Safety Information and Updates
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
(The video below we put together for the driver appreciation meetings this coming month - enjoy!)
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.
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.
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.
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!
Forecasts are predicting sub zero temperatures for the New England area this weekend, starting Friday night and running through Saturday. Temperatures are expected to rebound to more seasonable levels (30 degrees or so) by Sunday, but Friday/Saturday we are projected to run around -7 in the Boston area. Based on the timing of the cold, the major concerns on operability should mainly impact Saturday work, and obviously there is the potential for wider impacts in the event of power outages.
As a general reminder, the below is a helpful checklist we run through ahead of inclement weather that we find helps ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible:
General Winter Operability Checklist:
Ensure that your fleet/equipment is running an appropriate winter blended or additized product, dependent on general weather trends and your geographic location.
Ahead of both cold snaps, predicted snow, or other inclement weather, ensure generators are topped off and operational.
It’s a good idea to top off equipment/vehicle tanks, plug in as needed, and ensure lines are drained of water ahead of the freeze.
Make sure your staff has necessary equipment and weather appropriate gear so they are able to perform their jobs safely. (Don’t forget to factor wind chill in your assessment of gear – while wind chill won’t impact fuel operability, it certainly makes a difference in terms of driver/operator safety and comfort!)
In the event of predicted snowfall, ensure that fill ports are clear, marked per API specifications, and accessible. Below is a chart of the API specifications for reference:
As always, if you need assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to your representative or the office.
Stay Safe and Warm out there!
With the recent rollback in the Massachusetts reopening plan, we wanted to take a minute to talk about protocols in place to protect employees and customers while still operating at full steam.
As an essential business, we have continued operating and delivering as normal during the pandemic, although the way in which our office works looks a little different these days. Because of the nature of the business, we were fairly well prepared to work remotely when possible, since we have had to do so (although for MUCH shorter periods of time) in emergency situations previously.
Touchless deliveries, electronic dispatching, and integrated back office systems have been critical facets of our ability to pivot to the "new normal" we are living through. Additionally, the ability to use Microsoft Teams to switch meetings to a virtual format was a huge help, as it allowed us to conduct safety training without risking contact or spread. If you'd like to hear about some of these and the additional processes we put in place to keep running while adhering to the new guidelines, you can do so in Oil & Energy Online here: Tackling our New Normal
In addition to processes, we found it helpful to adopt a comprehensive policy on COVID-19 for both our internal and external (customer facing) operations that we rolled out to all employees to make sure everyone is on the same page on exactly what is required.
The policies clarify social distancing & masking requirements and govern the level of contact between our employees and our customers, as well as our internal employee contacts. (If you are a customer or vendor and require a copy of our corporate policy regarding COVID-19, please don't hesitate to contact us for a copy)
We hope everyone is staying as safe as possible out there.
The FMCSA Clearinghouse deadline is January 6th, 2020, which believe it or not, is only a few weeks away. While CDL drivers do not technically need to register immediately, they will need to do so for mandatory employer pre-employment inquiries so it's better to just get it out of the way now.
The clearinghouse will be a comprehensive database with information on CDL holders' drug or alcohol violations, as well as information on whether that driver has completed required rehabilitation in order to return to work legally. The requirements are applied to ALL CDL drivers, from school bus drivers to interstate truckers. Violations will include any positive drug or alcohol test, DUI conviction, refusal to submit to testing, or acknowledgement of a substance abuse issue.
Employers, medical review officers and third party administrators will be legally required to report drug or alcohol violations to the database. Employers will also be required to query the database to confirm new hires are eligible to work (no violations, or have completed required rehabilitation) and will also need to annually query to make sure current employees remain eligible to be a commercial driver. State licensing agencies (like the MA RMV) will also be required to query the system when reissuing CDL licenses.
The goal of the database implementation is to ensure that CDL holders who have drug or alcohol violations are removed from the road until they have fulfilled steps to show they are a safe operator again.
This past summer the State of Massachusetts had an extremely tragic example of what can happen when CDL license holders are not properly vetted by licensing agencies and/or employers in regard to their drug or alcohol violations when a multiple violator killed 7 motorcyclists in New Hampshire while under the influence. Comprehensive, multi-agency efforts like the FMCSA Clearinghouse are put in place to make sure the proper checks are in place to get unsafe drivers off the road, and try to reduce the likelihood another incident like the one in New Hampshire happens again.
The DOT has a great powerpoint presentation that runs through some of the major points regarding the Clearinghouse that you can access here: Final Rule: Commercial Driver's License Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse
You can also access the full rule text here: Commercial Driver's Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse