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Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

CVSA Reports Results of Unannounced Hazmat Inspections

December 28th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance reported the results of over 13,000 roadside inspections of vehicles transporting hazardous materials in the U.S., Canada and Mexico during the Alliance’s unannounced Hazmat Road Blitz June 21-25, 2021. Approximately 4 million commercial motor vehicle inspections are conducted every year throughout North America to ensure the large trucks and buses driving on our roadways are operating safely. Specially trained inspectors in each state, jurisdiction, territory and province inspect commercial motor vehicles based on inspection procedures and criteria created by CVSA, known as the North American Standard Inspection Program.
There are eight levels of inspections ranging from the Level I Inspection, which evaluates both the driver and vehicle, to inspection levels with a more specific area of focus, such as Level VI for radioactive materials and Level VIII for electronic inspections. The North American Standard Level I, Level V and Level VI are the only inspections that may result in issuance of a CVSA decal placed on the vehicle. Passed Level VI Inspections result in issuance of a special Level VI CVSA decal. To qualify for a CVSA decal, a vehicle must not have any critical violations according to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. Inspections must be performed by North American Standard Level I, Level V or Level VI certified inspectors. The term “certified” means the government employee performing inspections and/or affixing CVSA decals must have successfully completed a training program approved by CVSA.
Over these five days, inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. inspected 13,471 vehicles transporting hazardous materials and identified 2,714 violations. These included:

  • 496 shipping papers violations
  • 628 non-bulk/small packaging violations
  • 390 placarding violations
  • 277 non-bulk labeling violations
  • 167 other safety marks violations
  • 288 loading and securement violations
  • 50 integrity (leaking) violations
  • 63 Training Certificate violations (Canada only)

Self-Healing Steel

December 21st, 2021 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

While advancements in metal coatings don’t typically make headlines, perhaps they should. Metals like steel serve as critical support within construction, automotive, aerospace, and industrial applications, among others.
But working with steel has its drawbacks, and one of the biggest challenges in maintaining this metal is corrosion.
According to the National Association of Corrosion Engineers — or NACE — the global cost of corrosion is around $2.5 trillion dollars, a figure that doesn’t even include safety or environmental impacts.
Fortunately, scientists from Rice University say they might have a solution. According to a new research study published in Advanced Materials, Rice scientists may have produced a new alloy that has the potential to be highly resistant to corrosion.
A coating developed using a lightweight sulfur-selenium alloy has proven effective so far in preventing corrosion after being applied to steel that’s then submerged in seawater for a month.
The scientists say the formula combines several different corrosion-inhibiting methods. In one test, where the coating was applied to steel that was exposed to sulfate-reducing bacteria such as plankton, the steel coating offered an “inhibition efficiency” of 99.99%.
But that’s not all. Not only does the coating prevent corrosion, but it also has some interesting self healing properties as well. When the coated steel was perforated, it was able to repair itself when heat was applied and, in some cases, all on its own.
According to New Atlas, applications abound, the most obvious of which are architectural ones, where steel is at risk of corrosion due to moisture-rich environments. But besides that, the coating could be applied to metals used in bendable electronics due to its insulating properties and ability to target inherent corrosion risks.
Read the entire research here.

Choosing a Packaging is More Than Just an “X” Rating!

November 16th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

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

When shipping dangerous goods, only the shipper knows the potential perils that a packaging might face. Many in industry assume that if they are in possession of UN tested packaging and a packaging test certificate, they have met the requirements of the regulations concerning the packaging of dangerous goods. However, nothing could be farther from the truth! The UN requirements state that in addition to the appropriate packaging test selection, shippers should consider the mode of transport as well as conditions of climate when choosing a packaging. Failure to select the right package for a journey is often the result of shippers assuming that UN packages will perform their job unimpeded. Although the principal cause of leaks in transport is usually due to handling, initial package selection for other types of failures is critical. Therefore, when purchasing a packaging, specifically a steel drum, a shipper must request more from a drum supplier than “I want an X drum for a product.” The shipper should request “ an X rated 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. A cushion of safety is wise to incorporate into every drum purchase.

International Travel Alert for Those Flying to the United States

November 6th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.


August 24th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The Department of Transportation plays an active part in the United States Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). DOT helps support the Administration’s efforts to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus, and ensure continuation of critical infrastructure support and relief for the American people. The safety of our transportation networks is vital to maintaining economic durability and the free flow of essential supplies, food, fuel, and medical equipment.

We urge everyone to help us get the pandemic under control. By getting your vaccination, you reduce the chance of getting, and spreading, the virus and ultimately, you will be saving lives. At this link, just enter your zip code to see a nearby facility that is able to give you the vaccine within hours. Plus, you can see the vaccine product that you will receive.

In English: www.vaccines.gov

En Español: www.vacunas.gov

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.

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