According to Martin Castle, chief consultant of dangerous goods to PIRA International, "Many in industry assume that if they are in possession of UN tested packaging and a certificate, they have met the requirements of the regulations concerning the packaging of dangerous goods; nothing could be farther from the truth. The UN requirements begin with 12 general statements and only one refers to the UN testing. One cannot overlook the other 11." Although the principal cause of leaks is due to handling, initial package selection by the shipper is most important. Failure to select the right package for a journey has resulted due to shippers assuming that UN packages will perform their job unimpeded. Therefore, Castle states that when purchasing a steel drum, "a shipper must not go to a drum company and only say ‘ I want an X drum for a product ’ They should say ‘I want an X drum for a product which will be shipped all over the world and needs a packaging that will minimally meet the UN criteria and will not be unduly affected by vibration, temperature, pressure, various types of handling equipment, and the like." In all, the selected package must be able to successfully transport the contents safely to their destination and a cushion of safety is wise to incorporate into every drum purchase.
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for 1998
We know that readers of our Newsletter are aware of the need to follow proper closure instructions for their open or closed head steel drums. But it seems that many customers are not aware that these instructions vary between drum manufacturers, re-manufacturers and reconditioners. Therefore, the drum being closed must be closed in conjunction with the specific closure instructions of each manufacturer. Generic closure instructions do not exist.
In a recent Newsletter we referred to the "One-Ton-Man" necessary to close some open head drums due to the gaskets that are used by some manufacturers. SKOLNIK recently introduced a high-performance gasket that was seated on the top bead rather than being glued into the cover. While this gasket did perform well in testing, the placement of the gasket about the bead did cause some shippers to request that we return to the cover style. The result is our new "D-COVER" gasket which meets the high performance criteria of the SKOLNIK products with the convenience of being glued into the removable cover. The new D-Cover gasket is now standard on many SKOLNIK UN certified open heads.
There has been some confusion about how packaging specification markings should appear. The examples given in the CFR illustrate one of several ways the markings can be applied. Therefore, the markings can be applied in a straight line; on multiple lines; with or without the slash between the various segments. What matters is that the information is in the correct sequence. Also, UN certifications are valid for a one year manufacturing period. After 12 months, retesting and issuance of a new certification is mandatory.