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

Posts Tagged ‘safety’

The Importance of Clarity: Overpack Drums vs. Salvage Drums

August 1st, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, Salvage Drum

We can’t overstate how important it is for everyone involved in the shipment or storage of materials to understand the requirements of the situation and materials. In our line of work, part of that is knowing the right drums are used when shipping materials in order to comply with safety standards. These safety standards are important for keeping people safe, but also for avoiding the penalties that come with using defective drums, or the wrong class of drum entirely.

In the past, there has been confusion among manufacturers, customers, and shippers about the difference between Overpack Drums and Salvage Drums. Due to a lack of clarity, and a industry wide game of telephone, Overpack Drums and Salvage Drums were thought of as the same exact products for a while. This, of course, leads to a whole array of problems. First of all, if you were to use an Overpack Drum to do the job of a Salvage Drum, your materials would not be secure. Second, that particular load would certainly not meet DOT or UN standards.

As you would guess, there is a marked difference between Salvage and Overpack. A difference that, while we are sure most everyone in this industry knows, bears repeating — which is why we revisit this topic regularly. Overpack drums are used to hold packages or materials that are still properly sealed and meet safety and shipping regulations on their own, and the drum is used to consolidate materials. Think of them as a second layer of protection, or a handy way to transport multi-pack items. Salvage drums are used to hold leaking, damaged or otherwise compromised and non-compliant packages.

Clarifying every detail of your materials or shipment is important to everyone involved. There are a laundry list of important regulations that protect us, and the environment, but without clarity and strong communication about standards and norms, it is incredibly difficult to follow them and maintain good, safe and compliant business practices.

 

No Matter What, A Spill Response Plan is Crucial for Worker Safety

January 2nd, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Safety

While the end of December is a great time to look backward and take stock, it’s just as important to look ahead to make sure that 2018 is a successful, productive, and most importantly, safe year. The barrels we produce here at Skolnik are thicker, heavier, and stronger than industry standards, and their durability can help prevent spills. No matter the precautions taken though, accidents are an inevitable part of any workplace, and absolutely it’s crucial to have a spill response plan in place. Training, proper equipment, and products such as drum spill containers are important for starting the year out on the right foot.

The first component to any response plan is preparation. Thoughtful warehouse organization can minimize the damage done by a spill. For example, segregate anything that could react and produce harmful vapors or combustion. By keeping acids on one side of the warehouse and oxidizers on the extreme other side, you reduce the chance that they’d ever come in contact with one another and make an accident that much more dangerous.

Proper spill stations are also a key part of a safe workspace. Make sure each include absorbent pads, instructions, and PPE such as masks, gloves, goggles and face shields. These stations then need to be distributed strategically across the warehouse, paying extra attention to high risk areas such as receiving and shipping areas.

Spill response plans aren’t effective unless your employees know how to use them, and training is the most important element of any preparation. Awareness of the chemicals used in a workplace and adequate training on how to handle them will reduce a lot of potential accidents. Then, when the inevitable spill happens, your employees need to know what to do in an emergency, who the emergency contacts are, and how to effectively utilize spill stations. Safety data sheets also ought to be easily accessible.

The next component of a response plan is containment. When a spill occurs, the workers need to notify their supervisors, then carefully work on creating a perimeter. Using such products as an tube of absorbent material, or “snake”, they can prevent the spill from spreading further. From there, they can determine if they can manage the spill themselves or if it requires a third party company that is certified in handling the clean up.

If the spill is most appropriately handled by your employees, then the clean up process can begin. Most clean ups involve putting down absorbents, which come in various types. There is a range of absorption capacities, as well as general purpose products and specific use ones. With corrosive spills, neutralizing agents need to be used. Weak acids are used to neutralize bases and vice versa, but no matter the chemical, it’s important to work slowly to insure that the chemical is fully neutralized. Depending on the type of spill, you can recover some of the product and store it in containers such as Skolnik brand salvage drums.

While a good spill response plan is focused on the safety of your workers, a well crafted plan is also mindful of the environmental impact of the spill. Always be aware of the drainage system in your workplace to ensure that no dangerous chemicals wind up escaping out to the public at large.

As 2017 winds down, we here at Skolnik want to thank you for your partnership; we’re very proud of the work we done this year to help you and your company be the very best, and safe, it can be. It’s been a good twelve months, and we’re looking forward to another amazing twelve ahead of us. See you next year!

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.

Salvage Drums vs. Overpack Drums

January 15th, 2015 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Salvage Drum

What is a Salvage Drum?

Salvage drums are designed to contain leaking, damaged or non-compliant drums containing hazardous materials. If a company or shipper discovers a hazardous package leaking or damaged or has rags used to clean up a spill or leak, they must use a salvage drum in order to safely transport the package or materials.

Salvage drums can be made of steel, polyethylene, aluminum or metal and must be larger than the leaking package so that the damaged and dangerous materials can fit safely inside of the enclosed salvage drum. In order to qualify as a salvage drum, the container needs to meet a number of criteria and pass two very severe leak-proof and integrity tests.

What is an Overpack Container?

The DOT does not consider overpack drums as salvage drums. Traditionally, an overpack is a container that makes handling a package more convenient or consolidates two packages that are not leaking.

Why does it matter?

Many manufacturers have referred to salvage drums as overpacks over the years, increasing the recognition of the term overpack versus salvage. However, while you can use a salvage drum as an overpack container, not all overpack containers are salvage drums. Remember, salvage drums have undergone rigorous testing in order to be deemed qualified for their use containing hazardous materials. A drum that is merely labeled as an overpack, has not.

The unwitting misuse of an overpack drum as a salvage container can have dire consequences so make sure you are always purchasing and/or using the correct drums when transporting hazardous materials so as not to compromise your safety and the safety of others.

salvage

At Skolnik, we offer Overpack Salvage Drums – these meet or exceed the UN and DOT requirements for Salvage drums but can also be used for overpack.