May/June 2020

By June 26, 2020Uncategorized

IPANA members have been making significant contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to manufacture their “essential” packaging for various critical materials.  Thank you for your contribution!  Also, members should keep an eye on their inbox this summer for scheduled ZOOM  “coffee breaks” where we will discuss important matters such as PHMSA regulations, UN meetings, NFPA and other hot button topics.

IPANA News

On Wednesday June 17, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. EST the Industrial Packaging Alliance of North America (IPANA) will present a webinar for members on the OSHA Implications of COVID-19. The webinar will be conducted by Kate McMahon, a partner in the OSHA Workplace Safety Group at Conn Maciel Carey LLP in Washington, D.C. You can click here to view her bio. Kate has made several presentations before the Small Business Administration (SBA) and this webinar will address issues with recording and reporting COVID-19 cases.  Kate will provide important advice on the best method to manage OSHA documentation. She will also discuss OSHA enforcement discretion policy. Given the confusion surrounding recent guidance from the CDC and OSHA this will prove to be an enlightening seminar for IPANA members.

In 2020, the Industrial Steel Drum Institute (ISDI) has continued their sponsorship with TRANSCAER®. TRANSCAER is a national outreach effort that offers free HAZMAT training to help communities prepare for and respond to a hazardous materials incident. ISDI’s popular webinar, Steel Drums 101 for First Responders, will be offered by Mr. Chris Lind on June 22 and June 30.  This July, Mr. Lind will also be conducting live trainings in Virginia during the popular VA HAZMAT weekend. Chris Lind is the former Director of Technology and Regulatory Affairs at Mauser Packaging Solutions. Mr. Lind will take a deep dive into the vital safety standards and features of steel drums that first responders need to know including the use of fusible plugs when packaging ignitable liquids.   You can register for the seminar by clicking here.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, IPANA member Schütz has stepped in to help BASF in its ‘Helping Hands’ project to supply hand sanitizer free of charge to hospitals in the Rhein-Neckar region of Germany, providing every second IBC for the project free of charge. BASF had not produced sanitiser at its Ludwigshafen plant prior to COVID-19 but had the necessary know-how and some of the raw materials needed. Schütz supplied IBCs meeting the latest safety requirements for sensitive hygiene products and has upped production at its Selters headquarters with additional weekend shifts. The IBCs are collected free of charge from end users by the Schütz Ticket Service and recycled internally as part of the sustainable reconditioning process.

Regulatory Updates

On Monday May 11, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (PHMSA) published the long awaited International Harmonization Rule, HM-215O.  Only a few sections of this final rule impact IPANA members. Section 178.601 (l)(2)(viii) will now include a requirement to record the temperature of the water used for the hydraulic test. This recognizes that the temperature of the water can affect the test results. The same provision was adopted for IBCs. This rule was effective May 11, 2020 with a delayed compliance date of May 10, 2021.

The current administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (PHMSA), Howard “Skip” Elliott, has been tasked with additional duties when he was assigned to be acting DOT Inspector General.  Meanwhile, President Trump has picked Eric Soskin to be the next DOT inspector general.  Mr. Soskin is a senior trial counsel at the  Justice department.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (PHMSA) recognizing the dangers of transporting Infectious substances, such as COVID-19 tainted materials, has issued Guidance on packaging and transporting COVID-19 Infectious Substances. In order to better assist medical facilities, clinical laboratories and hazardous waste carriers, PHMSA also published a COVID-19 Quick Reference page that provides guidance on how to package and transport these materials safely.

On May 14, 2020 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced its long awaited final rule that incorporates changes to the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations to give drivers more flexibility.  The notice of proposed rulemaking was published on August 14, 2019 and FMCSA evaluated over 8000 comments when finalizing the rule. The rule contains four revisions of particular interest as follows:

  • Allows a 30 minute break after 8 hours of driving time (not on-duty time) and allows an on duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break.
  • Allows drivers to split their sleeper berth exception into two periods (an 8/2 or 7/3 split) and neither would count against the drivers 14 hour window.
  • Addresses adverse driving conditions by permitting an extra two hours to the allowed driving window.
  • Changes the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

News

Among the myriad of conferences and meetings cancelled due to the challenges posed by COVID-19, the UN Secretariat decided to postpone the upcoming July meeting in Geneva.  The Secretariat indicated that the work of the bieenium is still planned for completion in December 2020.  Due to the large number of papers that are expected to be submitted and discussed, plans are underway to set up remote meetings.  In that vein, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Agency (PHMSA) has announced a “virtual” conference to discuss the papers that have been submitted.  The teleconference will occur June 24, 2020 and participants can register using this link.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has been providing key information for manufacturers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many manufacturers have questions about COVID-19 testing, specifically the various types of tests that are available and suitability for use in their manufacturing operations.  Robyn Boerstling, NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources, has compiled useful information about what manufacturers need to know as they enter into a testing program.  You can access this information and other key guidance by clicking here.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed important information about the dangers and proper storage of hand sanitizer products.  Specifically, the information highlights this important safety consideration, “When more than 5 gallons of hand sanitizer is being stored, the provisions found in NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, apply. These provisions require, for example, storage in a flammable liquids cabinet or in an area protected by an automatic sprinkler system, depending on how much liquid is being stored.”

People, Places & Things

Greif, Inc. has announced they are expanding their intermediate bulk container (IBC) reconditioning network in North America through a minority investment stake in Centurion Container LLC. Members of Centurion’s veteran management team were among the pioneers of the IBC reconditioning industry.  “Greif is pleased to be taking a minority stake in Centurion and agreed to a clear path to full ownership,” said Ole Rosgaard, Greif Group President, Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services and Global Sustainability. “This deal and its partnership will enable us to provide our customers with an enhanced sustainable packaging solution along with the economies inherent in reusable packaging.”

Con-Tech International, a global supplier of custom and standard manufactured metal and plastic parts, is pleased to announce that Christy C. Santangelo, CPA, has been named Corporate Controller. Previously, Santangelo served as the Financial Controller for Meitec Inc., an electrical and instrumentation construction contractor company based in Metairie, Louisiana. She was also Corporate Controller for Paul Piazza & Son, Inc., in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Santangelo has a B.S. in Finance and an M.B.A. from the University of New Orleans. She has also been a corporate business analyst for various business organizations and companies, including Ochsner Health System and the Make It Right organization. She also brings experience in the global manufacturing sector with Noranda Aluminum to Con-Tech.

Con-Tech looks forward to benefiting from her invaluable leadership and experience as the company moves forward with continuous growth and further success.