maximize safety.

For the sake of hazmat safety and supply chains worldwide, we hope that the DOT resolves this issue quickly. In the meantime, the Skolnik team will continue doing everything in our power to ensure that our clients receive strong, compliant hazmat certified drums for their storage and transport needs.

Wine & Weed Symposium Announced

February 14th, 2017 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

The Wine Industry Network (WIN) today announced the launch of the Wine & Weed Symposium, a one-day intensive educational conference that will focus on the legalization of cannabis in California and the expected impact and opportunities that this presents to the wine industry. The symposium will be held on August 3rd from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa, CA. The conference will feature Executive Director of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance, Tawnie Logan, who will discuss and clarify the newly implemented law, along with experts from both the wine and cannabis industries on regulations, licensing requirements, hospitality, tourism, farming, and other topics of interest. Speakers will also present on the commonalities that the cannabis and wine Industry share such as agricultural focus, emphasis on quality, place of origin and to a degree, a common consumer. Like the wine industry, cannabis will be heavily regulated and will experience overlap with wine in regards to legal, financial, compliance and distribution regulations. “We touched the surface of this subject at the WIN Expo last December and were overwhelmed with the outpouring of interest that the session received,” said George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network. “The take-aways were that people want and need more information about how things are changing and one hour just wasn’t enough time. We’re hoping to address those concerns with this day-long conference.” The Wine & Weed Symposium will provide information that is relevant to everyone in the wine industry, whether an owner, winemaker, salesperson, hospitality manager, or grower, regardless of whether there are specific plans to work in or with the cannabis industry. “People have been questioning the impact that this is going to have on the wine industry for a long time,” Christie stated. “This is an opportunity to learn from the experts, the cost of entry and what is and is not allowed. We plan to provide a better understanding of the inevitable competition for consumer attention and how best to prepare for what’s coming and what new opportunities might exist.” The symposium will also feature space for a small, select number of exhibitors showcasing products and services specifically relevant to wineries and grape growers who are interested in expanding into this explosive market. For more information about attending, speaking or exhibiting, please visit wine-weed.com or email info@wine-weed.com.