Safety Information and Updates

Safe Handling, Storage & Use of Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Since 2010, diesel vehicles equipped with “SCR” technology have been running cleaner, and friendlier to the environment thanks to Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). DEF is a solution made up of approximately 67.5% purified water and 32.5% automotive grade urea. It is not flammable, non-toxic, and is not harmful to the environment. This key component of a diesel vehicle’s selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system is sprayed into the exhaust stream causing it to react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) resulting in the release of harmless nitrogen and water.

Though not dangerous to the environment, or to people handling DEF, there are several precautions users should be aware of in order to avoid damage to the vehicle’s SCR system:

  • DEF has an extremely sensitive spec, and caution must be taken to ensure product integrity and performance.
  • DEF must only be stored or dispensed from closed systems to avoid any possibility of contamination.
  • DEF should only be stored or transported in dedicated DEF containers.
  • Foreign matter of any kind (sold or liquid) should never be added to containers.
  • When topping off, never use equipment like funnels, jugs, or diesel equipment to fill the vehicle, as any of these could result in contamination and degradation of the product.

In addition to the precautions listed above, users of DEF should be aware that while not “required” to wear protective clothing, many users may prefer to wear gloves to protect sensitive skin. Additionally, DEF is corrosive to copper and brass, so should only be used with materials listed in the ISO 22241 standard.

Because DEF is made predominantly of water, it can freeze. In fact, it will start freezing at around 12º F. Freezing will not affect the quality of DEF, and after thawing, it will perform as required. Should the DEF freeze in a truck when the truck is shut down, simply start the truck as normal, and the SCR heating system will quickly thaw the DEF, returning it to liquid form, and the vehicle will run as intended. If you have any questions about DEF, please reach out to our Sales Team 1-800-289-2875!

The information contained above was obtained from the Dennis K. Burke, Inc and Yara websites.

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Happy Holiday Season: Winter Safety Tips for Reliable Product Delivery

At Dennis K. Burke, Inc. we consider Safety one of our top priorities. We aim to deliver products to our customers in as safe a manner as possible, while making sure our drivers make it home safely to their families at the end of each workday.

Winter weather brings a unique set of challenges to our industry, from making deliveries in inclement weather, winter driving, and safely accessing customer locations. Below are a few reminders from our Safety Department on how to ensure customers can ensure they’ll receive the products they need as reliably as possible.

If you’re a generator customer, please be sure the generator has a working gauge or whistle. Delivery drivers are not permitted to fill a tank without ensuring they know how much product will fit safely. Oftentimes our drivers arrive to fill generators and discover either the gauge is broken (i.e. not responding when fuel is delivered), or the tank is equipped with a whistle that does not sound. If the driver is unable to determine how much fuel is in the generator, the delivery will have to be stopped until the matter is resolved. This is to protect the customer’s property and avoid having a fuel spill.

We kindly ask all customers to provide safe access for our drivers, so they can gain access to the fills. This includes removing and or treating any snow and ice that may have accumulated, as well as other items that might be stored near the tanks we’re filling. Sometimes snow falls during the delivery, so there might be a fresh covering, making it difficult for a driver who might be unfamiliar with a location to locate a below ground fill. If possible, please mark fills with traffic cones or other objects to make them easy to spot!

Finally, a tip from DKB Safety - Remember to clear all snow and ice from your vehicle when traveling on the roadway. Motorists are responsible for anything that comes from their vehicle, including loose snow or ice. Clear the entire windshield so the driver has a clear field of vision while seated in the driver’s seat, and make sure you have plenty of washer fluid.   During winter travel it’s a good idea to bring an emergency bag just in case you get stranded. A change of clothes, bottle of water, and a snack, and even medication, in case of emergency could be the difference between a tragic outcome and a positive ending to a roadside emergency.

On behalf of DKB Safety we want to wish all our customers a Safe, Happy, and Healthy Holiday Season.

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Fuel Tank Maintenance: Ensuring Longevity & Safety

Fuel tanks play a pivotal role in various industries, providing the necessary storage for liquid energy sources. To guarantee their longevity and ensure the safety of both the storage facility and the environment, proper maintenance is paramount. Here are some crucial tips for the routine upkeep of fuel tanks:

  1. Regular Inspection Routine: Initiate a consistent and comprehensive inspection routine for your fuel tanks. Regular visual checks can help identify potential issues such as rust, corrosion, or leaks. Pay close attention to seams, joints, and any external signs of wear and tear. Catching problems early on can prevent costly repairs and mitigate the risk of fuel spills.
  2. Tank Cleaning: Over time, sediment, water, and other contaminants can accumulate at the bottom of fuel tanks, compromising fuel quality and leading to corrosion. Regular cleaning is essential to remove these impurities. Consider scheduling professional tank cleaning services to ensure a thorough and efficient process.
  3. Fuel Quality Monitoring: Invest in a fuel quality monitoring system to assess the condition of the stored fuel. Regularly test for water content, microbial growth, and particulate matter. Addressing fuel quality issues promptly not only ensures optimal engine performance but also protects the tank from corrosion caused by contaminants.
  4. Protective Coatings: Implement a proactive approach to corrosion prevention by applying suitable protective coatings to the tank's exterior. This is particularly important in regions where exposure to harsh weather conditions or corrosive substances is prevalent. A well-maintained coating acts as a barrier, extending the lifespan of the tank.
  5. Leak Detection Systems: Install advanced leak detection systems to identify and address potential leaks before they escalate. These systems can provide real-time alerts, allowing for swift intervention and preventing environmental damage or safety hazards.
  6. Ventilation & Pressure Control: Ensure proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of pressure inside the tank. Excessive pressure can lead to structural damage or leaks. Implement pressure relief valves and regularly inspect them to ensure they are functioning correctly.
  7. Documentation & Compliance: Maintain detailed records of all maintenance activities and inspections. This documentation is not only crucial for tracking the tank's condition but also for compliance with industry regulations. Regularly review and update maintenance procedures to align with the latest safety standards.
  8. Professional Maintenance Services: Engage qualified professionals for periodic maintenance and inspections. These experts possess the knowledge and skills to identify issues that might go unnoticed during routine checks. Their expertise ensures that your fuel tank remains in optimal condition.

By prioritizing proper maintenance, you not only extend the life of your fuel tank but also contribute to a safer and more sustainable operation. Regular attention to these key maintenance aspects safeguards the integrity of the tank and promotes the responsible storage and use of vital energy resources.

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Tank Monitoring: Ensuring Safety and Efficiency

Our Dennis K. Burke Inc. dispatch team operates seamlessly through the integration of our advanced tank monitoring program, ensuring precise communication with our dedicated truck drivers. This technology enables real-time tracking of tank levels, guaranteeing that our drivers are equipped with the correct quantities of fuel and lubricants required. Once on a customer's site, our drivers must employ a secondary method to confirm that the correct product will fit the specific requirements. This includes utilizing tools like gauges and listening for characteristic whistles, ensuring an extra layer of accuracy and reliability. This dual-approach strategy not only exemplifies our commitment to precision but also underscores our dedication to meeting and exceeding customer expectations at every step of the process. Tank monitoring is a cornerstone of responsible and efficient operations across various industries. By providing real-time data and enabling early defect detection, it ensures both safety and sustainability.

  1. Preventing Overfills and Spills
    One of the primary benefits of tank monitoring is its ability to prevent overfills. Overfilled tanks can lead to spills, which not only result in environmental harm but can also pose serious safety risks. Tank monitoring systems use sensors and technology to provide real-time data, allowing for precise control of filling levels and preventing accidents.
  1. Minimizing Environmental Impact
    Environmental responsibility is a paramount concern across industries. Tank monitoring ensures that storage facilities operate within their designated capacities, reducing the likelihood of leaks, spills, and contamination of soil or water bodies.
  1. Enhancing Operational Efficiency
    Efficient resource management is key to any successful operation. With tank monitoring, businesses can optimize their inventory levels, minimizing unnecessary refills and associated costs. Additionally, it enables timely scheduling of maintenance, ensuring that tanks are in good condition and preventing unexpected downtime.
  1. Early Detection of Leaks and Defects
    Regular monitoring allows for the early detection of leaks or defects in tanks. Whether caused by corrosion or faulty equipment, identifying problems promptly can prevent costly repairs, safeguarding both the environment and personnel.
  1. Improved Inventory Management
    Efficient inventory management is crucial for businesses dependent on stored materials. Tank monitoring systems provide accurate, real-time data on inventory levels, enabling timely reordering and avoiding shortages or excess stock. This, in turn, leads to streamlined logistics and cost savings.
  1. Compliance with Regulatory Standards
    Many industries are subject to strict regulatory standards governing the storage and handling of materials. Tank monitoring helps ensure compliance with these regulations, providing documentation of tank levels, leak detection, and maintenance schedules.
  1. Enhancing Worker Safety
    Tank monitoring minimizes the need for manual inspections, which can be hazardous for workers. By utilizing automated monitoring systems, employees are exposed to fewer risks associated with climbing tanks or working in potentially hazardous environments.
  2. Real-time Data and Remote Monitoring
    Modern tank monitoring systems provide real-time data accessible from virtually anywhere. This remote monitoring capability allows for prompt decision-making and intervention, even when staff are not on-site.

Embracing tank monitoring not only safeguards the environment and personnel but also contributes to a more cost-effective and sustainable operation. It's a proactive investment in the safety, efficiency, and reputation of any business reliant on tank storage systems!

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Thank a Truck Driver!

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW) takes place each year in September and is organized by the American Trucking Associations. This annual tradition began in 1988 and continues each year, recognizing truck drivers as an essential part of the supply chain for their role in ensuring goods and supplies make their way to people all across the country. This year, NTDAW was celebrated September 10th - 16th.

According to the American Trucking Associations, in the United States alone, there are nearly 3.6 million truck drivers who safely and efficiently deliver goods nationwide. These truck drivers ensure shelves are stocked in the stores where we shop, hospitals have the needed medical supplies, and businesses have the equipment and supplies necessary to keep things running smoothly.

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to identify a location in the United States not impacted by truck drivers. Nearly 80% of U.S. communities rely exclusively on trucks to meet their freight transportation needs. From food, clothing, and medicine to household products, construction materials and heavy-duty equipment, nearly everything and anything one can think of spent some portion of its existence on a truck, and we have truck drivers to thank for getting these items to their ultimate destinations.

According to US Cargo Control, “Truck drivers are the backbone of our society.” They play a critical role in, “keeping the gears of our nation’s economy turning smoothly.” Without truck drivers, “our economy would come to a grinding halt.”

There are plenty of ways to express gratitude to truck drivers for all they do, and this appreciation need not be limited to just NTDAW. A simple “thank you”, goes a long way. Recognizing a truck driver for their hard work at a truck stop, or when they are making a delivery to a store, gas station, or business not only shows the drivers they are appreciated, but also demonstrates recognition of the importance of their profession.  

At Dennis K. Burke, Inc. we’ll be hosting “Driver Appreciation” meetings next month. At these meetings, drivers will be recognized for their hard work and longevity with the company. We’ll provide a catered breakfast and give out some highly coveted DKB swag. I’m happy to report that 29 of DKB’s more than 90 drivers have been with us for over 10 years! We have another 5 drivers with over 20 years of seniority, and TWO who have been here over 30 years! Congratulations to our senior driver who celebrated his 38th year with the company in August!

On behalf of the Dennis K. Burke, Safety Department, we thank all drivers for their hard work and dedication to ensuring all needed products are delivered safely and efficiently.

Stay safe!

(The video below we put together for the driver appreciation meetings this coming month - enjoy!)

 

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Announcement: OSHA's Revised Recordkeeping Rule Effective Jan 1, 2024

Come January 1, 2024, employers across the United States will need to adapt to significant changes as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rolls out its revised recordkeeping rule. This updated rule aims to bolster workplace safety by refining injury and illness reporting requirements, ultimately fostering a safer and healthier working environment.

One of the central changes involves the classification of work-related injuries and illnesses. OSHA's revised rule aligns these classifications more closely with industry best practices, promoting consistency and accuracy in reporting. This refined classification system is expected to provide employers with a clearer understanding of incident severity and associated risks.

Another key facet of the revised rule is the electronic submission of injury and illness data. Employers with 250 or more employees in covered industries will be required to submit this data to OSHA electronically. By mandating electronic reporting, OSHA aims to improve its ability to analyze and interpret workplace injury trends on a broader scale. This data-driven approach will allow OSHA to allocate resources more effectively, targeting high-risk areas and implementing preventive measures.

Furthermore, OSHA's revised rule places a significant emphasis on anti-retaliation protections for employees. Employers must ensure that their policies do not discourage workers from reporting injuries or illnesses. The rule underscores the importance of fostering a culture where employees feel comfortable reporting incidents without fearing retaliation.

In preparation for the rule's implementation, employers should take several proactive steps. First and foremost, familiarizing themselves with the revised rule's nuances is critical. Employers must understand the updated classification criteria, electronic submission requirements, and anti-retaliation provisions.

Additionally, employers should assess their current injury and illness reporting systems to ensure they align with the revised requirements. This might involve modifying reporting forms, training employees on the new classifications, and implementing mechanisms to ensure compliance with anti-retaliation protections.

Ultimately, OSHA's revised recordkeeping rule reflects the agency's commitment to continually improving workplace safety. By adopting these changes and maintaining accurate injury and illness records, employers can identify potential hazards more effectively, implement preventive measures, and cultivate safer workplaces for their employees.

In light of these newly introduced revisions, Dennis K Burke remains steadfast in its dedication to elevating our internal safety protocols and actively fostering a culture of well-being across our organizational landscape.      

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FMCSA Authorizes Oral Fluid Testing

 

On May 2, 2023 the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule in the Federal Register authorizing oral fluid testing as a method of conducting DOT controlled drug tests.  This amended rule became effective on June 1st.  


While the rule is now in effect, carriers shouldn’t rush out and start utilizing oral fluid testing as part of their DOT controlled drug testing process just yet.  For an employer to implement oral fluid testing, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must first certify at least two laboratories to conduct the testing.  Unfortunately, this has not been done yet.  


According to a June 1st article by Jason Cannon, chief editor of the Commercial Carrier Journal, the National Drug Screening President, Joe Reilly recently said, “no labs have even applied for HHS approval yet.  I met with all of them last week and all said late 2023 or early 2024 before they expect to be approved and operational with oral fluid testing,”


Once labs do get approved, and the process of using oral fluid for DOT tests can start, there will be several key advantages.  Perhaps the biggest of which is that it is significantly more difficult, if not impossible to “cheat”.  Many experienced drug users are routinely ready or prepared to be selected for a DOT test with either synthetic or borrowed urine that they substitute for their own in order to “pass” the test.  Because the oral fluid test occurs directly in the presence of the tester, who physically swabs the cheek of the person being tested, cheating is virtually impossible, unlike with urine tests which are most often done behind closed doors to protect people’s privacy.  


This brings up another huge advantage.  Oral fluid testing can be done virtually anywhere with no need for an actual restroom.  Satellite locations that might not have a restroom can still be used for oral fluid testing, as long as there is some location for the person being tested to meet the person conducting the test.    Additionally, oral fluid testing virtually eliminates the issue of a “shy-bladder” for those who might not be able to produce enough of a urine sample to be tested.  


There are a few things to consider before implementing oral fluid testing.  While the rule was passed allowing the practice, it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to replace previous methods of testing.  While there are some distinct advantages, blood and urine testing are still accurate and reliable testing methods, and the regulations do not mandate one method over the other, and carriers are not required to pick one method or the other.  Carriers have the choice of which method of testing to use each time a test is needed.  This being said, if a carrier does choose to move forward with oral fluid testing, it’s advisable to update your controlled drug and alcohol testing policy to be consistent with current regulations and practices involving this type of testing.  

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Spill Buckets help ensure Safe Deliveries

 

Spill buckets are liquid-tight containers that surround both underground and above ground fill pipes. They have an important function which is to contain any small leaks, drips, and spills from the delivery hose that may occur during the fuel delivery process. Small drips that occur from a driver disconnecting a hose are common. A leaky hose connection that can produce a more significant release is less common, but the spill bucket is the last line of defense to help contain these types of releases. This is why it is important for customers and delivery drivers to work as a team to ensure spill buckets remain clean, dry, and empty.

Water and/or fuel sitting in spill buckets will damage the buckets over time, causing them to rust or rot out. If the cover to the spill bucket is damaged and not doing its job to prevent water from entering the containment area, it is important to have it replaced. On occasion, the rubber gaskets inside the spill bucket covers become worn and need to be replaced as well.

In colder months, this water can freeze preventing delivery drivers from being able to properly connect to the fill pipes. In the warmer months, the water can enter the tank via the fill pipe which can compromise the integrity of the product stored in the tank. For this reason, it is especially important to always inspect spill buckets after significant rainstorms.

Spill buckets have relatively short lives which are often less than 10 years. If you must replace a spill bucket it might be a good idea to consider installing a double-walled version as the inner bucket can be replaced without breaking any concrete. You can also easily tell if the spill bucket is leaking by checking the space between the two walls of the spill bucket. This type of spill bucket will cost a little more but will save you a lot of money down the road.

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Ensuring Storage Tanks are Safe for Delivery

At Dennis K. Burke, Inc., we aim to provide our customers with the products they need, in as safe and efficient a manner as possible. This article will review a few things our customers can do to ensure they continue receiving the products they need to keep their own businesses operating smoothly.

Successfully delivering product into customers’ tanks without spilling is obviously a top priority! Our delivery drivers need to be 100% sure all the product they’re bringing can fit into the intended tank every time. We follow the industry standard of not filling tanks beyond 90% of their capacity, so ensuring tank gauges and monitors are working properly is essential. Additionally, emergency shutoffs, alarms and valves need to be working properly too. If tanks are equipped with a clock gauge, or another device that provides the level of product inside the tank, providing a tank chart specific to that tank is extremely helpful. If possible, leaving a laminated copy of a chart, specific to your tank, somewhere near the fill, would be greatly appreciated by our drivers as well as the Safety Department.  

Ensuring tanks are properly labeled for the product they contain is also very important. Many above ground storage tanks look very similar to one another, and because underground storage tanks are buried, only their fills are visible. For these reasons, having tanks and fills clearly and properly labeled helps to make sure the correct product is delivered to the intended tank. Over time, labels, decals and paint colors identifying the product inside the tanks can become faded or worn. This time of year, after the snow and ice has melted, and mother nature’s springtime colors we’ve all been yearning for over the cold New England winter start to pop again, is a great time to revitalize tank labels and make sure they are clearly marked, identifying the product contained inside.

Finally, just like in winter, when we ask that snow and ice be shoveled or cleared to provide safe access, the same is true in the warmer months.   Our drivers make numerous deliveries each and every day. Providing them with safe access to the tanks is an essential part of keeping them healthy, injury free, and able to make deliveries safely without making critical mistakes. Ensuring our drivers return home safe at the end of each workday is very important to us, and we appreciate any effort and support our customers can provide to help make sure that happens.

Stay safe!

 

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Too Close for Comfort

 

Do you ever look in your rear view mirror when you’re on the highway, and see the driver of the car behind you, as if they were sitting in your back seat? Have you ever just randomly scanned other vehicles as they pass, and considered how close they are to the vehicle in front? More often than not, they are WAY too close!

 According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions make up roughly one-third of all multi-vehicle accidents every year, and yet the majority of all drivers follow much more closely than they should. National Safety Council recommends a minimum of three second following distance, and the Smith System of Driving recommends a four second following distance.   

This means, the time it takes the following vehicle to reach a fixed point the leading vehicle passed should take at least three, if not four seconds or more. A very simple way to determine if you are following at a safe distance is to pick a fixed object (bridge, shadow in the road, a sign, or a guardrail). When the vehicle in front of you passes that object, count out “one-thousand one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand three...) until the front of your vehicle reaches the same spot. No cheating. Counting too fast is not allowed! If you don’t reach at least “one-thousand three”, you are following too close, and you should increase your following distance.

Keep in mind, these recommendations are for passenger vehicles operating in ideal road and weather conditions. If you are driving a commercial vehicle, you should add a second, and if the weather is poor, or visibility is bad, add another second.   Additionally, other distractions like texting, reaching for food or drink, or looking at a GPS or other device can also lead to a rear-end collision. Even if you are following at a safe distance, it’s important you not drive distracted.

Following distance is continuously a leading cause of crashes, but with a little effort and understanding, those crashes could all be prevented.

Drive safe, leave enough space, and, don’t forget to buckle up!

 

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