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

Archive for the ‘DOT/UN’ Category

Check the “Hazmatt” Box!

September 25th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

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

Many of the products that we use on a daily basis, including batteries, aerosol sprays, and adhesives, contain hazardous materials (hazmats). The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) hazmat regulations require that these products be properly classified, packaged, labeled, handled, and stowed for transportation over public right-of-way. This protects workers, emergency responders, and the general public from the risks associated with hazmat transportation. The US Dept of Transportation has introduced a new character, ‘HazMatt’, designed to help ‘reach the unreached’ who are unaware that they are shipping hazardous materials. Speaking at the recent Labelmaster DG Symposium, PHMSA’s Shane Kelley explained that all the modal agencies under DOT are working together to get the message out as widely as possible, particularly to those that do not normally receive the hazmat message. The project is ongoing — and is worth following at checkthebox.dot.gov.

Remember: If you ship products, it is your responsibility to know whether those products are hazmat, and to communicate their hazards appropriately, according to DOT’s hazmat regulations. Shipping a non-compliant hazmat can result in hefty fines from the DOT!

The Importance of Clarity: Overpack Drums vs. Salvage Drums

August 1st, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, Salvage Drum

We can’t overstate how important it is for everyone involved in the shipment or storage of materials to understand the requirements of the situation and materials. In our line of work, part of that is knowing the right drums are used when shipping materials in order to comply with safety standards. These safety standards are important for keeping people safe, but also for avoiding the penalties that come with using defective drums, or the wrong class of drum entirely.

In the past, there has been confusion among manufacturers, customers, and shippers about the difference between Overpack Drums and Salvage Drums. Due to a lack of clarity, and a industry wide game of telephone, Overpack Drums and Salvage Drums were thought of as the same exact products for a while. This, of course, leads to a whole array of problems. First of all, if you were to use an Overpack Drum to do the job of a Salvage Drum, your materials would not be secure. Second, that particular load would certainly not meet DOT or UN standards.

As you would guess, there is a marked difference between Salvage and Overpack. A difference that, while we are sure most everyone in this industry knows, bears repeating — which is why we revisit this topic regularly. Overpack drums are used to hold packages or materials that are still properly sealed and meet safety and shipping regulations on their own, and the drum is used to consolidate materials. Think of them as a second layer of protection, or a handy way to transport multi-pack items. Salvage drums are used to hold leaking, damaged or otherwise compromised and non-compliant packages.

Clarifying every detail of your materials or shipment is important to everyone involved. There are a laundry list of important regulations that protect us, and the environment, but without clarity and strong communication about standards and norms, it is incredibly difficult to follow them and maintain good, safe and compliant business practices.

 

Gasket Inspection is Essential for Compliant Closure

July 24th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

If you are using a United Nations certified open or closed head steel drum, the closure system most likely relies on a gasket to complete the compliant closure. Gaskets are used in closure to secure the drum cover, or plug, to be fluids and solids tight. Since the adoption of Performance Oriented Packaging, new gasket styles, materials and profiles have entered the market to increase drum integrity and performance. Gaskets can be of different colors, shapes, and compounds, however, drum fillers must be aware that all gaskets need to be inspected prior to sealing or closing a drum. Whether it‘s the first time closed, or a repeated closure, check the gasket for any irregularities including, but not limited to: crumbling, cracking, slicing, tearing, is it properly seated into the cover groove or on top of the bead, is the bond to the metal intact, and does the gasket exhibit memory. In the event that a user should believe the gasket to be questionable, you can ask the original drum manufacturer for a replacement gasket. It is important that the replacement gasket be the same as the original gasket with which the drums were originally performance tested. Using a non-OEM gasket will invalidate the UN certification. For more information about how to properly close steel drums, check out the Skolnik Closure Videos.

The Basics of UN Drums

July 13th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN

Proper packaging is crucial, especially for dangerous goods. Using the wrong container to transport or store your goods can have a disastrous impact on your facility, community, employees and the environment. With countless manufacturers and transportation companies across the globe building and utilizing industrial containers everyday, there needed to be a level of regulation and oversight in the packaging and transportation industry. One of those levels of regulation comes from the United Nations.

For a drum to be UN approved and rated it needs to be built, tested and certified to contain liquid or solid dangerous materials. Only packages that are certified to have passed the UN packaging standard tests may be used to transport dangerous goods.

A few basics on UN drums and the regulations that surround them:

UN drums are tested against drop, stack, leak and pressure standards. UN performance standards are an internationally recognized system of ratings for solids and liquids.

All UN certified drums are marked with a code that indicates the physical nature of the product for which they are suited. This code always starts with the letters “UN” in a circle. This marking is permanent.

There are three dangerous goods packing groups. The first (packing group I) refers to UN Drums and barrels such as those manufactured by Skolnik. This packing group is built to the highest standard.

It is the shipper’s legal duty to select and fill packages correctly. It is also the shipper’s duty to ensure that packages are marked accordingly. Shipping container packers should check that packages are properly marked and, if they are not, should not transport them. But the responsibility of proper selection falls on the shipper.

Do you know what UN rating your materials need? Skolnik can help you understand the UN ratings and guide you to the packaging suited for your use. What’s more, Skolnik UN drums are built stronger and thicker than the industry standards require.