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

Archive for October, 2017

New Regulations For U.S. Food Supply as The Food and Safety Modernization Act goes into Effect  

October 26th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Stainless Steel

The agricultural and manufacturing world is facing big changes as the rules set forth for the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) take effect in full, after the September deadline for mandatory compliance. The new standards will affect every part of the food processing and supply chain, including containers such as stainless steel process drums. FSMA According to the FDA, it will be the “most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years” and it “aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.”

Passed in 2011, companies began to abide by the act last September, after all of its rules were finalized. Now, the act’s year-long grace period is over, and the prevention-focus changes are officially the new status quo.

FSMA starts at the food facilities, including controls to evaluate hazards there, then requires the facilities to specify what steps, monitoring, and actions will be put into place to prevent them.

It then address moving the products with the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule, a series of new regulations on vehicles and transportation equipment, operations, training, and records for the agricultural companies. One element of the rule is that, “The design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure that it does not cause the food that it transports to become unsafe.”

Within FSMA there are a number of large, expensive adjustments that companies are making to how they operate, and it has thoroughly changed the landscape of the agricultural industry. For the first time though, the FDA will have a legislative mandate to require science-based preventive controls across the entire food supply, which seeks to reduce the frequency of foodborne diseases. Hopefully, the cost is worth the gain.

Skolnik is examining the impact of the FSMA on our products and company. At this time, our crevice-free stainless steel process drums are used extensively by our customers with exceptional demands for cleanliness.

Like the Cubs, Labelmaster Hits a Home Run with DGS XII!

October 24th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

Now viewed by the Dangerous Goods (DG) community as the best DG gathering of the year, Labelmaster hosted it’s 12th DG Symposium this past September at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. The Symposium has become a signature event for bringing together anyone involved in the training, transporting or handling of dangerous goods. Attendees included shippers of dangerous goods, suppliers to the dangerous goods industry, regulators from US, International regulatory agencies and interested parties that are taking their first steps into the world of hazmat transportation.

The program opened on Wednesday, Sept 6th with a welcome by Alan Schoen, President of Labelmaster, and was followed by Peter Mackay (HCB) and Rob Finn (Labelmaster) presenting the results of their international benchmarking survey of DG World Compliance. Speakers from the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) included Shane Kelly and Marc Nichols.

International regulatory agencies were represented by:
ICAO — International Civil Aviation Organization — Dave Brennan
IATA — International Air Transport Association — Dave Brennan and James Wyatt
IMDG — International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code — Jeff Hart
ADR — Agreement Concerning the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road — Kristel Vermeersch
GHS — Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling — Ben Barrett

In addition to global regulatory updates, private industry and many DG Trainers also participated in topical presentations including numerous Lithium Battery discussions, new DG technology and new trends in DG automation. A highlight of the event was the Labelmaster Fest where guests received a surprise performance of the Chicago Blues Brothers.

By far, one of the most memorable take aways from DGS is the brilliantly executed DG video interview with children at a playground. Titled “Kids Say the DG’est Things,” take a few minutes and enjoy children’s answers to all things DG!

PHMSA Releases 23 Million in Grants for Hazardous Waste Transportation Training

October 18th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat

Earlier this month, the Department of Transportation’s Pipline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA) announced that they are issuing a series of hazardous materials training grants, totaling $23,870,045. The three separate grants are part of PHSMA’s larger initiative to improve the transportation of these dangerous materials.

The largest of the three, totaling to roughly 20 million, will be disbursed via Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grants across all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories and Native American tribes, enhancing the abilities of emergency response personnel to protect themselves and the public when responding to hazardous material transportation related incidents.

An additional 2.4 million will be put into Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training (ALERT) grants. These will provide support to non-profit organizations such as the Center for Rural Development and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The funds will be used to train volunteers and remote emergency responders to safely respond to rail accidents involving crude oil and ethanol products.

The last 1 million will be issued to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance as part of its Community Safety Training grant program. This will allow community organizations to help train local and state personnel responsible for enforcing safe hazardous material transportation.

Hazardous materials have the ability to make an already dangerous situation that much more lethal. With these grants, responders across a broad spectrum of organizations will better be able to respond to the challenges, stay safe and in turn keep those around them safe.

For the full report from PHMSA, including a chart breaking down the allocation of the HMEP grants by state, click here.

eCommerce and Packaging at COSTHA

October 17th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

Members of the Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) met for the quarterly review of the domestic and global dangerous goods (DG) issues. On October 3-5, 2017, in Rosemont, IL, about 100 COSTHA members attended the event. Of particular interest, the new eCommerce Committee, Chaired by Veronica Wilson, identified the need for a forum for following the DG issues related to shipments via ground which are primarily business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C). Wilson identified that the initial scope of the Committee would not address matters related to shipments from private companies, such as eBay, shipments of counterfeit products, lithium batteries, nor reverse logistics. While important topics that will later be addressed, the primary scope at this time would be related to DG markings and labels on packagings. One of the members offered that a separate initiative has been launched by UL where air carriers would be able to search a database of battery manufacturers to confirm if they have passed the UN 38.3 test and help identify counterfeit and/or unsafe batteries from being transported.

The Packaging Committee, Chaired by Tracie Cady, reviewed the current list of issues to present to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which included the ability for Third-Party Test Labs to test and mark foreign packagings. The Committee also agreed to monitor a developing situation of counterfeit markings on packagings (ie, markings applied to unqualified packagings and contents by unknown manufacturers). COSTHA members will reconvene in Alexandria, VA, January 9-10, 2018 for Committee updates and regulatory presentations.