January 1, 2017
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Safety & Compliance

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Featured Articles

GAWDA Brings in ITR Economics and Alan Beaulieu 

GAWDA has announced an agreement with ITR Economics, the New Hampshire-based economic risk forecasting firm.

Starting in the first quarter of this year, ITR Economics will provide an exclusive Industry Analysis Report for readers of Welding & Gases Today, GAWDA's print publication. 

The report is based on industry-specific statistics and is designed to help distributor members and supplier members make better-informed decisions for their companies.

In addition,  ITR's Principal and President Alan Beaulieu (pictured) has been named GAWDA's chief economist and a member of the Association's team of consultants.

"What I really like about ITR is they take the analysis and tell you, ‘This is where you need to invest, hire more people, buy ahead because commodity prices are going up …' and then they boil it down to actionable stuff, so it really prepares you. It takes it from one end, with a macro analysis and graphs, but always ends with, ‘This is what you should be doing,’ and it’s really specific to our industry," says GAWDA President Mark Raimy.

For more on GAWDA consultants, click here. Watch for more on Beaulieu and ITR Economics in upcoming GAWDA Connections and Welding & Gases Today.

Spring Management Conference Registration Opens Next Week

Time to start thinking about spring and the Spring Management Conference. Registration for this year's event will be available starting next week.

The Spring Management Conference will run May 11 to May 13 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Fla. 

For more information about the hotel, click here. For more information on the event, read on.

SMC Lineup Includes Industry Experts, Virgin Galactic Test Pilot

The Spring Management Conference will include a keynote address from the chairman, president and CEO of Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., an expert on millennials, GAWDA's newly appointed chief economist and the former NASA pilot who is now lead test pilot for Virgin Galactic's LauncherOne Program.

In addition, this year's SMC will include a panel discussion, "Generation Next, Part Two," that follows up on last spring's popular panel discussion on millennials in the work place. This year's panel, again led by Ratermann Manufacturing's George Ratermann, will focus on the next generation of customers.

The panel discussion will take place during Friday's morning business session and be followed by a presentation by Curt Steinhorst, of the Center for Generational Kinetics. Steinhorst is an millennial who will talk about generational difference in the workplace.

A lunch program, hosted by Women of Welding and Gases, will feature retired Air Force Col. Kelly Latimer (pictured). Her Air Force and NASA career included flying more than 5,000 hours in some 30 different types of aircraft. Following her retirement after 30 years as a commissioned officer, she joined Boeing as a test pilot before leaving to join Virgin Galactic in its efforts to commercialize space. 

Christopher Mapes, chairman, CEO and president, The Lincoln Electric Company, is scheduled to speak during the Saturday business session on Mary 13. Also speaking at that session will be Alan Beaulieu, principal and president of ITR Economcs, and GAWDA's new chief economist.

For more on the Spring Management Conference, click here.

Safety and Compliance

PHMSA Prohibits  Filling of DOT-39 Cylinders with Liquefied Flammable Compressed Gas

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a safety advisory informing offerors or anyone using a DOT Specification 39 (DOT-39) cylinder that cylinders with an internal volume of 75 cubic inches (1.23 L) or more should not be filled with liquefied flammable compressed gas,  81 Fed. Reg. 90061 (December 13, 2016). PHMSA further advises the public not to use any DOT–39 cylinder with an internal volume greater than 75 cubic inches (1.23 L) containing a liquefied flammable compressed gas. According to PHMSA, the rupture or release of a liquefied flammable compressed gas from a DOT-39 cylinder with an internal volume exceeding 75 cubic inches is a safety concern that could result in extensive property damage, serious personal injury or even death. PHMSA issued the advisory, in part, to address confusion about the regulatory requirements for using DOT-39 cylinders for these gases.
Current regulations do not specify the 75 cubic-inch limitation as it pertains to liquefied flammable compressed gas. However, on July 26, 2016, PHMSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in HM-234, 81 Fed. Reg. 48977 , to address this limitation, which was inadvertently dropped from the Hazardous Materials Regulations in a 2002 final rule. 

FMCSA Retains 25 percent Random Drug Testing Rate for 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that it will retain the 25 percent  random testing rate for controlled substances in 2017. 
For calendar year 2016, the FMCSA lowered the minimum annual drug testing rate from 50 percent to 25 percent following three consecutive calendar years (2011, 2012, 2013) in which drug testing data received in the Management Information System (MIS) survey indicated that the positive rate for controlled substances was less than one percent. The agency conducts the MIS survey to ensure compliance with the set testing rates.

According to federal regulations, when the data received in the MIS for two consecutive calendar years indicates that the positive rate for controlled substances is less than 1 percent, the FMCSA Administrator has the discretion to lower the annual testing rate to a minimum of 25 percent of a carriers’ driver positions.  If, however, at any time the positive rate for controlled substances exceeds one percent, the testing rate will automatically revert upward to 50 percent.

 PHMSA Announces Schoonover will Head Hazmat Office

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has announced that William Schoonover has been appointed to serve as associate administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety.  He has served in that job in an acting capacity for most of 2016, and has prior experience involving the transportation of hazardous materials both at PHMSA and at the Federal Railroad Administration. 
In addition, PHMSA announced that Howard “Mac” McMillan will serve as the first permanent executive director of the agency.  He was previously at the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services where, since 2008, he has served as chief of the verification division, Immigration Records and Identify Services Directorate.  The PHMSA executive director serves in a coordinating role for all of the agency’s programs and policy initiatives.


Member News

Praxair and Linde Announce Merger Plans

O.E. Meyer Wins Homecare Award, Adds Toledo-area Store

Minneapolis Oxygen Announces Multiple Personnel Changes


Birmingham Added to Regional Meeting Schedule for 2017

The calendar of Regional Meetings has grown again with the addition of Birmingham, Ala., in April.

The April 23-24 meeting brings to nine the number of Regional Meetings set for 2017.

See the whole schedule here, and check back for updates as more information on each meeting is announced.

Upcoming Events

May 11-13 • Boca Raton, Florida
Spring Management Conference

April 18 - 19 • Houston, Texas
Regional Meeting

April 23 - 24
 • Birmingham, Ala.
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. 11 - 12 • Tulsa, Okla.
Regional Meeting
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