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

Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

PHMSA Issues Final Rule on Shipping Hazardous Materials

October 19th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat, Safety

Earlier this week, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) , in consultation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), issued a final rule on shipping hazardous materials. This much anticipated rule aligns the U.S. Hazardous Materials regulations with other current international standards for the air transportation of hazardous materials.

By aligning with international standards, businesses, shippers and civilians alike can be more confident that hazardous materials are being safely and securely transported and the risk of incident is reduced.

Now finalized, the new amendments revise a number of requirements including packaging requirements and information to the pilot-in-command requirements. Several more amendments are in response to petitions for rulemaking submitted by the regulated community.

Other amendments include changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations and vessel stowage requirements.

At Skolnik, we take compliance very seriously. Our hazardous material containers are always manufactured stronger and heavier than industry and regulatory standards require.

This Final Rule is detailed in the Federal Register.

Steel Drums are affected by the Global Tariffs

October 16th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

In the past year, the price of steel in the US has risen due to the tariffs that have been placed on products being imported in to the US. In most cases, steel drum manufacturers and reconditioners have passed on the increase to the end user. There is always the belief that when steel prices increase, reconditioned drums deserve consideration. However, in this unique steel crisis, the available recycled raw materials that are used to recondition or remanufacture drums are drying up as crushed scrap drums are being illegally sent to scrap yards and eventually end up at steel mills. RIPA has created a 1 minute video explaining this unlawful act that could affect companies. Given the reduction of steel drums available for reconditioning, the reconditioned drum prices reflect the shortage of raw drums and therefore, the prices between new and reconditioned are not far apart.

Furthermore, some manufacturers are using the price of steel in the US to drive down the necessary wall thickness of steel drums. Drum user’s often do not realize that reducing wall thickness increases the risk on drum performance — and a small cost savings on the drum exposes the much more expensive inner contents to greater transport risk.

On the other hand, users contemplating reconditioned versus new drums will find that a reconditioned drum is going to be thicker and heavier than many of the thin-walled new drums that are not intended to withstand reconditioning and are being scrapped after a single use. When choosing the best drum for your product, we recommend that thicker steel is the best choice for risk-reduced transport and storage. Never use a drum that is less than 0.9mm minimum or 20 gauge wall thickness.

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.

Can Ice Cream be a HazMat!

July 17th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The shipping of ice cream can be classified as a dangerous good, or hazmat for transport if it’s packed in dry ice. As a result of the dry ice, the shipment becomes a hazardous consignment as dry ice evaporates over time releasing carbon dioxide gas. Normal air is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and only 0.035% carbon dioxide. If the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air rises above 5%, carbon dioxide can become toxic.

By using the correct amount of dry ice it is possible to meet the stringent requirements of maintaining a specific maximum temperature within a package during its transport period. The precise amount required will depend on many factors, including; the insulating properties of the box, the mass of goods to be maintained at temperature, the starting temperature of the goods, the arrangement of the goods and dry ice within the packaging, the climatic conditions during the transport period, the length of the transport period, and the allowance made for possible delivery delays.

Most importantly, consult with your shipping agent to confirm that your dry ice shipment is compliant and safe.