Five Bulk Material Headlines You May Have Missed in April

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As we move through the Spring, supply chain issues and inflation seem to dominate headlines. However, new plants and capital expenditures has our industry excited about the future, and planning for life returning to some semblance of “normal.” 

Here are five headlines you may have missed this past month.

New Spanish-Language Training from Oregon OSHA on Silica Dust Hazards
April 22nd, 2022

Oregon OSHA has launched a free online training course on silica hazards for Spanish-speaking workers.

Intended to boost employers’ ability to meet the requirements of Oregon OSHA’s silica rules, the course features personal stories, instructional videos and links to resources. Topics covered include forms of silica, where it’s found and job activities that cause respirable silica dust.

NFPA 652 Combustable Dust Webinar Announced for June 22nd
April 30th, 2022

NFPA 652 has a major role to play in protecting American industry from the hazards of dust explosions, yet more than a year since a key compliance date, some companies are still struggling to either complete their Dust Hazards Analysis Assessment (DHA) or to implement the recommendations from the study.

This webinar is intended to “kickstart” the process for those still struggling with implementation by:

  • Understanding the requirements of NFPA 652 for the management of combustible dust fire, flash fire, and explosion hazards, and the relationship between this and other existing NFPA industry or commodity-specific standards on combustible dusts.
  • Examine some of the problems currently experienced by some companies in their quest for compliance with NFPA 652.
  • Anticipate the developing NFPA 660 standard and consider its impact on industry.

To register for this webinar, please click here

US Chemical Railcar Loads Hit All-Time High
Apr 11, 2022

As the bulk material industry battles supply chain issues, rail traffic data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) reveals that railcar loads of chemicals recently hit an all-time high in the country.

35,582 cars were loaded with chemicals over the last 13 weeks, a record figure since the AAR started monitoring the 13-week moving average of chemical railcar loads in the mid-1980s, an analysis of the data by trade group American Chemistry Council (ACC) observed. 18,291 carloads of chemicals were logged in March, representing a 11.7% jump from the same month in 2021.

As to why carloads of chemicals have climbed to a historic high, Gray ascribed the record to improvements in the US economy and the completion of several major capacity expansion projects.

Click here to read more about this story

Fox News Correspondent Stokes False Social Media Fires
April 28th, 2022

A recent segment on Fox News hosted by Tucker Carlson stoked rumors circulating on the internet that an unusually high number of fires have broken out at US food processing plants in recent months, a claim that was debunked this week by fact checker Snopes.

Social media users and a number of websites started to spread the theory in April 2022 after several major blazes at food facilities made headlines. Looking at the examples of food processing plant fires included in various articles and social media posts on the “trend,” researchers discovered that none of the incidents mentioned were linked to suspected arson and that the majority of fires did not significantly impact production at the facilities.

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US DOC Increases Sugar Imports From Mexico
April 30th, 2022

The US Department of Commerce on April 29 announced an increase in the amount of raw sugar that Mexico can export to the United States in the current marketing year, which ends Sept. 30.

Sugar supplies in the United States have tightened dramatically since February, when the 2021-22 ending stocks-to-use ratio was forecast at 14.7% by the USDA in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. 

This isn’t the first time that the DOC has looked to Mexico to increase the import of Sugar, with similar measures taking place in 2020.

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