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

Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

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.

Downstream Liability: Myths versus Reality

February 21st, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Some persons in corporate management believe that outsourcing the corporate transportation function will help to insulate the company from liability in the event of a motor carrier accident or a hazardous materials incident. This is not necessarily true — outsourcing to third parties does not necessarily eliminate or mitigate this risk. Outsourcing transportation to a for-hire motor carrier (or an intermediary such as a broker or freight forwarder) does change the target of due diligence from private fleet drivers to the third party transportation provider, but it does not eliminate the shipper’s responsibility for investigating the person or company that will be transporting their goods, performing their pre- and post-transportation functions adequately, or even supervising their carrier’s performance. But the aggressive exercise of management over carrier practices could also provide evidence that the shipper is responsible for the carrier’s negligent acts or omissions. Ultimately, shippers must balance the need to control their transportation service and the acceptance of a certain degree of liability for injuries caused by transportation operations.

To further investigate these liabilities, Richard (Rick) Schweitzer, General Counsel to the Council on the Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), and General Counsel to Skolnik Industries, has prepared a paper entitled Downstream Liability: Myths Versus Reality. This paper deals with civil liability for incidents or collisions that cause personal injuries or death and that occur in the stream of commercial motor vehicle transportation. View the entire paper here.