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

Archive for the ‘HazMat’ Category

When a HazMat shipment is Rejected!

October 26th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

Rejected shipments are classified dangerous goods shipments that did not meet the regulatory requirements of the Code of Federal Regulations. A rejected shipment can be the result of incorrect shipping papers, damaged packagings, non-compliant packagings, wrong markings and labels, or other mistakes. International and national regulations are frequently changing and thus, it is increasingly difficult for an organization to be sure they are compliant with all the legal shipping requirements. An incorrect shipping label can stop your shipment for days or even weeks. This simple mistake can cost your business thousands of dollars in fees, repackaging expenses, and costly delays. There a also the risk of compromising your customer’s trust. Therefore, once your shipment is rejected, what should you do?

First, the shipper must inform their shipping agent of the rejection. At that point, the shipping agent should contact the companies that will provide assistance for compliance. If the shipping agent is not able to offer a corrective action, then the Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) has member specialists that can help via telephone or travel on-site and run your rejected shipment through a dangerous goods checklist to ensure your shipment complies with the regulations. Depending on the reason for rejection, the goal is to properly prepare your rejected shipment and get it back into transportation!

Click HERE to contact COSTHA.

Dangerous Goods Questions That You Should be Able to Answer!

September 28th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

As shippers of Dangerous Goods, there is an endless necessity of learning the proper protocol and regulations for packaging and shipping classified contents. The DOT published a list of questions that all packagers and shippers should be able to answer. The questions appear below, you can find the answers here:

  1. Why is the classification of a hazmat so important?
  2. How do I classify a product as hazmat?
  3. Are there any exceptions to hazmat transportation regulations?
  4. What is a hazardous material (hazmat)?
  5. Who is required to be trained?
  6. How do I get training?
  7. What kind of shipping documentation do I need to prepare?
  8. How can I obtain the correct hazmat packaging and markings and labels?
  9. What is emergency response information?
  10. What is an emergency response telephone number?
  11. Do I need to develop a safety and security plan?
  12. Do I need to keep records of hazmat shipments?
  13. What are the penalties for not complying with hazmat transportation regulations?

It’s up to you to find, and know, these answers!
Click here for answers to these questions.

PHMSA Announces Solicits Concepts for Improving Safety

July 27th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

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

The Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) in the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials (HM) Safety Administration (PHMSA), a U.S. Department of Transportation agency, solicits concepts which could eventually lead to contract awards. PHMSA is looking for innovative ideas for leading-edge research and innovative techniques to advance the safe transportation of hazardous materials (HM). This BAA is published in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) 35.016 and 6.102(d)(2).

OHMS carries out a national safety program to protect against the risks to life and property inherent in the transportation of HM in commerce by all transportation modes. To minimize the threats posed by HM transportation, OHMS develops regulations and standards for the classifying, handling, and packaging of over 1 million daily shipments of HM within the United States. The OHMS’ Research and Development program directs basic and applied research for the purpose of minimizing risks associated with the transportation of HM.

This BAA is soliciting a variety of basic and applied research projects that will improve the safety of HM in commerce. OHMS is interested in the following five areas as research priorities:

  1. Hazard Comparison of Aerosols
  2. De Minimis Quantities of Explosives
  3. Development of New Standards for Bulk and Non-Bulk Packaging
  4. Understanding the Hazards Posed by Dissolved Gases in Liquids
  5. Deregulation of Certain Types and Quantities of Hazardous Materials

The Government intends to make multiple awards from this BAA. Awards may be of any dollar value between $250,000 and $2,000,000. It is anticipated that Fixed Price contracts will be awarded to successful Proposers.

Get the full download here:

Quiz Your Basic DOT Knowledge

July 20th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

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

Whether you are new to the community of hazardous materials packaging, or a long time participant, you might be surprised to learn something you don’t know! Here are 8 basic questions, hopefully you will get them all correct.

1. Which U.S. government agency regulates the packaging and transportation of hazardous materials?

2. Which of the following marks on a UN rated package represents the most hazardous material?
a. X
b. Y
c. Z

3. On what part of a UN rated steel drum does the permanent mark/embossment have to be placed?
a. top or cover
b. bottom
c. side

4. Should each UN rated drum shipment be accompanied with a set of closure instructions?
a. Yes
b. No

5. A UN test certificate is valid for how many months?
a. 10
b. 12
c. 6

6. Package and Placard Labels are diamond shaped
a. True
b. False

7. All employees must be aware that hazardous materials, hazmat packagings and/or packagings with hazardous material residue could be used by groups or individuals to cause deliberate harm.
a. True
b. False

8. Employees who have a connection to hazardous materials must receive refresher training and be re-tested at least once every year.
a. True
b. False

Answers: (1-DOT)(2-a)(3-b)(4-a)(5-b)(6-a)(7-a)(8-b)

DOT Increases Mandatory Civil Penalties

June 29th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

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

Federal law requires the U.S. Department of Transportation and several other federal agencies to increase civil penalties annually in accordance with an inflation formula. Accordingly, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has published its new fine schedule for violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations. The new fines took effect on May 3, 2021. Key increases are shown below, along with a link to the completely new DOT fine schedule.

  1. The maximum civil penalty for hazmat shipping violations has increased from $83,439 to $84,425 per day, per violation.
  2. For a violation that results in death, serious illness, severe injury, or substantial property damage, the maximum hazmat civil penalty has increased from $194,691 to $196,992 per day, per violation.
  3. The minimum penalty for failure to provide hazmat training for employees has risen from $502 to $508 per employee, per day.

For a complete list of penalty increases, go here.

As Steel Prices Rise, Thickness Still Matters

May 25th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

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

It’s no secret that in the past year, the price of steel in the US has risen by a greater percentage than in all the previous steel making years combined. And in most cases, manufacturers of steel products have passed on the increase to the end user. There is always the belief that when steel prices increase, reconditioned drums are worthy of consideration. However, in this unique steel crisis, the available recycled raw materials that are used to manufacture drums are drying up as used drums are being crushed and sold into the global scrap market. Given the reduction of steel drums available for reconditioning, the reconditioned drum prices are high and reflect the shortage of raw drums. Therefore, the new vs reconditioned prices are not far apart. Some manufacturers are using the price of steel in the US as a means to reduce the necessary wall thickness of steel drums. Shipper’s probably don’t realize that reducing wall thickness increases the risk of drum performance – and a small cost savings on the drum exposes the much more expensive inner contents to greater risk. On the other hand, users contemplating reconditioned versus new drums will find that a reconditioned drum is going to be thicker and heavier than many of the thin-walled new drums that cannot withstand reconditioning and are being scrapped after a single use. When choosing the best drum for your product, we recommend that thicker steel (0.9mm minimum or 20 gauge minimum) is the best choice for risk-reduced transport and storage.