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

Archive for the ‘HazMat’ Category

DGS Symposium on Dangerous Goods will now be Virtual and Free!

May 26th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

Hosted annually by Labelmaster, this year’s DGS Symposium (Sept 9 – 11, 2020) was planned for Chicago. However, due to the social-distancing mandates that will be imposed during the autumn months, they have decided to create the industry’s first virtual Dangerous Goods Symposium that will include live streaming panels and 1:1 conversations, on-demand regulatory updates and more featuring the most sought-after DG experts.

From your home, you will be able to attend:

  • Live Q&A sessions and panels with industry and regulatory leaders scheduled at specific days and times between September 9th and September 11th
  • On demand regulatory update presentations for viewing on whatever day and time is best for you
  • Live streaming small group sessions, based on industry or interest
  • Private, one-on-one meetings with industry leaders
  • Networking opportunities and games
  • And, it’s FREE

Topics will range from:

  • International and North American regulatory updates
  • PHMSA work session for operations, investigations and looking forward
  • The FBI, Homeland Security and Dangerous Goods
  • Compliance vs. Competence
  • A look at China’s regulatory complexities
  • Technology in transportation
  • Cross generational training: Challenges and opportunities
  • And, of course, Lithium Battery Friday!

Put the Symposium on your calendar for Sept 9- Sept 11, 2020.

Then register to attend at: www.labelmaster.com/symposium Thank you Labelmaster for turning lemons into lemonade!!!

Safe Packaging and Transportation of COVID-19 Materials

May 12th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Infectious substances, such as certain COVID-19 tainted materials, can pose a risk to health, safety, and property if packaged and transported incorrectly. When transporting such materials, it is extremely important to consult PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Regulations to help minimize risk and exposure.

To assist medical facilities, clinical laboratories, and hazardous waste carriers in their efforts to move COVID-19 specimens, cultures, isolates, and medical wastes, PHMSA developed a COVID-19 Quick Reference page that provides guidance on how to package and transport these materials safely.

See PHMSA’s Guidance on Transporting COVID-19 Infectious Substances for more information.

Canada Slows Trains

March 24th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

To protect Canadians who live along rail corridors, it is critical that the transport of dangerous goods by rail is done safely. Following the derailment of an important, or key, train on February 6th, 2020, in Guernsey Saskatchewan, a Ministerial Order was issued for the immediate slowdown of key trains. A key train is one carrying 20 or more cars containing dangerous goods like petroleum crude oil; or a train carrying one or more cars of toxic inhalation gas. Since then, Transport Canada officials have worked diligently with large railway companies to further assess the causes of recent derailments, and to develop plans to address the areas of greatest concern. New measures are being implemented to reduce the speed of the higher risk key trains traveling through areas of greatest concern.

The speed limit for key trains is now limited to 35 mph in metropolitan areas. Outside of metropolitan areas where there are no track signals, the speed is limited to 40 mph. Higher risk key trains are trains where tank cars are loaded with a single dangerous goods commodity moving to the same point of destination; or trains that include any combination of 80 or more tank cars containing dangerous goods.
For now, the speed limit for higher risk key trains is now limited to 25 mph where there are no track signals. For metropolitan areas, the speed limit is 30 mph unless the metropolitan area is in a non-signal territory where the speed limit will be maintain at a maximum 25 mph.

This new Order was effective immediately and will remain in place until April 1, 2020. Transport Canada is working with the railways to develop a more comprehensive set of safety measures, which will include permanent measures such as track infrastructure maintenance and renewal, review of winter operations, safety practices of the railway companies, and other actions necessary to keep Canadians safe. Rail safety is the Minister of Transport’s top priority, and the Government of Canada is continuously looking for ways to make their railway system safer for Canadians.

Pack it Right! Ship it Right!

February 25th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Safety

A compliant shipment of dangerous goods has never been more critical, more complex and more expensive if done improperly. In addition to lives at risk, planes, ships, trains, trucks and all public right-of-way can be severely impacted when an incident does occur. In order to educate shippers on how to identify, pack and ship hazardous materials, many agencies and industry partners are developing resources to provide the latest in safety regulation as well as videos and tools on how to transport products safely. The Council on Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), has gathered this information and created a web page that is an outstanding resource for learning about compliant shipping of dangerous goods / hazardous materials. Check out the webpage and learn how you can help to ensure that regulated shipments in commerce are properly prepared.

Why Do Skolnik drums reduce shipping risks?

January 28th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Recent years in the global metals industry have been challenging. The uncertain economic climate, and slowing demand due to tariffs from key markets such as China, has softened the decade of growth. At the same time, opportunities have emerged for metal producers that have introduced some innovation. One area that is getting attention is the auto industry in which they are “lightweighting” their metals. “Lightweighting” is a term used to refer to metals that provide strength while reducing thickness and weight. In the auto industry, every 100 pounds of steel translates into a fuel economy increase of 1% to 2%. Therefore, some steel drum manufacturing companies are also “lightweighting” their drums in order to reduce costs. However, the drum industry and the auto industry are not alike in their projected goal. While safety is always a concern for an auto manufacturer, fuel economies do much to help sell cars. For steel drums, risk reduction of a packaging is our #1 priority, and the most common failures result from fork-lift punctures and nail punctures. In the US, 90% of steel drum failures are from poor handling. In order to overcome this type of failure, the design of the drum must be sound, especially in details such as steel thickness. Compared to other steel drum manufacturers, Skolnik builds drums that exceed industry standards and as a result, our drums are thicker and heavier. To our customers that ship critical contents, they know that increasing steel thickness reduces the risk of any type of puncture, resulting in the saving of many dollars of clean-up and lost contents expense.

Rogue Lithium Battery Shipments Under Scrutiny

January 21st, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in partnership with the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), are amplifying their efforts to ensure the safe air transport of lithium batteries. The organizations are also renewing calls for governments to crack down on manufacturers of counterfeit batteries and of mis-labeled and non-compliant shipments introduced into the supply chain, by issuing and enforcing criminal sanctions on those responsible. But, we are seeing an increase in the number of incidents in which rogue shippers are not complying. The industry is initiating a campaign to raise awareness of the need to comply. The campaign includes four specific initiatives:

  1. New incident reporting and alert system for airlines: Creating an industry information sharing platform that will allow real-time information about dangerous goods incidents to be reported.
  2. Industry awareness campaign on the dangers of shipping undeclared and misdeclared lithium batteries: A series of dangerous goods awareness seminars has been developed in collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO).
  3. Facilitation of a joined-up industry approach: The adoption of a cross-domain approach to include aviation security, manufacturing standards, customs and consumer protection agencies. Currently air cargo is scanned for items that pose a risk to security such as explosives, but not for items such as lithium batteries.

    Responsible shippers rely on government enforcement of standards to protect their investment in training and safe operating procedures. Air freight remains a vital link in international supply chains and it is essential that the rules for ensuring the safe movement of all cargoes are understood and acted on by all parties involved. Safety is aviation’s top priority.

  4. Passengers traveling with Lithium Batteries: Lithium batteries carried by passengers remain a safety focus for airlines. Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) guidance is available to travelers in eight languages detailing what items must be packed in carry-on baggage.