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

Archive for the ‘DOT/UN’ Category

Who Certifies the UN Certified Packaging?

December 19th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

Here at Skolnik, every material, design, and production process is carefully engineered to meet the safety standards set forth by the various regulatory bodies that keep a watchful eye on our industry. One such organization is the UN’s Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the group in charge of the UN Certified Packaging label seen on many of our barrels. While we have written articles translating label components and even unpacking  specific elements, we have not yet examined who dictates these stringent standards.

The UN’s Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods is a subsidiary the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Established in 1946, the ECOSOC is one of the six principal organs of the UN, along with such bodies as the General Assembly and Security Council. The ECOSOC has under it number of commissions which it coordinates, such as the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on the Status of Women. One of the region-focused agencies is the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). The ECE actually works with many countries not only in Europe, but across North America and Asia as well. It is within this commission that you’ll find the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, aka the people in charge of the certified packaging label.

Quite a circuitous path through bureaucracy, but the committee is important for transportation regulations. In fact, the other major document they’re in charge of, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), is an important building block for UN Certified Packaging. The GHS is the UN’s document that puts forth a set of consistent classifications and labelings for chemicals that is used internationally so that countries working with one another can communicate efficiently and accurately across geographic and lingual borders.

In turn, this common chemical language comes in handy when it comes to classifying and categorizing the packaging in which they can be stored. So, while there is plenty that the committee does, it all is in the service of ensuring the safe transportation of potentially dangerous products.

Despite the relative obscurity of the organisation behind UN Certified Packaging, they play a very important role in the everyday operation of many different industries. We here at Skolnik certainly are grateful for the time, energy, and expertise they’ve put into giving our customers the peace of mind with the label we put on our products. Thanks UN!

FOR TRAINING OF PROPER CLOSURE INSTRUCTIONS, TRY OUR VIDEOS

December 19th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

Proper closure of a steel drum is the final regulatory detail to shipping compliance. Even though you may be purchasing a drum that meets the United Nations criteria for shipping hazardous materials, the proper closure of the drum is the most critical part of the regulation and Closure Instructions are not generic. In fact, the US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, paragraph 178.2(c), requires that packaging manufacturers give current written instruction to the fillers about the proper closure procedure for their “manufacturer-specific” packaging. While every SKOLNIK order is shipped with written Closure Instructions, you can now view new videos of the:

In addition, written Closure Instructions are also available in Spanish. Check out all our Closure Instruction options at Skolnik.com/closure_instruction and call us if you need further clarification or would like to receive additional information for your record keeping.

Using Replacement Parts for Drums

November 21st, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

When buying a UN specification drum, the entire design of the drum and all its components (heads, ring, gasket, bolt, nut, plugs) are defined in the testing certification. All of these elements are incorporated into a drum type that must meet a test standard, and successfully pass the UN Testing criteria. Once established, shippers cannot alter or exchange any of these components with non OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts as it might impact the ability for the drum to perform as certified. For example, if a filler or shipper were to change the ring from a bolt style to a leverlock or even change the gasket type, this would void the UN certification for the container and could result in a potential DOT fine for the shipper, or a potential hazmat incident. If replacement parts are needed, fillers must make sure that they contact the manufacturer and get original parts that meet the test criteria of that specific drum. Once the drum is filled, compliance with the UN certification is the responsibility of the shipper. To locate the contact information for the manufacturer, look on the Closure Instructions for this information. For all drums manufactured by Skolnik, you can request replacement parts at www.skolnik.com.

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!