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

Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

90-Day Waiver for ELD for Transporters of Agricultural Commodities

April 17th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on March 19, 2018, additional steps to address the unique needs of the country’s agriculture industries and provided further guidance to assist in the effective implementation of the Congressionally-mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule without impeding commerce or safety. The Agency is announced an additional 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD rule for agriculture related transportation. Additionally, during this time period, FMCSA will publish final guidance on both the agricultural 150 air-mile hours-of-service exemption and personal conveyance. FMCSA will continue its outreach to provide assistance to the agricultural industry and community regarding the ELD rule.
Since December 2017, roadside compliance with the hours-of-service record-keeping requirements, including the ELD rule, has been steadily increasing, with roadside compliance reaching a high of 96% in the most recent available data. There are over 330 separate self-certified devices listed on the registration list.
Beginning April 1, 2018 full enforcement of the ELD rule begins. Carriers subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that do not have an ELD when required will be placed out-of-service. The driver will remain out-of-service for 10 hours in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) criteria. At that point, to facilitate compliance, the driver will be allowed to travel to the next scheduled stop and should not be dispatched again without an ELD. If the driver is dispatched again without an ELD, the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action. Read the complete FMCSA action here.

And now, Lithium Battery Smuggling!

March 27th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

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

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alleges that on February 22, 2017, two passengers affiliated with the J&J Transportation Group of Miami, offered three checked bags containing hundreds of lithium ion batteries to American Airlines for shipment by air from Miami to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The shipment included 318 lithium ion batteries as well as 85 cell phones and 11 laptop computers that contained lithium ion batteries. FAA proposed a $63,750 civil penalty against J&J Tech for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations. American Airlines workers at Miami International Airport discovered the shipment during checked baggage screening.

The FAA alleges J&J Tech Group offered, through checked baggage, a greater number of lithium batteries than were allowed by the regulations. Moreover, regulations prohibit offering these batteries as cargo on a passenger-carrying aircraft.

The FAA further alleges that the shipments were not accompanied by a shipper’s declaration of dangerous goods and were not properly classed, described, packaged, marked, labeled or in the proper condition for shipment. Additionally, the agency alleges J&J Tech Group failed to ensure that each of its employees received required hazardous materials training, and failed to provide emergency response information with the shipment.

DOT & OSHA Release Joint Video on Hazmat Communications.

March 20th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

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

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) jointly produced and rolled out a YouTube video that provides clarity on the differing agency labeling requirements to communicate the dangers of hazardous materials in transportation (DOT) and in the workplace (OSHA). Both agencies are responsible for enforcing distinct and separate safety standards regarding the appropriate labeling of chemical hazards through PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Regulations and OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard 2012. Click here to view the video on YouTube. Consider this video for use in HazMat Training.

The Dangers of Re-Selling 55-Gallon Drums and Other Industrial Containers

February 8th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News, Safety

The 55 gallon steel drum is one of the best-traveled, most-recognized and most-used industrial containers in the world — they are ubiquitous. So, it should come as no surprise that you can get one virtually anywhere. And, in the age of e-tail and on-demand-delivery, it should come as no surprise that people are deal-hunting and ordering industrial drums online. Cutting corners around the OEM and ordering second-hand drums from EBay and Craigslist is incredibly risky and dangerous.

Many of our drums are used to hold chemicals or other flammable materials. If it isn’t properly recycled or reconditioned, but instead just rinsed and allowed to sit, sealed and forgotten for a time being, the fumes and pressure inside can build to an explosion.

Right now, hundreds if not thousands of used and potentially dangerous containers are being sold online.

An article by the Journal Sentinel reported that, “an examination of accidents involving exploding drums and fires found that many occurred in backyards and garages across the country, where buyers weren’t aware of the danger lurking inside.”

And yet, these drums are sold and re-sold on Craigslist or E-Bay with little to no oversight. Some are even being off-loaded without any labels indicating their previous contents may have been dangerous.

No matter how well a used drum has been rinsed and scrubbed, if it was not properly sanitized and reconditioned by an expert manufacturer, it is dangerous. After all, it is not the liquid that was being contained that is dangerous, but the vapors left behind. According to the Sentinel, “As little as two tablespoons of a flammable chemical can create enough fumes in a 55-gallon barrel to explode when ignited by a single spark.”

The Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA), which represents drum reconditioning companies, is aghast that these containers are being sold without proper oversight and procedure. As leading experts in the business, RIPA is urging consumers and businesses to trust their fellow experts and stick to purchasing industrial containers from OEMs like Skolnik Industries where most reconditioned drums are certified by the UN.

Many of these drums lurking on online shops are being billed as safe, but without proper oversight and regulation there is no way of knowing for sure. It isn’t a risk anyone should be willing to take.

Just because you see 55 gallon drums everywhere doesn’t mean you should buy them anywhere.