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

Posts Tagged ‘hazmat certified’

Safe Lithium Battery Containment

June 23rd, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, Industry News

Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used batteries in consumer electronics and medical devices today, and they have been exploding. For all of the benefits and conveniences, lithium batteries have offered consumers — higher power density, lower memory effect, long life — they have a number of downsides and risks. Their sensitivity can lead to an explosion and, for this reason, they are considered “dangerous goods” and are banned from commercial aircraft.

The result is a kink in the supply line and, for those who rely on medical devices powered by lithium batteries, more than a mild inconvenience. At present, these batteries are only permitted on cargo aircraft and cargo planes only fly to large airports. As a result, the batteries cannot get to their final destinations.

The world isn’t going to suddenly stop needing lithium ion batteries anytime soon, so this is a puzzle that needs a solution. But, you know what they say: Necessity is the mother of invention. Skolnik Industries and Labelmaster have been working together to devise a package that can safely contain spent lithium ion batteries for bulk transport. This overpack package would serve as a multi-pack solution for the batteries as well as a secondary spill containment measure should the batteries be compromised in transit.

While it is always a pleasure to work with our friends at Labelmaster, we’re eager to find a safe and strong solution to this problem. The project cannot be completed until the DOT releases its final testing requirements for these package types, and, as with all Skolnik Industries products, this lithium battery-safe overpack container would be rigorously tested to meet all pertinent DOT regulations.

Once the regulations are set, we look forward to providing shippers and manufacturers with a safe, efficient solution to lithium battery containment, and helping alleviate the delay for those who need battery replacements for their medical devices.

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.

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.

Why Use Steel Drums for Dangerous Goods?

October 20th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat

Steel drums are one of the most popular containers for a variety of materials — including hazardous materials and dangerous goods. Several factors have contributed to steel drums’ rise to popularity in the shipping and storage of dangerous goods, but the steel drum experts at Skolnik have found that you don’t need to dig that deep to discover the main reasons steel drums are used for dangerous goods.

salvage

  1. Steel is strong. Sure, there are plastic and paper containers, but metal is stronger. Airplanes, aircraft carriers, and trains are made of metal, not plastic or paper. Strength is important when handling and transporting classified dangerous goods — therefore, more businesses choose steel drums over fiber or plastic drums, and more UN and DOT regulations require or recommend steel containers for dangerous goods.
  2. Steel is rigorously tested. Steel drums meet the highest levels of test performance of all non-bulk packaging. Skolnik steel drums are rigorously tested to meet stringent UN and DOT certifications, but also just to meet our own high-performance standards. We design and manufacture steel drums that get the job done and then some, and we test them accordingly. Plastic and fiber drums are not tested with the same intensity and precision as steel drums.
  3. Skolnik steel drums are special. We offer a range of packaging options, we specialize in steel drums and our engineers can customize drums for our customers’ unique needs. We are a company whose pulse is to find solutions to particular packaging, shipping or transport problems. We offer a diverse range of customization options including diameters, height, metal thickness, packaging, protective coatings, closures, placement of plugs and more. And, Skolnik steel drums are manufactured thicker, heavier and stronger than the industry standard requires.

We specialize in industrial packaging for critical contents and we recommend steel as the material-of-choice for packaging, storing and transporting dangerous goods and hazardous materials.

A Brief Look at U.N. and DOT Hazmat Packaging Classes & Codes

March 31st, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

Skolnik drums are built thicker, stronger and heavier to exceed industry standards and ensure an unrivaled level of quality and U.N. packaging compliance. Laws and regulations governing the use, handling, shipping and storage of hazardous materials differ depending on the intended transport or activity of the material and the material itself. It can be a lot to keep track of, but at Skolnik, we keep a steady hand on the pulse of DOT and UN Packaging regulations so our customers can rest assured that their containers are compliant and their materials, facilities and staff are safe.

DOT and UN regulations are particularly stringent when it comes to hazardous materials. The term hazardous material, or hazmat, is used almost exclusively in the United States. Internationally, these materials are known as “dangerous goods.” Dangerous goods are any solid, liquid or gas that can harm people, other living organisms, property or the environment.

There are numerous organizations tasked with governing the use, storage and, especially, the transportation of dangerous goods. Some of the most widely applied and adhered to regulations come from The Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods of the UN Economic and Social Council and the appropriate regional or international transportation agency (e.g. the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization and/or our very own U.S. Department of Transportation).

The U.S. DOT follows the UN regulation model, dividing dangerous goods into nine classes, sub divisions and requiring such materials to be properly labeled and transported in specific packaging. The major UN hazard classes are as follows:

  • Explosives

  • Gases

  • Flammable Liquids

  • Flammable Solids

  • Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides

  • Toxic Materials and Infectious Substances

  • Radioactive Materials

  • Corrosives

  • Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Trailers and transport containers are usually marked with a four digit UN code number indicating the nature of their contents to any first responders in case of emergency. Not all countries use precisely the same label and coding protocol in their national regulations, so it is important to refer to the Dangerous Goods Transportation Regulations of the country of interest to ensure your materials are properly labeled and packaged. At Skolnik, UN packaging and compliance is always a top priority. You can be confident that if it is a Skolnik barrel, it will meet all necessary DOT and UN regulations and then some.