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

Archive for 2021

Secondary Containment Requirements for Chemicals

April 28th, 2021 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

As with other potentially hazardous or dangerous materials, there are requirements and secondary containment requirements for chemicals. Secondary containment systems provide an additional and essential line of defense in the event of any failure or damage to the primary containment vessel.

  In 1976 The Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) was passed to give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to control the generation, treatment, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous wastes.  The EPA enforces requirements for chemicals and toxic wastes that include reviewing records, inspecting facilities and requiring secondary containment.

According to federal codes, for a secondary containment system to be compliant it must have sufficient capacity to contain at least 10% of the volume of the primary containment or containers. Most local jurisdictions follow either the Uniform Fire Code or International Fire Code when corrosive, flammable and combustible materials are being handled or contained in a facility. These regulations typically require secondary containment and a sprinkler and/or other firefighting precaution as well. However, some states have stricter secondary containment requirements for chemicals so you should always contact your authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to ensure you are following the proper procedures in your area. If you are transporting the chemicals, you may be beholden to the requirements of all jurisdictions the materials are being transported through.

At Skolnik, we always recommend secondary containment as a best practice for potentially hazardous materials, whether required by the AHJ or not. Proper precautions and preparation can make the difference between a small inconvenience and a large, dangerous incident. It is crucial to have the plans and materials in place should a spill occur.

Steel Drums for Vaccine Distribution

April 27th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter

The development of packaging solutions for the shipment of Covid vaccines is forefront in the challenges of vaccine distribution. From the beginning of the pandemic, Skolnik has been working with drug manufacturers and distribution companies to meet the needs of this challenge. Our carbon and stainless steel drums, in varying sizes, have been used as single-use and combination packaging. Not only do the pharmaceutical companies have to be concerned with choosing the right package and shipping the vaccines at very cold temperatures, but they also have to ensure that these packages are compliant with a myriad of regulations. Many of these packages involve the use of lithium batteries and dry-ice, two of the most tricky items to ship. Given the urgent need to get vaccines shipped around the world, transportation regulators, airline officials, and dangerous goods professionals have been working non-stop to adopt regulations and make changes to allow for the rapid transport of these life-saving vaccines. Several companies have developed packaging solutions and we are very grateful that they have been successful in working with our professional staff teams. Our steel drums are proving to be indispensable for the fight against the Coronavirus.

Our History in Photos – Up to Date

April 20th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter

Skolnik Industries has been one of the most reputable names in the steel drum and packaging arena for nearly a century. Today we have a global market, but it all started in a small, family owned drum reconditioning facility in Chicago. To honor our past, we have compiled a pictorial history of our company with photos, product brochures, and news events that date back as far as 1943. Originally started circa 1925 as peddlers of wooden barrels, in 1940, the company moved to steel drum reconditioning and as of 1960, solely manufacturing new steel drums. In 1985, the company was bought by the current ownership and has expanded to manufacture stainless steel drums. The focus has been to develop niche products for unique markets which were not being served by conventional steel drum manufacturers. We participate in the global regulatory arena to “save lives” by helping to prevent hazardous material accidents.

If you would like to see what we’ve been doing for these past 90 years, check out OUR HISTORY. In addition to the exacting standards of manufacturing, we also have had many celebrations and fun. We’re proud of our past, working hard in our present, and looking forward to a stimulating future.

Ideal Hazardous Waste Storage Containers

April 19th, 2021 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

The steel drum is often ideal as a hazardous waste storage container, ensuring the safe transport and storage of many dangerous materials. The variance in sizes, configurations and needs make them a particularly versatile tool.

Hazardous waste containers are very specific based on the type of waste that needs to be stored or transported. There are a host of laws and regulations that determine how and when certain materials can be disposed of, and these rules may change per city, state or country. It’s crucial to know what type of drum is legally required for use before containing or disposing of any potentially dangerous materials. Especially in the world of highly hazardous or radioactive wastes, there are very strict UN and 7A requirements in place.

But the requirements for hazardous waste storage containers extend beyond their manufacturing specifications. An incorrectly marked container can lead to fines or, worse yet, accidents. Containers should be labeled as corrosive, explosive, etc, and indicate the contents they are certified to hold. This is to ensure that the drum is being used correctly, but also that those who come in contact with the container during shipping or storage are aware of the contents and safety procedures specific to the drum.

It’s said that the only thing constant is change — that is very much the case when it comes to hazmat regulations. As the industry and regulations keep evolving, we at Skolnik do our due diligence to ensure all of our products meet, if not exceed, them. So you can be confident that your hazardous materials are properly contained and all parties involved in the storage or transportation process safe.

The Supply Chain Shipping Crisis Affecting Global Wine Imports

April 13th, 2021 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Writing in a recent Wine Spectator article, Collin Dreizen reports that: “When the massive container ship Ever Given managed to wedge itself sideways in the Suez Canal on March 23, blocking traffic for nearly a week, it provided a fitting symbol for the state of global shipping in the past year. And while dredging, tugboats and the high tide of a full moon, freed the ship, the shipping slowdowns continue. For wine lovers, that means some of their favorites may not be on store shelves anytime soon.”

Dreizen goes on to write that: “Importers gave a sigh of relief when the Biden Administration paused the tariffs on wines from France, Spain, and Germany last month. But they continue to face a major challenge: It has become increasingly difficult to get wines, or any cargo for that matter, to the U.S., and in the short term it is possible that the tariff reprieve has made things worse.

While global shipping had become a logistical nightmare for many companies after the pandemic shutdowns began, the wine industry’s problems started earlier: when the Trump administration imposed the tariffs as part of a fight over airplane manufacturing. Importers began delaying orders from Europe to avoid deeper costs.”

Shipments of tariffed wines decreased by 30 to 40 percent in some months during 2020. Importers adjusted their pricing and logistics, but then there was a new snag. Not only did the pandemic shut down vital customers like restaurants, but it also made shipping far more difficult.

Altogether, these trends have put worldwide shipping in a state of disarray, creating delays, holding up cargo at ports and dramatically reducing available freight space for several industries.

Here at Skolnik Industries, there is no shortage of our stainless steel wine barrels. Note that our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

March 30th, 2021 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

As a result of our February 2021 newsletter, we were learned that many of our “non-hazmat” readers did not know that the steel drum industry is regulated by the Pipeline for Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an arm of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). When most people think of the DOT, they naturally think of transportation; planes, trains, automobiles, ships and highways. But the DOT also regulates items classified as dangerous goods, or hazardous materials, that are packaged and transported on public right of way via those planes, trains, automobiles, ships and highways.

The United States Department of Transportation was created by act of President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1966. The purpose of the Department of Transportation was/ is to create, develop, and coordinate policies to provide an efficient and economical national transportation system. This system will incorporate respect for the environment, regards the needs of the people, and will employ and monitor national defense of the transportation system. This is the primary organization at the cabinet level to shape and administer policies that protect and enhance the safety, adequacy and efficiency of the United States transportation services and system.

The primary regulatory vehicle used to govern the safe transport of dangerous goods is Title 49 of the US Code of Federal Regulations. CFR Title 49 – Transportation, is one of fifty titles comprising the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Title 49 is the principal set of rules and regulations issued by the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, and other federal agencies of the United States regarding transportation and transportation related security. Publication of Title 49 began in 1938, at which point it was entitled Transportation and Railroads.

Part 178 of Title 49 CFR prescribes the manufacturing and testing specifications for packaging and containers used for the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. The requirements of this part apply to packagings manufactured to a DOT specification, or to a UN standard for packagings manufactured within the United States. A manufacturer of a packaging is subject to the requirements of this part and is responsible for compliance with these requirements. However, any person who performs a function prescribed in this part shall also perform that function in accordance with this part. Part 178 also requires that a packaging be marked with a DOT specification or UN standard marking. Marking of the packaging with the appropriate DOT or UN markings is the certification that all requirements of the DOT specification, or UN standard, including performance tests, are met and all functions performed by, the person or entity whose name or symbol appears as part of the marking conform to requirements specified in this part.

See the complete 49 CFR here.