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

Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

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.

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.