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

Posts Tagged ‘UN’

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.

Keeping up with Compliance: UN Certified Packaging

March 24th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN

You are probably already a safe, savvy and compliant business, but sometimes even businesses who follow UN and DOT regulations don’t fully understand them. The shipping and storage industry is heavily regulated — especially when it comes to handling hazardous materials or consumer goods such as pharmaceuticals or food and beverage. All of these rules and regulations have been put in place to protect transportation workers, the environment and the population. But, when you purchase UN certified packaging, what exactly does that mean?

The Manufacturer

Let us break it down for you. When buying a UN certified drum, the entire design of the drum, and all of its components is defined by the test samples. Each element — heads, ring, gasket, bolt, nut, plugs — must meet UN specified requirements. If even one of these components, or the design of the drum itself, doesn’t measure up, the drum is not UN compliant. At Skolnik, we

The initial onus for meeting UN standards is on the manufacturer, but once a UN certified package leaves our hands, it is up the filler to maintain compliance.

The Filler

Users cannot alter or exchange any of these components without it impacting the ability for the drum to perform as tested and certified.

If you were to purchase a UN certified drum with a nut and bolt style closure, but later swap that closure for a Leverlock, this would void the UN certification. At this stage in the container’s lifecycle, it is the fillers responsibility to adhere to UN regulations. If replacement parts are needed, fillers must make sure that they get original components form the original manufacturer that continue to meet the test criteria of that specific drum.

Make sure you always follow Skolnik’s Closure Instructions to verify a proper closure before passing the buck to your shipper.

The Shipper

Once a drum is filled, compliance with the UN certification is the responsibility of the shipper. It is up to the shipper to read the UN code and ensure the container is safely stored or shipped according to its contents.

Remember, no matter where you are in the journey of a container, non-compliance comes with a hefty fine. Fines for non-compliant shipments, of dangerous goods especially, are getting larger and more frequent. For the sake of your employees, facility and community, please keep an eye on evolving regulations and restrictions to ensure your UN certified packaging maintains compliance at every stage.

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.

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.