September 1, 2016
This Issue
Featured Articles

Safety & Compliance

Member News

News from GAWDA

This Newsletter is Brought to You by:

The Tech Air
Acquisition Process


Read about Clark Kelly's exit strategy and how L&M Welding Supply Merged with Tech Air.

"Myles recognized value that others overlooked."
- Clark Kelly

Popular Content
Sure you've got your surf shorts and Hawaiian shirts ready for the Annual Convention, but is your mind set to go? You can get your head prepared for the trip to Maui by reading what two of the Annual Convention's invited speakers are thinking. Both had articles that appeared in the third quarter Welding & Gases Today. You can read what Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi is thinking here and what social media and technology leader Dave Nelson is thinking here.

Share Your News
Send us your news! Held an open house? Hired a new employee? Share your events, employee promotions, new or renovated facilities and other company news with GAWDA members. Submit your news here.

Featured Articles

2016 Compensation Report Now Available at

The just-completed GAWDA 2016 Employee Compensation Report is now available for order at Members can access the order form here.

This year's report is based on data submitted by more than 958 firms with more than 6,000 locations.

The annual comprehensive survey is an excellent way to see where your company stands among peers when it comes to pay and other compensation, making it an invaluable tool for remaining competitive.

On the same order form, members can purchase safety posters, cylinder tags and additional copies of the Members Only Buyers Guide and Membership Directory.

Missed the CGA Webinar? It's Available Online

If you weren't able to join the dozens of GAWDA members who took part in the August 23 CGA Subscription Program webinar with GAWDA consultant Michael Dodd, you can still learn about this valuable program.

A recorded version of the webinar is available here.

For more information on the CGA Subscription program, click here

Safety and Compliance

FMCSA Issues Safety Advisory on Use of E-Cigarettes Near CMVs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a Safety Advisory on the use of use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices [e.g., e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, e-hookahs, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems] and the transportation safety risks associated with the use of these devices near commercial motor vehicles. 

The Advisory states: “The use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices has resulted in incidents including explosions, serious personal injuries, and fires. The explosions regularly involved the ejection of a burning battery case or other components from the device which subsequently ignited nearby flammable or combustible materials.”  The Advisory notes that over 150 explosions have occurred since the introduction of these devices in the past decade.

The FMCSA advised that although the Hazardous Materials Regulations and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations do not specifically address the potential safety risks posed by battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices, “motor carriers and drivers should be cognizant of the risks associated with these devices and exercise good judgment and appropriate discretion in their possession, storage, charging or use on, around or while operating a CMV, and adhere to the smoking prohibitions on, near or when loading and unloading a motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials in accordance with 49 CFR 177.834(c) and 397.13.”

FMCSA Revises Hazmat Route Listings for California

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has revised the hazardous materials route listings for the State of California. 81 Fed. Reg. 52518 (August 8, 2016). The revised routes are on the National Hazardous Materials Route Registry, a listing, as reported by states and tribal governments, of all designated and restricted road and preferred highway routes for transportation of highway route controlled quantities of Class 7 radioactive materials and non-radioactive hazardous materials.

The last revision to the National Hazardous Materials Route Registry was published on April 29, 2015. These latest revisions were reported by the State of California to update the hazmat route restrictions applicable to commercial motor vehicles in that State.

OSHA Delays Anti-Retaliation Rule Until November 1

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is delaying enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new injury and illness tracking rule to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers. Originally scheduled to begin August 10, 2016, enforcement will now begin November 1, 2016.

Under the rule, employers are required to inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation; implement procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that are reasonable and do not deter workers from reporting; and incorporate the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against workers for reporting injuries and illnesses.

NMFTA Changes Uniform Straight Bill of Lading

As discussed in a Special Report by the Transportation and Logistics Council, the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) has changed the liability terms in the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading for shipments of goods by truck. Although use of the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading is not mandatory, most motor carriers participate in the NMFTA and use the document to set out the terms of carriage with shippers. 

The biggest change is in the burden of proof for loss or damage to a shipment. The old bill of lading placed the burden of proving lack of negligence on the carrier; the shipper would simply make an allegation of loss or damage within the required time frame, and then carrier would have to prove that it was not negligent to avoid liability. This burden of proof had been placed on the carrier for over 100 years because the carrier was the party with the shipment in its possession and thus would be better able to indicate what happened once the shipment had been tendered to the carrier and prior to delivery.

Under the new bill of lading, the shipper must prove that the carrier was negligent in order to recover for loss or damage to the shipment.  

The Transportation and Logistics Council brought a proceeding before the Surface Transportation Board to challenge the changes to the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading.  In a decision dated August 12, 2016, the STB denied the request to enjoin or suspend the effective date of NMFTA’s amendments, but the STB did ask for comments on two issues: (1) whether the STB has authority to investigate in this instance, especially since the NMFTA agreement has never been approved by the STB; and (2) whether the STB should investigate the changes to the bill of lading in light of the Board’s prior decision in Motor Carrier Bureaus–Periodic Review Proceeding, EP 656 (STB served May 7, 2007), which ended antitrust immunity for rate bureaus.

NHTSA, FMCSA Propose Speed Limiting Device Rule

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) have released a joint proposed rule to require devices to limit the speeds of newly manufactured heavy duty vehicles over 26,000 pounds GVW. The proposal will be published in the Federal Register in the next several days.  

The proposed rule resulted from petitions for rule-making submitted by the American Trucking Associations and Road Safe America. The agencies are considering various mandatory top speeds, including 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour, and will entertain other speeds depending on the comments received.

Under the proposed rule, NHTSA would establish a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that would require each vehicle, as manufactured and sold, to have its device set to a speed not greater than a specified speed and to be equipped with means of reading the vehicle’s current speed setting and the two previous speed settings (including the time and date the settings were changed) through its On-Board Diagnostic connection.  

The FMCSA would establish a new rule to require motor carriers to maintain each CMV over 26,000 lbs. GVW with a speed limiting device meeting the requirements of the proposed FMVSS applicable to the vehicle at the time of manufacture, including the requirement that the device be set to a speed not greater than a specified speed.  Motor carriers operating such vehicles in interstate commerce would be required to maintain the speed limiting devices for the service life of the vehicle.

Medical Review Board Submits Guidelines on Sleep Apnea

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Medical Review Board has submitted recommendations to the agency related to the joint FMCSA/Federal Railroad Administration advance notice of proposed rule-making on obstructive apnea.  

The recommendations address issues of diagnosis, treatment, medical qualification and the length of driver certification by a medical examiner after diagnosis. Some of the recommendations are:

•    Medical Examiners cannot issue a medical card for more than one year to a driver with an established diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), regardless of severity.
•    Drivers should be disqualified immediately and referred for OSA diagnostic testing if they have admitted fatigue or sleepiness during the wake period or have been involved in a sleep-related motor vehicle crash or accident or near crash. 
•    A driver determined to be at risk for OSA based on Body Mass Index (with or without additional risk factors) may be certified for 90 days pending sleep study and treatment (if the driver is diagnosed with OSA).
•    Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy is the preferred OSA treatment. 
•    The driver may be certified for one year if he/she documents PAP use for a time period no less than 30 consecutive days, PAP use records demonstrate at least four hours per night use on 70 percent of nights, and the driver does not report excessive sleepiness during the major wake period.

Member News

Fritz Named CEO at Acme Cryogenics

SUMIG USA Appoints Saumier Director of Business Development

WestAir Opens Two More Stores in California
Welcome, New Members!
Welcome Distributor Member Summit Aire LLC, Denver, Colo.

Welcome Supplier Member SFA Companies, Kansas City, Mo.

In Memoriam

Bill Kubler

W.S. "Bill" Kubler, who retired last November after 47 years of continuous service to AWISCO NY Corp., passed away August 20 after a valiant bout with cancer.

Kubler served in many capacities over his long career at AWISCO including general manager, vice president of sales and special accounts manager.

“Bill started with my Dad, Bernie, in 1968 and was a fundamental part of the organization that grew to be the AWISCO of today,” said AWISCO President and former GAWDA President Lloyd Robinson.

“My father and I are deeply saddened by his passing and express deepest sympathy to his family, friends and long time colleagues,” Robinson added.


Annual Convention Just Weeks Away

GAWDA returns to Maui for Annual Convention Sept. 25-28. Here are the latest updates and calls for action.

Contact Booth ProgramBooths are selling out fast!  More than 90 booths have been reserved. Book your booth as soon as possible before they get sold out. To see availability click here

For more on this year's contact booth program, including rules for winners, click here.

GAWDA Gives Back - More than $80,000 has been contributed to the 2016 Annual Convention GAWDA Gives Back Drive this year. For more information on this year’s charities and donation forms please visit our web site at
GAWDA’s 2016 Regional Meetings Schedule Down to One

There is one regional meeting left for 2016. 

September 12-13 • Kansas City, Mo.

This event will open with a golf tournament at Tiffany Greens Golf Club and include presentations from Brian Deveaux, Jim Byrne and Randy MacLean.

For more information, please click here.
Upcoming Events
September 12-13 • Kansas City, Missouri
GAWDA Regional Meeting

September 25-28 • Maui, Hawaii
GAWDA Annual Convention
Follow Us on Social Media
Contact Us
Welding & Gases Today is the official magazine of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. 

We welcome your questions and comments. Please fill out our form.

For information on advertising in GAWDA Connection, click here.
1 Oakwood Blvd., Suite 195
Hollywood, FL 33020

Toll-free 844-251-3219 
Local 954-367-7728 
Fax 954-367-7790   

The GAWDA Connection is distributed on the 1st and 15th of each month to all GAWDA members as a membership service of GAWDA, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association, One Oakwood Blvd, Ste 195, Hollywood, FL 33020. Neither GAWDA nor Data Key Communications, their Data Key Communicationsofficers, directors, members and staff are responsible for contents or opinions other than those concerning Association activities. Copyright © 2016 Data Key Communications. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher.
Copyright © 2016 GAWDA Media, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list