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

Archive for the ‘DOT/UN’ Category

Move Over It’s the Law

April 23rd, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

If your car has ever broken down or you have had a flat tire, being stranded on the side of a road, can be very dangerous. Cars and trucks speeding by just inches away leaves too little margin for error and could easily result in a disastrous crash. America’s first responders — police, fire, EMT’s — face this peril every day in the line of duty. Also at risk are tow truck drivers, highway workers, utility workers and others whose jobs sometimes require that they park their vehicle on the roadway or the side of the road.

More than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed since 1997 after being struck by vehicles along America’s highways. In fact, traffic-related incidents, including vehicle crashes, are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers. In 2017, 47 officers lost their lives in traffic-related incidents, with nine officers struck and killed outside their vehicles. Already in 2019, responder fatalities include 7 law enforcement officers. From 2007 to 2017, 39 percent of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were lost in traffic-related incidents. Many have been seriously injured. This is a tragedy and completely preventable.

To keep people from being killed or injured in these situations, all fifty states now have mandatory “Move Over” laws. Details vary, but assume that if you see a vehicle with emergency lights or flashers on, you are required to move over a lane and slow down.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will continue to raise awareness of this important issue through its ongoing safety campaign: Move Over. It’s the Law.

Every driver has a part to play in keeping first responders safe. When you see a first responder or other vehicle with flashing lights, please slow down, move over, and give them space to stay safe. “Move Over” is not only the law in all fifty states, but is also the courteous thing to do. And when you safely move over, you are signaling to the drivers behind you that they should follow your lead.

Decoding the UN Marking on a Drum

April 15th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

Every UN certified drum has a “birthmark” but few shippers know the meaning of these markings. In accordance with UN recommendations, certified markings indicate the performance rating and test information about a steel drum and must be applied in accordance with CFR 178.3(a)(3). For drums over 100 Litres (26 US Gallons) there are a number of ways that the marking can be applied including stamping, embossing, burning and printing. For these size drums, there must be one complete set of durable marks on the side or non-removable top head of a closed head drum, and a second, partial mark, embossed permanently on the bottom head. The purpose of having the two marks is that once filled, the drum will sit, primarily, on its bottom head, and the UN test information needs to be readily viewable for the user at the side or top mark. The permanent partial bottom mark must conform to the application options indicated earlier. However, the side or top mark is required to be durable rather than permanent. Therefore, it is common and acceptable for the durable mark to be printed on a self-adhesive label, which is attached to the side of the drum. The characters on the label and the permanent embossment are subject to the size and sequence requirements as specified in 178.3(4) and 178.503(a)(1) through (a)(6) and (a)(9)(i). For a breakdown of the individual marks, you can link to the following: Open Head Solid Marking, Open Head Liquid Marking, Closed Head Marking, Seamless Marking.

NTSB the 2019 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements

March 26th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The National Transportation Safety Board announced its 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, during a recent event held at the National Press Club. First issued in 1990, the NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements serves as the agency’s primary advocacy tool to help save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce property damage resulting from transportation accidents.

The 10 items on the NTSB’s 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements are:

  • Eliminate Distractions
  • End Alcohol and Other Drug Impairment
  • Ensure the Safe Shipment of Hazardous Materials
  • Fully Implement Positive Train Control
  • Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Speeding-Related Crashes
  • Improve the Safety of Part 135 Aircraft Flight Operations
  • Increase Implementation of Collision Avoidance Systems in All New Highway Vehicles
  • Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents
  • Require Medical Fitness — Screen for and Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Strengthen Occupant Protection

“The 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List advocates for 46 specific safety recommendations that can and should be implemented during these next two years nd It also features broad, longstanding safety issues that still threaten the traveling public. Read more…

Shippers Must Have Closure Instructions on File

March 19th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

By now, most of our Newsletter readers know that for all HazMat packagings, the packaging manufacturer is required by CFR 178.2(c) to deliver Closure Instructions with each package sold. Recently, a customer informed us that one of their other suppliers for a hazmat packaging refused to give them a Closure Instruction and UN Certification, claiming it was “proprietary information.” This is completely untrue and puts a shipper in danger of being non-compliant with DOT! Furthermore, if the shipper chooses to close theirs package without following the specific Closure Instructions from the manufacturer, the shipper would also be liable for a DOT non-compliance violation. Closure Instructions for steel drums require that the closing of a steel drum be translated into a technical instruction. These instructions are written without any DOT guidelines but must indicate the measures necessary in order to properly secure a package for transport. DOT does expect Closure Instructions to include some reference to torque capacities. These measures may include; specially calibrated tools; measurements; torque; and other familiar references. Because UN certified drums in the US must be re-tested annually, be sure that your Steel Drum supplier is providing current Closure Instructions that meet the requirements of CFR 178.2(c), and that you use the tools necessary to comply with these instructions. Some tools may require scheduled recalibrations. Lastly, verify that the Closure Instructions are being followed at each shipping location. Click here to verify that you have current SKOLNIK Closure Instructions for all your SKOLNIK containers.