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

Posts Tagged ‘hazmat transport’

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.

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.

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  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.

Unpacking UN Ratings: The 1A2 Drum

September 22nd, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

The shipping and transportation of dangerous goods or hazardous materials is a tightly regulated process — and rightly so! You wouldn’t want to be on an aircraft or train or sharing the roads with just any old material packaged any old way. These materials require a special container that meets criteria set by the DOT and the UN. And, it is the responsibility of the shipper to choose the correct packaging for their materials.

At Skolnik Industries, we’re always happy to help our customers select the best container for their needs. To start, let’s take a look at UN ratings and what they mean.

Many of our products UN rating begins with a 1A, we’ll talk about why that is in a moment, but for the sake of this exploration let’s say that you worked with the team at Skolnik and we discerned that you need a container with a 1A2/X60/S UN rating for your hazardous materials.

First, you’re in luck, Skolnik has several hazardous waste containers that fit that specification.

But what do those numbers mean?

 

Well, the 1 refers to the fact that it is a drum, not a wooden barrel, box, bag or some other type of container.

Here are the UN codes for other containers:

1 – drum

2 – wooden barrel

3 – jerrican

4 – box

5 – bag

6 – composite receptacle

7 – pressure receptacle

 

The following letter tells us the material of the container, in this case an A for steel.

Other material codes:

A – steel

B – aluminum

C – natural wood

D – plywood

E – reconstituted wood

G – fiberboard

H – plastic

L – textile

M – paper, multiwall

N – metal other than steel or aluminum

P – glass, porcelain or stoneware

 

So far we’ve determined that we need a steel drum, our specialty! But what about the second number? This number refers to the drum head. The 2 means that it is an open head drum. (A closed-head drum would be marked with a 1).

We’ve cracked the first part of the code: we need a 1A2 container, or a steel, open head drum!

If you want to dig deeper, our example UN rating was 1A2/X60/S – so what are the other parts?

 

The X designation tells us what level of hazardous materials your packaging can be used for. The rating is either an X, Y or Z. Packing group I is the most hazardous and packing group III is the least.

X – covers hazardous packing group I, II or III

Y – covers packing groups II and III only

Z – covers packing group III only

What a versatile drum we’ve chosen!

 

That next number refers to the maximum gross mass the container has been tested to handle, in our example 60kg. The final S indicates that this is the UN rating for solids for this container (Liquids ratings differ in that they communicate the maximum specific gravity of liquid that the container has been tested to hold instead of mass, liquid ratings also indicate the maximum hydrostatic pressure the container can hold).
So there you have it, when we say you need a 1A2 drum, that means it is a steel, open head drum – the remaining code elements tell you what your container is safe to carry.