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

Archive for the ‘HazMat’ Category

Steel Drums are all about GREEN

February 28th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

Recognized worldwide as the leading package used for transporting liquids and solids, steel drums are not new to the world of industrial packaging. In fact, steel drums are one of the most recognizable types of packaging that fulfill GREEN initiatives. In addition to being the most widely used package for liquid and solid shipments, it also is the packaging type that is most used for global hazardous material shipments. The steel drum is one of the few packagings that has a “maiden voyage”, then depending on the metal thickness, can be reconditioned for another 3-7 more “trips,” and eventually the exhausted packaging can be 100% recycled. This means that a single steel drum can serve as many as 4-8 shipments of product before being sold for scrap!

It’s important to point out that the number of reconditioning lives of the drum is a function of the top, bottom and body wall metal thickness. While many drum manufacturers choose to reduce the metal thickness to reduce the initial raw material cost, this also substantially reduces the number of “trips,” the drum will make before recycling. Hence, the small initial savings might, initially, reduce the cost of packaging, but it also increases the RISK of a packaging breach. Unlike other packagings that have only a single life, or that are “recycleable” but not reusable, the steel drum qualifies for the GREEN objectives by using our natural resources more efficiently and encouraging reuse and recycling of industrial packaging.

Downstream Liability: Myths versus Reality

February 21st, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Some persons in corporate management believe that outsourcing the corporate transportation function will help to insulate the company from liability in the event of a motor carrier accident or a hazardous materials incident. This is not necessarily true — outsourcing to third parties does not necessarily eliminate or mitigate this risk. Outsourcing transportation to a for-hire motor carrier (or an intermediary such as a broker or freight forwarder) does change the target of due diligence from private fleet drivers to the third party transportation provider, but it does not eliminate the shipper’s responsibility for investigating the person or company that will be transporting their goods, performing their pre- and post-transportation functions adequately, or even supervising their carrier’s performance. But the aggressive exercise of management over carrier practices could also provide evidence that the shipper is responsible for the carrier’s negligent acts or omissions. Ultimately, shippers must balance the need to control their transportation service and the acceptance of a certain degree of liability for injuries caused by transportation operations.

To further investigate these liabilities, Richard (Rick) Schweitzer, General Counsel to the Council on the Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), and General Counsel to Skolnik Industries, has prepared a paper entitled Downstream Liability: Myths Versus Reality. This paper deals with civil liability for incidents or collisions that cause personal injuries or death and that occur in the stream of commercial motor vehicle transportation. View the entire paper here.

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.