Industry News & Information

CLEAN UP Your Mess!

ACCIDENTS happen – How we respond to them, aka “damage control” is critically important to limiting damage, returning quickly back to our task, and keeping expenses in check. CONCERNING OIL spills, sadly, tens of millions of gallons of oil enter our oceans every year, but interestingly a mere 8 percent is due to tanker or pipeline spills.

EPA sees the small oil problem as a death by a thousand cuts. OVER 80% of all oil spills could be prevented, and unfortunately, it tends to happen to folks usually ill-equipped and/or under trained to handle the spill. Here are 6 tips to reduce the environmental damage caused by spills.

a) Oil spills spread a 100 times faster in wet weather. Keep a specialty spill control kit for work in wet conditions.

b) Employees should know in advance which spill situations they can safely contain and which spills are unsafe to handle.

c) Train employees to use proper spill prevention practices when working with oil sources.

d) PPE (personal protective equipment) should be readily available to ensure safe handling of materials.

e) Have a visible worksite map that identifies the location of oil and fuel sources (storage, etc.).

f) Provide workers with product recommendations (spill pads, rugs, booms, etc.), storage instructions and supervision.

Calmness is an important component to efficiency. Time is valuable. Containment procedures to keep it from spreading until help arrives goes along way. Plug the source of the leak IF it is safe and possible (the obvious isn’t always obvious). If none of the above is immediately possible, damage control is imperative by identifying high-risk areas (think storm drains, waterways, and soil). Happy cleaning!

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What is Your Manager Legacy Look Like?

A lot is asked in today’s work environment from our supervisors, especially considering our current COVID-19 climate. While there are a number of methods to getting this job done, I am going to zero in on two: TOP-DOWN directive or EMPATHIC teacher (actively caring for people) approach.

For example, keeping people injury free by helping them look out for the safety of others exemplifies us going beyond ourselves for others, or self-transcendence. How might one go about accomplishing this? A fear based, top down, seemingly controlling manner, may create change in the moment, but will it create the lasting change, if one did not ask for the advice/direction? One only needs to look within oneself and ask how they themselves may respond the a “slap on the hands.”

When one (student/co-worker) learn from our teaching, they not only apply the principles and practical techniques, they pass them on. They are in effect, leaving their own learning/teaching legacy. IN short, the intervention is critically important.

If one begins corrective feedback with questions to try and understand the viewpoint of the person observed. In a diverse work place, it is important to learn another person’s language, mannerisms, and unique expression. Discover how this may have contributed to the at-risk behavior and/or inhibited the occurrence of a safe alternative. The objective is to obtain ownership of the at-risk behavior, even with excuses, along with a commitment to improve/change.

Leaving a positive teaching legacy happens as advice and direction is accepted, followed, and passed on. When general self-care and respect are shown and the difference in the quality of people’s lives can be measured.

Every work day contains a number of teaching moments. While the “safety cop” with a top-down directive approach may “speed things along” in the moment, taking one’s time to engaging your staff, listening first and then responding, generally results in less “do-overs” that can fill one’s day with a number of fires. Urgent and non-important tasks lead to stress-filled days and sleepless nights.

Steven Covey said, “We live, we love, we learn, and we leave a legacy. What do you want your legacy to look like?

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Intermediate Bulk Containers [IBCs/Totes]

What’s a tote? Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) or totes are primarily multi-use bulk containers that hold five (275 gallon) or six (330 gallon) drums of material. A majority of the repackaging industry uses are composite or steel (carbon or stainless) types. For the purposes of this short article we are going to focus on composite, “one way” totes. 

MBC receives IBCs from a variety of companies from soap and petroleum repackagers to food, products from the drilling industry, vitamin and supplement manufacturers, and essential oils and scents used for candles, etc.

There are a few choices one has to make concerning pallet type:steel base (most popular), steel and poly base (poly corners), poly base (entirely plastic bottom), and wood base. 

Valve type: Cam Lock (quick on and off with hoses that have the coupling attachment) and NPT (National Pipe Thread screws on). There are three ways the valve works: ball valve, butterfly valve, and cylinder valve. All are effective ways of keeping material in the tote until required. Some valves can be screwed on and off, while others are fused on. 

Size: As mentioned above, a composite comes in two sizes, 275 and 330 gallons (1040 or 1248 liters). 

Before we share some information on the IBCs we have available for purchase, we want to point out that some people buy an “As is” INC – This is a used tote that is generally dirty. While some of the totes we receive have been triple rinsed, most come in with a small amount of material in them. Each ONE INCH “heel” generally means approximately 8-10 gallons of material. While the cages make great storage units, you never really know what you are getting (despite what the label says). Why put yourself in harm’s way by picking up one that has not been cleaned properly? It is important to dispose of waste properly and have your eyes wide open concerning IBCs. We see used dirty totes for sale on local sites such as KSL and Craig’s List. Sadly, they are generally advertised as okay for water storage which could not be further from the truth. ONLY new or rebottled (new bottle and existing cage) can be used for food and water storage [the same goes for 55 gallon drums!] Mark’s Barrel Company has two types of IBCs for sale:reprocessed, and rebottled. 

“REPROCESSED” – Is an IBC that has been inspected inside and out and been through a significant routine maintenance process which includes cleaning, replacement and service of various parts (gaskets, valves, fasteners), and the verification of leaktighness. Bottles and cages are cleaned with high pressure hot water and steam to remove residue left after draining and vacuuming. Cages are repaired as needed. Valves cleaned or replaced. All processes done per UN and DOT  Codes of Operating Practices which are the requirements outlined in the Responsible Packaging Management procedures provided by the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) found at www.reusablepackaging.orgof which MBC has been a member for over two decades. 

It is important to note that reprocessed IBCs are not “new” but “like new”. There are some cosmetic imperfections and some bottles may be slightly discolored or contain a slight odor. However, they are free of residue, and though not sufficient for stringent food consumption concerns, are a popular choice (3.5 million IBCs were reprocessed last year (2.5 million 275 gallons and 1 million 330 gallons) for industry and individuals alike. Total carbon emission savings is nearly 300 million pounds through reuse versus buying new. 

“REBOTTLED” – Is a repaired or remanufactured unit where an existing bottle is replaced by a new bottle and put into an existing cage [versus a totally new unit which has a new cage and a new bottle]. An IBC repair is putting the inner receptacle (bottle) that meets the original specification, and IBC remanufacturing is when we convert one design type to another. These design types are tested and certified yearly. This IBC is perfect for water or food storage, or any application where a sealed, new container is required. 

So, to recap, while all the IBCs are meticulously cleaned, repaired, tested, and inspected per UN and DOT standards to safely transport and store materials, only the REBOTTLED units are safe for food and water consumption. Call MBC for all your IBC needs. As the largest supplier of IBCs in a 500 square mile area, our experience and expertise can help you select the correct product for your needs.

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