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

Archive for the ‘DOT/UN’ Category

Corporations Urge DOT to Approve Rule to Harmonize Hazardous Material Handling Regulations

February 16th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Safety

Earlier this 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The final rule, coded HM-215N, was initially posted on the Federal Register website, but was then rescinded and put on hold per the regulatory freeze imposed by the Trump administration on January 20th.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.

What to Consider When Choosing a Dangerous Goods or Hazmat Drum

January 31st, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

When it comes to steel drums, it is important to know that the container you choose was designed and approved for your intended use. This is especially important when it comes to hazardous materials or waste. Just as there are a wide range of hazardous materials: explosives, gases, flammables, peroxides, infectious, radioactive, corrosive, etc; there are a wide range of hazmat drums. First, a shipper must determine whether or not the contents to be shipped is hazardous or non-hazardous. To make this initial determination, a shipper can consult with the US DOT, or a dangerous goods consultant. If it is determined that the contents is a regulated hazardous material, then the next step is to consider packaging options that will be complaint with Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The regulations specific to steel drums are in chapter 178.601.

Consider asking a dangerous goods consultant to determine the level of risk associated with your materials. Are they flammable? Do they produce toxic fumes? Is it an oxidizer? How does it react to water? Does it pose a threat to the environment? All of these characteristics could impact what linings, closures, fittings and materials you should consider when choosing a container. They also impact how your containers should be stored. For example, in case of a spill or leak, oxidizers should be kept separate from any flammable or combustible chemicals. In case of a fire, you’ll want to know how your materials react to water or other fire suppressors. Once you’ve found the appropriate container, keep your materials in their designated containers at all times, and always have a plan for possible leak or emergency situations. We suggest having Salvage Drums on hand to quickly encase any unexpected release of contents.

Every Skolnik steel drum was engineered for specific uses and are tested in accordance with the United Nations Recommendations. We are happy to help guide you to the appropriate packaging for your hazardous materials classification, and can even suggest resources to help you better understand, and comply with the hazards of your materials and/or how to properly dispose of any hazmat.

If you are not sure whether or not you are shipping, mailing, or in any way transporting a hazardous material, we have made special arrangements with Mr. Gene Sanders, of W.E. Train Consulting in Tampa, FL to address these questions. At no initial charge, Gene will assist Skolnik customers, and potential customers, for up to 15 minutes, to determine if the product they are shipping is a regulated product and thereby subject to the shipping requirements of the CFR. If it is a regulated product, Gene will then charge to assist in package selection and determinations of documentation requirements. The small upfront cost for properly shipping hazardous materials can save huge penalties for violation of these regulations. To contact Gene Sanders, you can reach him directly at: 813-855-3855 or gene@wetrainconsulting.com.

Decoding The Markings of a UN Packaging

January 24th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

If a shipper understands the code used on UN certified drums, then the symbol and letters placed on the outside of a drum can give all the necessary information to determine what type of contents can be safely stored inside. If a shipper does not understand the code and is shipping a hazardous material, this can lead to a non-compliant and potentially dangerous situation. Below is an example of UN markings one might see on a drum.

1A2/X430/S/13/USA/(SDCC)

Click here for graphic UN code illustration

The first character used determines the type of container. Here, the number "1" is used because that is the UN code for drums. The letter "A" denotes the container is made of steel and the number "2" indicates it is an open head style. In the next section, the first character is the class rating for UN classifications. An "X" means the drum’s contents belong to the highest hazardous class (X, Y, Z with X being the highest risk and Z being the lowest). The next set of numbers is the tested weight in kilograms, so in our example the drum can hold 430 KG. The "S" indicates that the drum has been approved for holding solids, and the "13" denotes what year the drum was manufactured. Next is the country of origin followed by the unique manufacturer’s code which for Skolnik is “SDCC.”

Although there is no required placement for the marking, they must be placed somewhere easy to see, usually the top of the head or the side of the drum. Every drum that is larger than 100 liters (26.4 gallons) is required to have the markings in a second place, the bottom of the drum. Whereas the first marking can be added to the drum with paint or a label, this second must be permanent on the drum. This second marking can be embossed or etched into the steel as long as it is not removable. This second marking does not require the manufacturer’s code.

There is a minimum size requirement for the size of the letters, but there is not a specified color or font to use. Characters must be at least 12.0mm (0.47") high, and a color that stands out from the metal or paint on the outside of the drum.
It is important to use the drum as it was tested and to follow all Closure Instructions provided by the manufacturer. The number one concern in packaging is to prevent the escape of any contents, and only a drum manufactured and used properly can accomplish this goal.

Overpack Container Regulations At-A-Glance

January 5th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Salvage Drum

An overpack drum is a type of protective packaging manufactured to contain non-hazardous or hazardous materials or provide outer protection for another container to prevent or mitigate damage. At its most basic definition, an overpack is simply a large container in which another smaller container can be placed. Overpacks can be made out of any material — such as Skolnik’s steel overpack drums. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the movement of all hazardous materials and have specific performance standards that overpack containers must meet.

Not to be confused with Salvage Drums or Salvage Overpack Drums, Overpacks are designed to protect non-leaking containers or to be used as a combination pack.

Because they are designed to provide additional protection, they are built stronger and must meet more stringent requirements than other containers.

So what are a few of those regulations?

  • Overpack containers must always have a UN marking on them that specifies the type of hazardous materials it is certified to contain.
  • An overpack will never have a liquids rating because it is designed to hold another container — a solid. Regardless of what the inner package contains, the overpack technically contains a solid.
  • The container inside an overpack must be intact — if the container is damaged, defective or leaking you must use a salvage drum.

Salvage drums, on the other hand, are certified to hold damaged, leaking or non-compliant containers and are held to even stricter regulations than overpack drums.

These are just a high level overview of the DOT’s overpack regulations. Remember that preparing hazardous materials for shipment can be complicated, and safety and compliance are key. Reserve the task of packing your hazardous materials for someone who has the appropriate DOT hazmat shipping training.

Skolnik Industries TIH (PIH) Overpack Drums range from a 20 gallon overpack to an 85 gallon overpack drum and are certified according to UN criteria and qualify as secure outer packaging. If you have any questions about using an overpack or salvage drum, don’t hesitate to ask your Skolnik representative.