April 1, 2017
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Safety & Compliance

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Featured Articles

GAWDA's Very Own Events App Ready for You to Download

In time for the May 11-13 Spring Management Conference, GAWDA members can download and try out the GAWDA Events App.

Part of GAWDA President Mark Raimy's technology initiative, the just-released app allows Apple and Android users information, access to other conference participants and interactive features that will allow them to respond in real time to questions from conference presenters.

The app is available for download at the Apple App Store and at Google Play, the Android app store. There is no charge for the app.

The app includes 12 function buttons that do everything from display schedules and speaker biographies to tracking shuttle buses in real time.

GAWDA Executive Director John Ospina urges members to download the app and try it out. He adds that GAWDA staff will be available to assist with the app at SMC and will also be looking for member feedback to learn what features might be added to the app for future events.

Registration Continues to Grow for Spring Management Conference

Registration for the May 11-13 Spring Management Conference in Boca Raton, Fla., is running ahead of previous years.

With seven weeks to go before the first session, nearly 500 distributors, suppliers, family and guests have registered for the conference.

To register for the SMC, click here. To see GAWDA President Mark Raimy discuss the hotel, Contact Booth Program and other reasons to attend the SMC, click here.

Sponsors Stepping Up for SMC Activities

Sponsors, a vital part of making GAWDA events possible, have been stepping up for the Spring Management Conference, officials report.

More than a month before the first attendees will arrive, Kaplan Industries and McDantim had come forward as platinum sponsors for the President's Welcome Reception while Astaras and Air Products have taken on platinum sponsorships for the breakfast program.

McDantim has also sponsored the hotel keycard as has Norton/Saint-Gobain.

Sponsors for the new GAWDA Events App (see above) include Linde and Electronic Fluorocarbons.

Other President's Welcome Reception sponsors include Trendex, Linde, ESAB and Norton/Saint-Gobain.

Other breakfast sponsors include Acme Cryogenics, Saf-T-Cart and The Horton Group.

Other sponsorship opportunities are available. To learn about them, email or call Natasha Alexis at or 954-367-7728.

Deadline Nears for SMC Prize Program Participation

The SMC Contact Booth Program will include a Prize Program giving distributor members a chance to win prizes from supplier members exhibiting at the Friday afternoon event. 

Any supplier member who is exhibiting at the Contact Booth Program can participate. To take part, contact Tim Hudson at to get your prize listed in the brochure. Deadline is April 12th.

Safety and Compliance
PHMSA Steps Back From 10-year Requalification Period for Cylinders

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued formal notice that it will not take enforcement action against the requalification of DOT-specification low pressure cylinders (LPG cylinders, for example) by volumetric testing according to new 10-year period. Instead, the administration will allow the current 10 or the 12-year period while it reviews the National Propane Gas Association's petition to return to a 12-year requalification period.

FMCSA Withdraws Proposed Rule on Safety Fitness Determinations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)  has withdrawn its proposed rule to revise its safety fitness determination (SFD) standards and process.  82 Fed. Reg. 14848 (March 23, 2017). The new methodology would have determined when a motor carrier is not fit to operate commercial motor vehicles in or affecting interstate commerce based on the carrier’s on-road safety data and/or a compliance investigation.

The FMCSA had recently announced that, rather than move to a final rule, a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would be the next step in the rulemaking process. However, after reviewing the record in this matter, the agency is withdrawing the NPRM and canceling the plans to develop a Supplemental NPRM. The agency must receive the Correlation Study from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), as required by Congress in FAST Act, assess whether and, if so, what corrective actions are advisable, and complete additional analysis before determining whether further rulemaking action is necessary to revise the safety fitness determination process.  That report from the NAS to Congress is expected sometime in June 2017.

The FMCSA noted that on February 15, 2017, a letter from 62 national and regional organizations of motor carriers (including GAWDA) urged Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao to withdraw the NPRM; a copy of the letter was added to the docket The organizations argued that the proposed rule utilizes Safety Managemeny System data and methodologies, which Congress directed the NAS to review, and that it is ill-advised to develop a new SFD system until the report is received and any necessary reforms are made through corrective actions to the foundational data and methodologies that support safety fitness determinations.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) has declared April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  The NSC website allows interested persons to download educational materials on distracted driving as well as a cell phone policy kit, a case study, and an online distracted driving course.
CVSA Roadcheck to Emphasize Cargo Securement

The annual Roadcheck program of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is scheduled this year for June 6-8.  Over a 72-hour period, CVSA-certified commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout North America will conduct inspections of commercial motor vehicles and their drivers.
Each year, the Roadcheck program places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus is cargo securement. While checking for compliance with safe cargo securement regulations is always part of roadside inspections, CVSA is highlighting cargo securement safety this year as a reminder of its importance to highway safety.
Inspectors will primarily be conducting the North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is the most thorough roadside inspection.
National Work Zone Awareness Week Set for April 3-7

The American Traffic Safety Services Association has scheduled Work Zone Awareness Week for April 3-7.  As construction season begins, drivers are reminded to use extra caution in work zones.

New Members

Welcome new supplier member Breathwise, LLC, of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Welcome new manufacturers rep Greg Leumas, of Baton Rouge, La.

Member News

Absolute Zero Transferred from Weldcoa to Cryostar USA

Chesterfield Special Cylinders Opens U.S. Facility

Zephyr Solutions Names McDougal CEO

Awisco Marks Women's History Month with Luncheon

Abicor Binzel Names Rice District Sales Manager



New ITR Newsletter Available at Member Portal

In addition to the GAWDA Industry Analysis Report Provided by ITR Economics, premiering in the first quarter Welding & Gases Today, ITR Economics provides GAWDA members with a monthly newsletter sharing insights on economic developments between the quarters.

The latest newsletter is available through the GAWDA member portal.

New Food and Beverage Gas Training Video Available

GAWDA 's FDA and Medical Gases Consultant Tom Badstubner has just completed a 60-minute training video on How to Implement a Food Safety Program in compliance with 21 CFR 117.

The video also covers the essential forms available in the sample standard operating procedures as well as details about how to complete the fill logs. This video is free to GAWDA distributor members and can be found in the Food and Beverage Compliance Dropbox. The presentation may be viewed as a PowerPoint slideshow or as a streaming video.

Contact for a link to the video.

Upcoming Events
May 11-13 • Boca Raton, Florida
Spring Management Conference
Regional Meetings

First Regional Meeting of the Year Starts Tomorrow 

The first Regional Meeting of 2017 will take place April 2-3 in Birmingham, Ala., and registration remains open. Organizers report around 100 members are registered, including those from eight different distributorships. Charles Yechout, vice president of East USA and Canada sales at ESAB, has been added to the program. He will discuss, “From Good to Great.”  Click here for more information or to register. 

The second meeting, in Houston, Texas, will take place April 17-18. For more information, or to register, click here.

The third will be May 31 and June 1 in Atlantic City Regional Meeting. Click here to register.

Keep up with schedule additions and changes right here in the GAWDA Connection or at the Regional Meeting web page.

April 2 - 3 • Birmingham, Ala.
Regional Meeting

April 17 - 18 • Houston, Texas
Regional Meeting

May 31 - June 1 • Atlantic City, N.J.
Regional Meeting

June 12 - 14 • Seven Springs, Pa.
Regional Meeting

July 12 - 13 • Lansing, Mich.
Regional Meeting

July 19 - 21
 • Sun River, Ore.
Regional Meeting

August 14 - 15 • North Stonington, Conn.
Regional Meeting

Sept. 6-7 • Gettysburg, Pa.
Regional Meeting

Sept. 11 - 12 • Tulsa, Okla.
Regional Meeting
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Welding & Gases Today is the official publication of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. 

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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 GAWDA Media, their officers, directors, members and staff are responsible for contents or opinions other than those concerning Association activities. Copyright © 2017 GAWDA Media. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher.
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