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

Posts Tagged ‘hazardous material leak’

Why Use Steel for Salvage Drums?

January 23rd, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat, Salvage Drum

Salvage drums are containers designed and certified to hold other damaged, leaking or non-compliant containers. The drums are heavily regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and rightfully so — nobody wants leaking containers holding hazardous goods to be shipped across public roads. While salvage drums can legally be made of steel, polyethylene, aluminum or metal, we recommend steel salvage drums over other materials.

The reason is fairly obvious: steel is stronger.

Salvage drums and overpack salvage drums differ from ordinary overpack drums in their certification to carry and protect damaged or leaking containers. Overpacks are designed to protect non-leaking containers or to be used as a combination pack.

While every salvage drum must pass, at a minimum, standard UN performance requirements for drums shipping solids as well as a 3 psi air leak proof test, Skolnik steel salvage drums go above and beyond. Our salvage drums are thicker, heavier and stronger than industry and DOT standards require.

Our steel salvage drums constructed of high quality carbon steel and are rigorously tested to ensure UN and DOT compliance. Our 85 gallon salvage drums are even T-rated, meaning they have passed the UN ‘T’ test allowing it to hold liquid or solid materials. This test and rating were created to give shippers the confidence that their damaged drum will be securely contained, even if it is holding liquid.

Federal law doesn’t require shippers to use steel salvage drums. However, when considering the safety of the environment and population, steel provides a peace of mind that other materials cannot.

The fines for non-compliance are almost as brutal as the certification tests themselves. Whether out of concern for the community or for your own good standing with the DOT, safe containment and transport of dangerous goods is not an area to skimp on.

Overpack Container Regulations At-A-Glance

January 5th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Salvage Drum

An overpack drum is a type of protective packaging manufactured to contain non-hazardous or hazardous materials or provide outer protection for another container to prevent or mitigate damage. At its most basic definition, an overpack is simply a large container in which another smaller container can be placed. Overpacks can be made out of any material — such as Skolnik’s steel overpack drums. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the movement of all hazardous materials and have specific performance standards that overpack containers must meet.

Not to be confused with Salvage Drums or Salvage Overpack Drums, Overpacks are designed to protect non-leaking containers or to be used as a combination pack.

Because they are designed to provide additional protection, they are built stronger and must meet more stringent requirements than other containers.

So what are a few of those regulations?

  • Overpack containers must always have a UN marking on them that specifies the type of hazardous materials it is certified to contain.
  • An overpack will never have a liquids rating because it is designed to hold another container — a solid. Regardless of what the inner package contains, the overpack technically contains a solid.
  • The container inside an overpack must be intact — if the container is damaged, defective or leaking you must use a salvage drum.

Salvage drums, on the other hand, are certified to hold damaged, leaking or non-compliant containers and are held to even stricter regulations than overpack drums.

These are just a high level overview of the DOT’s overpack regulations. Remember that preparing hazardous materials for shipment can be complicated, and safety and compliance are key. Reserve the task of packing your hazardous materials for someone who has the appropriate DOT hazmat shipping training.

Skolnik Industries TIH (PIH) Overpack Drums range from a 20 gallon overpack to an 85 gallon overpack drum and are certified according to UN criteria and qualify as secure outer packaging. If you have any questions about using an overpack or salvage drum, don’t hesitate to ask your Skolnik representative.

What to Consider When Choosing Hazardous Waste Containers

November 17th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat, Safety

When it comes to containers, it is important to know that the container you choose was designed and approved for your intended use. This is especially important when it comes to hazardous materials or waste containers.

Just as there is a wide range of hazardous materials: explosives, gasses, flammables, peroxides, infectious, radioactive, corrosive; there are a wide range of hazardous waste containers. Knowing your materials and their characteristics is an important component of hazmat safety.

First, a shipper must determine whether or not the contents to be shipped is hazardous or non-hazardous. To make this initial determination, as hipper can consult with the US DOT or a dangerous goods consultant. If it is determined that the contents are a regulated hazardous material, then the next step is to consider packaging options that will be compliant with Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The regulations specific to steel drums are in chapter 178.601.

Consider asking a dangerous goods consultant to determine the level of risk associated with your materials. Are they flammable? Do they produce toxic fumes? Is it an oxidizer? How does it react to water? Does it pose a threat to the environment? All of these characteristics could impact what linings, closures, fittings and materials you should consider when choosing a container. They also impact how your containers should be stored. For example, in the case of a spill or leak, oxidizers should be kept separate from any flammable or combustible chemicals. In the case of a fire, you’ll want to know how your materials react to water or other fire suppressors. Once you’ve found the appropriate container, keep your materials in their designated containers at all times, and always have a plan for a possible leak or emergency situations.

One of the most common uses of Skolnik steel drums is in their use in managing the safe transportation and disposal of hazardous waste materials. Every Skolnik steel drum was engineered for specific uses and jobs. We are happy to help guide you to the appropriate packaging for your hazardous materials or waste, and can even suggest resources which help you better understand and comply with the hazards of your materials.

Regulations and Secondary Spill Containment

February 4th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat

The transportation and storage of hazardous materials is a tricky business. There are loads of regulations from the UN, the Department of Transportation and others, and failure to meet those regulations can result in a hefty fine and property, environmental or physical damage due to a leak. Skolnik Industries takes great care to ensure that all of our drums are perfectly suited for their intended contents and meet all necessary regulations. An important and popular safety measure used for the transportation and storage of hazardous materials is a secondary containment system.

Of course, secondary containers have their own set of regulations. Here are a few of the main points of regulations surrounding secondary containment:

 

  1. Strength and durability

Your secondary containment system must be impervious and free of cracks or gaps. It’s recommended that you inspect your containment system regularly (especially if you are storing materials for an extended period of time). Any damage to the sump or the containment unit itself can lead to system failure and a leak.

Obviously, your containment system should be chemically compatible with whatever liquids might come in contact with it. Skolnik can help guide you to proper materials and containment for your contents.

  1.  Sloped or draining

Your secondary containment system must include a slope or be specifically designed to efficiently remove any liquid spilling or leaking from the primary unit inside. Primary containers cannot sit in their own waste. A popular solution to this regulation is to raise the secondary containers on grates, decking or wood pallets or adding a drain to your secondary containment unit. That way, any leaking fluid can be directed away to the sump to be collected.

  1. Capacity

According to regulations, secondary containment systems “must have sufficient capacity to contain at least 10% of the total volume of the primary containers or 100% of the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater”

That’s a lot of capacity, but also a lot of math! These are just the federal containment regulations, so make sure you work with Skolnik to ensure your containment capacity meets any state-level regulations as well.

  1. Mother Nature-resistant

Your secondary containment system must be impervious to the weather — specifically, precipitation. If any rainwater or other precipitation can get into the secondary containment system, your capacity must be sufficient enough to contain the additional volume. Remember all of that math? If you don’t want to have to add predicting the weather to your to-do list, it might be easier to just keep the weather out.

That said, any rainwater or snowmelt that enters the sump of your secondary containment is also taking up capacity in your system. Take care to implement a system that won’t overflow.

  1. Waste Removal

Any waste or precipitation that has spilled or leaked into the secondary containment area must be removed in a timely manner to prevent overflow. It’s no surprise that a huge part of a secondary containment system is maintaining the cleanliness, integrity and capacity of that system.

 

In the end, your secondary spill containment is a safety measure. In an ideal world, your primary container will remain unscathed and strong. But, in the event of a spill or leak, you want (and need) to have your bases covered. We at Skolnik are here to help make sure you always have the most effective and compliant containers for your specific materials, whether they are hazardous materials or not.