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Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Secondary Spill Containment: The Power of Prevention

May 1st, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat, Safety

Containing and transporting hazardous materials or potentially dangerous goods is not a task to be taken lightly. The DOT, UN and EPA all have their own specific regulations regarding the avoidance and management of hazmat leaks and spills and at Skolnik, we strive to prepare businesses and shippers with the tools they need to maintain compliance and keep everyone safe. A solid plan and preparation is the best defense against a potential spill. The EPA calls such planning SPCC, and while it is specifically written with oil spills in mind, we think it holds several important lessons and tips for the handling of any dangerous good.

What does SPCC mean?

SPCC stands for Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures and it is a key component of the EPA’s oil spill prevention program. Essentially, an SPCC plan is a prevention plan for oil spills and leaks related to non-transportation related on or offshore oil operations.

Prevention is Key

While the EPA also requires oil operations to have a facilities response plan in place – the first step to solving a disaster such as an oil spill is to avoid it all together.

When handling dangerous goods of any kind, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Hazardous materials pose a grave threat to your employees, facility, community and/or the environment as a whole. No matter how careful you are in your operations, there is always a risk of a spill or leak. That’s where an SPCC plan comes in — as a Plan B in case all of your other careful planning has failed you.

In the business of transporting and storing hazardous materials, the most common and trusted form of SPCC are drum spill containers, or secondary spill containers.

Drum Spill Containers / Secondary Spill Containers

Drum spill containers are containers used in the event of an industrial hazardous or chemical spill. All Skolnik steel spill containers are suitable for clean up use or as secondary containment. Secondary spill containers are used either in response to an already leaking package,  in which case the leaking package will be contained in the secondary spill drum, thus mitigating the dangers of the leak; or as a preventative measure, in which case a non-leaking container holding hazardous materials is sealed within a secondary spill container for transportation and storage as an extra safety measure.

Secondary containment requirements are addressed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) contained in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 264, the 2006 Uniform Fire Code (UFC) in standard 60.3.2.8.3 and in the 2012 International Fire Code (IFC) in 5004.2.

See a Live Listing of Global Incidents!

April 18th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Incidents that affect our lives occur every minute, worldwide. Now, thanks to GlobalIncidentMap.com, just about every reported incident is viewable, live, on line. When I first learned about this map, I watched it for an hour! In addition to HazMat situations, the traceable categories include Forest Fires, Disease Outbreaks, Amber-Alerts, Gang Activity, Border Security Issues, Presidential Threats, Terrorism Event Predictions, Earthquakes, Drug Interdictions, Non-Terror Aviation Incidents, Food/Medicine Incidents and Human Trafficking. On the map, there is also a live feed which offers brief descriptions of all the current incidents that are being watched.

These incidents are all around us and every day, incidents occur. We usually hear about the significant incidents in our local or national news but many of the incidents never become newsworthy. Just today in Chicago, there are highway closures, explosions, suspicious packages, fires, truck overturns and more. In some cases, these incidents happen closer to you than expected.

To check out this map, go to www.globalincidentmap.com and you can filter the maps to indicate HazMat situations, or whatever situation you wish to follow.

TRANSCAER® OFFERS FREE EMERGENCY TRAINING

March 28th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Training for emergency response is critical to saving lives. To this end, TRANSCAER® (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) is a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and to respond to a possible hazardous material transportation incident. TRANSCAER® members consist of volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distributor, and emergency response industries, as well as the government and was founded in 1986 by the Union Pacific Railroad and The Dow Chemical Company.

TRANSCAER® is organized into two groups: the National TRANSCAER® Task Group (NTTG) and its included Executive Committee, which manages the TRANSCAER® program; and the Regional Approach, which implements TRANSCAER® and the nine TRANSCAER® steps throughout the United States.

Members of the NTTG may represent manufacturers, distributors, hazardous materials storage and handling, transporters, emergency response and preparedness organizations, their associations, and related service industries.

Available TRANSCAER® resources may include:

  • Classroom and hands-on training
  • Emergency planning assistance
  • Support for community drills and exercises
  • Technical information, reference, and training materials
  • National conferences and workshops for sharing best practices and networking

Learn more about TRANSCAER® open our brochure and our TRANSCAER® BRIEFING.

If you would like more information about TRANSCAER®, contact Donna Lepik, Staff Executive, TRANSCAER®, American Chemistry Council, 700 2nd Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Contact 202-249-6723 or donna_lepik@americanchemistry.com.

Corporations Urge DOT to Approve HazMat Harmonization

March 21st, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

Last 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.