Industrial Packaging for Critical Contents

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

Archive for March, 2017


March 28th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Training for emergency response is critical to saving lives. To this end, TRANSCAER® (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) is a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and to respond to a possible hazardous material transportation incident. TRANSCAER® members consist of volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distributor, and emergency response industries, as well as the government and was founded in 1986 by the Union Pacific Railroad and The Dow Chemical Company.

TRANSCAER® is organized into two groups: the National TRANSCAER® Task Group (NTTG) and its included Executive Committee, which manages the TRANSCAER® program; and the Regional Approach, which implements TRANSCAER® and the nine TRANSCAER® steps throughout the United States.

Members of the NTTG may represent manufacturers, distributors, hazardous materials storage and handling, transporters, emergency response and preparedness organizations, their associations, and related service industries.

Available TRANSCAER® resources may include:

  • Classroom and hands-on training
  • Emergency planning assistance
  • Support for community drills and exercises
  • Technical information, reference, and training materials
  • National conferences and workshops for sharing best practices and networking

Learn more about TRANSCAER® open our brochure and our TRANSCAER® BRIEFING.

If you would like more information about TRANSCAER®, contact Donna Lepik, Staff Executive, TRANSCAER®, American Chemistry Council, 700 2nd Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Contact 202-249-6723 or donna_lepik@americanchemistry.com.

Keeping up with Compliance: UN Certified Packaging

March 24th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN

You are probably already a safe, savvy and compliant business, but sometimes even businesses who follow UN and DOT regulations don’t fully understand them. The shipping and storage industry is heavily regulated — especially when it comes to handling hazardous materials or consumer goods such as pharmaceuticals or food and beverage. All of these rules and regulations have been put in place to protect transportation workers, the environment and the population. But, when you purchase UN certified packaging, what exactly does that mean?

The Manufacturer

Let us break it down for you. When buying a UN certified drum, the entire design of the drum, and all of its components is defined by the test samples. Each element — heads, ring, gasket, bolt, nut, plugs — must meet UN specified requirements. If even one of these components, or the design of the drum itself, doesn’t measure up, the drum is not UN compliant. At Skolnik, we

The initial onus for meeting UN standards is on the manufacturer, but once a UN certified package leaves our hands, it is up the filler to maintain compliance.

The Filler

Users cannot alter or exchange any of these components without it impacting the ability for the drum to perform as tested and certified.

If you were to purchase a UN certified drum with a nut and bolt style closure, but later swap that closure for a Leverlock, this would void the UN certification. At this stage in the container’s lifecycle, it is the fillers responsibility to adhere to UN regulations. If replacement parts are needed, fillers must make sure that they get original components form the original manufacturer that continue to meet the test criteria of that specific drum.

Make sure you always follow Skolnik’s Closure Instructions to verify a proper closure before passing the buck to your shipper.

The Shipper

Once a drum is filled, compliance with the UN certification is the responsibility of the shipper. It is up to the shipper to read the UN code and ensure the container is safely stored or shipped according to its contents.

Remember, no matter where you are in the journey of a container, non-compliance comes with a hefty fine. Fines for non-compliant shipments, of dangerous goods especially, are getting larger and more frequent. For the sake of your employees, facility and community, please keep an eye on evolving regulations and restrictions to ensure your UN certified packaging maintains compliance at every stage.

Corporations Urge DOT to Approve HazMat Harmonization

March 21st, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Last 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.

Former Cubs Manager, now Wine Maker

March 14th, 2017 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Most people know Dusty Baker as the baseball legend who managed the San Francisco Giants from 1993 to 2002 and the Chicago Cubs from 2003 to 2006. He is currently managing the Washington Nationals. Dusty was the first National League manager to earn “Manager of the Year” honors three times. What people might not know, however, is Dusty’s deep love for growing things. His father, Johnnie B. Baker, Sr., introduced Dusty to gardening. “My dad always had a garden,” Baker says. “He had a green thumb, and I got a green thumb from him. I like working in the dirt.” During his days managing the San Francisco Giants from 1993 to 2002, he joined the advisory board of the Robert Mondavi Winery. That gave him access to rootstock, and he paired up with Chik Brenneman, then a winemaker at Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and now manager of the teaching winery at the University of California at Davis. Brenneman planted the vineyard in 2007 and became Baker’s winemaker and business partner. At first growing grapes and making wine was a hobby, and Dusty gave his premium wines away to friends and family. When people started asking where they could purchase his wine, Dusty decided to sell it. He enlisted his daughter, Natosha Baker Smith, a graphic designer, to develop his label, which evokes a close-up rendition of baseball stitching. Because lot sizes are small, Baker Family Wines are sold online, at the Treasure Island Wines tasting room in San Francisco, and a few select restaurants. When Dusty is in town, he enjoys walking through his vineyard and helping with pruning and harvesting. Dusty and Chik also enjoy hosting winemaker dinners at select restaurants. Before starting a vineyard, Dusty had a backyard garden, which included assorted fruit trees and a plot of summer vegetables. In between seasons, he was often found tending his plants. “I was doing a lot of physical work — I found it interesting and rewarding,“ says Dusty. In 2015, Baker released his first commercial wines under his Baker Family Wines label. A week earlier, he had been named manager of the Washington Nationals, with a two-vintage contract. At age 66, he found his transition from major league manager to country vintner interrupted by his desire to manage a team to a World Series championship. Baker talks about his experience tending his two acres of syrah vines with the same sense of humor that charmed the nation’s capital during his introductory news conference at Nationals Park. When I spoke with him by phone, I was laughing so hard I could hardly take notes. “My dad was a landscaper — though we called them gardeners back then — so I figured I could grow anything,” Baker said. The initial releases of Baker Family Wines, all 2013, include a lush, fruity and deep syrah called Legacy, from Baker’s own vineyard; a second syrah from the Shenandoah Valley of California in Amador County, from a vineyard Brenneman helped plant in 2001; and a pinot noir made with purchased grapes from Sonoma County’s Bennett Valley. They are available direct from the winery at $150 for a three-pack, with one bottle of each wine. Future vintages will include wines from the Chalk Hill area of Sonoma County and some old-vine zinfandel, Brenneman says. They are also developing a second label called B and B Wines.