1-800-441-8780

1-773-735-0700

Industrial Packaging for Critical Contents

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

Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

The Dangers of Transporting Precious “Live” Goods

June 27th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

On April 20, 2017, a special passenger arrived on a United Airlines flight from London Heathrow to Chicago O‘Hare. He was in good health and spirits the last time someone had checked on him a few hours before takeoff. But when it came time for him to change planes on the second leg of the journey, an attendant discovered that he had passed away.

His name was Simon, and he was an enormous rabbit, measuring 3 feet in length, from whiskers to cottontail.

The public outcry was instantaneous. While no definite cause of death was determined by press time, the owner of the rabbit, a U.K.-based animal breeder named Anette Edwards, demanded an explanation and later received an undisclosed sum for compensation for the loss of the animal. The breed, known as a Continental Giant, can be sold for more than $5,000.00! Simon’s father, in fact, is the holder of the world record for length, at more than 4 feet. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation figures, 35 animals died on board U.S. airlines in 2015. Of those, 14 died on United flights — the highest rate of any U.S. carrier.

The tragedy illustrated the paramount importance of the health of animals that are being transported by air, whether it is in the baggage compartment of a 767 passenger jet, where Simon was, or a climate-controlled, chartered freighter modified for carrying multiple large animals. Despite the public relations risk and the expense required to ensure the safety of animal transport, business is booming now for forwarders and carriers willing to serve this niche.

In an era where capturing specialty, high-value cargo can be the difference between profit and loss each quarter, the movement of livestock and exotic animal charters is an increasingly attractive option — especially when large mammals are involved.

Interest in animal transport is building not just because of the niche income but because of rumors that International Air Transport Association (IATA) may soon launch a new Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) program specially designed for Live Animals. While IATA officials would not comment publicly on a timeline for a CEIV-Live Animals certification, there have been discussions about how the program would work.

Should a CEIV-Live Animals standard emerge in the next few years, the physical proof of certification in safe handling methods could prove to be a lucrative accolade for a forwarder, a ground handler, or an entire airport community, to attract animal shippers who never want to hear another sad Simon story.

Schoonover Speaks to the PHMSA Future at COSTHA

May 23rd, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

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

May 2nd, 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ – At the annual meeting of the Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), William (Bill) Schoonover, Associate Administrator for Hazardous Material Safety at the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) presented the Vision and Mission of PHMSA. Their Vision is to be the most innovative transportation safety organization in the world, and their Mission is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential in our daily lives.

PHMSA will achieve these goals by investing in people, increasing communication internally and externally, positioning for innovation, fostering transparency and improving engagement. This will be achieved by implementing a safety management system that is data driven from information gathered from the 45,000 companies overseen by DOT. This information, and implementation, will include electronic shipping papers, new hazmatics which will improve how data is collected, and the beginning of regulation and data collection of autonomous vehicles. In addition, PHMSA will be the first government agency to have an ISO 9000 certified data collection system.

In addition to Mr. Schoonover, Ryan Pacquet, Director of Approvals and Permits; Shane Kelley, Assistant International Standards Coordinator; and Lindsey Constantino, International Transportation Specialist, also addressed the COSTHA members on the PHMSA strategies for the near future.

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.