A Semi-Monthly Newsletter for Gases and Welding Distributors Association Members February 23, 2010 
Breaking News   •   Safety & Compliance   •   New Members
Industry Beat   •   GAWDA News   •   Education & Training

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Breaking News

Association to Change Management

The Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) and its management firm, Fernley & Fernley, have mutually decided to end their relationship. The 2 sides were unable to agree on terms going forward for management and administrative services and have amicably agreed to part ways. The current management contract will terminate on May 4, 2010. Fernley & Fernley will continue to provide all of the services it has traditionally offered to GAWDA during this transition period.

GAWDA President Jenny McCall, president of WESCO Gas and Welding Supply in Prichard, AL, says, “On behalf of GAWDA’s members I would like to thank Fernley & Fernley for all of the hard work and dedicated service that they have provided to our association for these many years.”  She adds, “I especially want to recognize Taylor Fernley for his leadership and support of our association. But all good things must come to an end, and we now need to look forward to develop a new chapter for our industry and our association.”

In the meantime, GAWDA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors are considering a number of options for managing the association in the future. The members will be notified as soon as the new plans are finalized. The GAWDA Spring Management Conference and Annual Convention, and all of the association’s programs and activities, will go on as planned.

Any questions should be directed to GAWDA President Jenny McCall at (251) 457-8681 or  jmccall@wescoweld.com, or to Lloyd Robinson, GAWDA President-Elect and president of AWISCO in Maspeth, NY, at (718) 786-7788 or lloyd@awisco.net.


NAW Responds to Obama’s Move to Repeal LIFO

In a letter submitted to members of the National Association of Wholesalers (NAW), Jade West, senior vice president-government relations, outlined the association’s response to President Obama’s proposal to fully repeal LIFO. Repeal is estimated to raise $59.1B in new revenue, The letter in its entirety can be read here.


Five wiki terms you should know
  1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Auxiliary magnifier
Activated carbon
Gas metal-arc cutting
Kanban
Volt-amp curve
To add your own term, go to www.GAWDAwiki.org.



Safety & Compliance News

FMCSA to Hold Webinar on Pre-Employment Screening Program The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will host a webinar on the agency’s new Pre-Employment Screening Program on Wednesday, February 24, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

The Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) is a new, national-level program designed to allow motor carriers to see a driver’s crash and inspection file when the driver applies for employment with the motor carrier. The program, required by Congress through the latest transportation reauthorization bill, SAFETEA-LU, is voluntary, and the driver must give consent to allow his or her records to be viewed by a potential employer. The driver record will be comprised of data found in FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Information Management System (MCMIS). FMCSA says it is taking every possible measure to assure the data are protected and handled according to all applicable laws and regulations. Michael Johnsen of the FMCSA’s Analysis Division will provide an update of the PSP, which is currently under development and expected to be available to the public in Spring 2010.

You may register for the webinar by going to http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/art-webinars-future.asp and the heading “FMCSA Pre-Employment Screening Program.” You will be e-mailed a confirmation notice within 24 hours of registration that will provide information on how to participate as well as contact information for technical questions on the webinar or for special accommodations. Please register no later than Close of Business on Tuesday, February 23. All interested parties, including carriers and their safety managers, state agency personnel, and FMCSA headquarters and field staff are welcome to participate in the webinar. An international phone number will also be provided.

DOT Proposes Drug Testing Revisions The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing to amend certain provisions of its drug testing procedures dealing with laboratory testing of urine specimens, including testing for some additional drugs and changing the test thresholds for drugs currently subject to testing. 75 Federal Register 5722 (February 4, 2010). Some of the proposed changes will also affect the roles and standards applying to collectors and medical review officers. The proposed changes are intended to create consistency with new requirements established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Mandatory Guidelines.

 

The main proposals are as follows:

  1. Modify some of DOT’s definitions and add a few new definitions in order to make them consistent with the HHS Mandatory Guidelines definitions.
  2. Allow regulated employers to choose between a full service laboratory and an Instrumented Initial Test Facility (IITF). An IITF would only be able to provide results to employers for negative and negative dilute specimens, as well as specimens they reject for testing. All other specimens would be forwarded to an HHS certified laboratory.
  3. Modify regulations to add IITFs to the laboratory section of this regulation and spell out how an IITF should perform urine testing. An IITF could conduct Initial Tests and specimen validity testing (SVT) for all DOT employer programs. When an IITF discovers a non-negative drug test result, it will have to forward that result to a full service laboratory to perform a full analysis of the specimen and report the results to the employer’s MRO.
  4. DOT is also proposing to adopt the following HHS laboratory testing requirements:
    1. Conduct Initial Testing for Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)
    2. Conduct Confirmatory Testing for MDMA, Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), and Methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA)
    3. Conduct Initial Testing for 6–Acetylmorphines
    4. Lower the Initial Test and Confirmatory Test cutoff concentrations for Amphetamines
    5. Lower the Initial Test and Confirmatory Test cutoff concentrations for Cocaine.
  5. DOT is also proposing to amend Appendix B of 49 CFR Part 40 so that IITFs will be required to report semi-annual test reports to employers, as appropriate. Appendix C of Part 40 would also be modified to require IITFs to report semi-annual test data to the DOT.
  6. Finally, the HHS Mandatory Guidelines will require that nationally recognized MRO certification entities or subspecialty boards for medical practitioners in the field of medical review must have their qualifications, training programs and examinations approved by HHS on an annual basis. DOT is seeking comment on whether Part 40 should require these groups to be approved.

PHMSA Issues Final Rule on Packaging Requirements The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has amended the packaging requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations to improve clarity and enhance compliance flexibility. 75 Federal Register 5376 (February 2, 2010). Specifically, the agency is revising several packaging-related definitions; adding provisions to allow more flexibility when preparing and transmitting closure instructions, including conditions under which closure instructions may be transmitted electronically; adding a requirement for shippers to retain packaging closure instructions; incorporating new language that will allow for a practicable means of stenciling the “UN” symbol on packagings; and clarifying a requirement to document the methodology used when determining whether a change in packaging configuration requires retesting as a new design or may be considered a variation of a previously tested design. This final rule also incorporates requirements for construction, maintenance and use of Large Packagings. The mandatory compliance date is October 1, 2010, but companies are authorized for voluntary compliance as of March 4, 2010.

PHMSA Proposes Increased Hazmat Registration Fees for Large Entities PHMSA is also proposing to adjust the statutorily mandated registration and fee assessment program for shippers and carriers of certain categories and quantities of hazardous materials. 75 Federal Register 5258 (February 2, 2010). PHMSA’s proposal would provide that, for registration years beginning in 2010–2011, the annual fee to be paid by those registrants not qualifying as a small business or not-for-profit organization would increase from $975 (plus a $25 administrative fee) to $2,975 (plus a $25 administrative fee). Small entities and not-for-profit organizations would continue to pay their current fees. According to PHMSA, the proposed fee increase is necessary to fund the national Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants program at its authorized level of approximately $28,000,000. The program funds hazmat emergency response and training programs at the state and local levels.


Overheard on LinkedIn:

Air Products and Chemicals has made an unsolicited $5.1B offer for Airgas, Inc. What kind of impact will this have on your company?

“GAWDA members should know. The only thing constant is change.”

“Huge impact!”




Industry Beat
(what people are talking about)

Air Products Takeover Bid for Airgas Lands in Court (Allentown and Radnor, PA)Air Products & Chemicals took its $5.1B takeover bid for Airgas directly to shareholders, bypassing Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland and board members who rejected 3 previous offers. The third offer was rejected February 5 and, less than 24 hours later, both companies pressed conflict of interest lawsuits against the other. In its lawsuit, Air Products accused McCausland of improperly blocking his board from considering previous takeover offers in an effort to entrench himself atop the company. Airgas responded by suing the principal deal counsel for Air Products, Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The Airgas lawsuit charges the firm with a conflict of interest and breaching confidentiality agreements by signing on with Air Products in its takeover bid, after having advised Airgas on dozens of financings. Following the announcement of the hostile bid, Air Products revised its lawsuit to claim that McCausland had used knowledge of the bid "for personal gain." Updates can be read as they occur on GAWDAwiki Headlines at www.gawdawiki.org.

Coastal Welding Supply Contributes to New Careers (Beaumont, TX)Coastal Welding Supply will contribute $5,000 annually to fund 4 scholarships in the amount of $1,250 each for students attending the Lamar Institute of Technology’s 2-year welding technology program. The scholarship honors A.L. Mazoch, founder of Coastal Welding Supply, who passed away in October 2009. Lamar Institute of Technology is a member of the Texas State University System and is located in Beaumont, TX.

Manchester Tank Appoints Sales Manager (Franklin, TN)Manchester Tank & Equipment appointed Joe Donahue as sales manager for the Western United States. He will operate out of the company’s Elkhart, IN, division and be responsible for promoting Manchester’s propane product line.

Corp Brothers employees celebrate the achievement of ISO 17025 accreditation.

Corp Brothers Receives ISO 17025 Accreditation (Providence, RI)After 3 months of intensive auditing, Corp Brothers Inc., a PurityPlus Specialty Gas laboratory, was awarded the coveted ISO 17025 accreditation, the quality standard for testing and calibration laboratories. “As an ISO 17025 accredited lab, the traceability and reliability of our source productions, in conjunction with our documented testing procedures, enables us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations every time,” says Rob Walkinshaw, Corp Brothers’ laboratory manager. He also notes that ISO 17025 accreditation will afford customers confidence that they are purchasing products made to their exact specifications, the peace of mind that their products are traceable to a known ISO or NIST standard, and the assurance of the reliability of product quality, uniform from day to day and cylinder to cylinder.

Air Liquide Sends Oxygen to Haiti (Houston, TX)Air Liquide USA assembled and mobilized 2 portable filling systems for medical oxygen, a critical necessity in short supply for relief efforts in Haiti. Air Liquide has operations nearby in the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago. The Dominican team transported one filling station to the Port-au-Prince airport and the other to the border with Haiti. The Trinidad team added oxygen from its own stores to cylinders already present in the Dominican Republic.

Worthington Acquisition (Columbus, OH)Worthington Industries acquired the steel-processing division of Gibraltar Industries, a deal that will give Worthington a plant in Cleveland that is a metal supplier for Canadian currency. The Cleveland plant produces wider and lighter steel than Worthington now offers, which will give the company access to new customers as well as opportunities to sell new products to existing customers.


ATTENTION GAWDA MEMBERS!            
GAWDA Connection is a way for you to tell the world about events happening at your company, about new employees, promotions, big and small jobs, and more. Send your news any time by adding it to Submit a News Item or calling Editor Luke Eggleston at 315-445-2347, or e-mailing luke@datakey.org.


GAWDA News

Registration Opens for Spring Management ConferenceGAWDA Members can now register for the Chicago Spring Management Conference. Visit the Current Events page to register online or to download the forms. The program brochure is also available on the Current Events page for complete details of the events on April 18-20.

Highlights of the meeting include:

  • Mike Scott: How to Raise Revenues and Cut Costs by Creating a Workplace that Is Totally Accountable
  • Mike Workman: Business and Corporate Integrity
  • Lloyd Robinson, Ned Lane, Ned Pontious: Measurement Tools for Running Your Business
  • Andy Stawski: Merchandizing: Transforming Consumer Needs and Desires into Purchases
  • Young Executives Roundtables: Conversations with Industry CEOs
  • Distributor Owner Roundtables: Executive Compensation—Industry Practices

Make Your Hotel ReservationsA special GAWDA rate of $249, single or double occupancy, is available to the SMC attendees at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Please make your reservation directly with the Hyatt Regency Chicago on or before March 17, 2010 by calling 800-421-1442. When making your reservation, please be sure to mention the GAWDA conference rate of $249. It is vitally important that you reserve your accommodations at GAWDA’s host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Chicago. GAWDA is contractually obligated to fill its room block and may be exposed to significant financial liability should the association’s members fail to support this room block.

Reservations may also be made by visiting this page.

SMC Exhibitors—Will You Exhibit at the Chicago SMC?If yes, your company information will be included in the 2010 Exhibitor Guide of Welding & Gases Today. All you have to do is e-mail Malvenia Avery at mavery@fernley.com and let her know that your company will be exhibiting at the Contact Booth Program. 

HR Report AvailableThe February 2010 HR Manager's Legal Reporter is now available for download at www.gawda.org.

The GAWDA Clearinghouse has been updated for the month.


Workshops, Web Conferences & Seminars

GAWDA University—Now Free to GAWDA Members
Attention GAWDA members: As an added membership benefit, GAWDA has decided to let all GAWDA members take advantage of GAWDA University for free. We’ve heard one of the toughest challenges facing companies today is training new employees and keeping current employees up-to-date on safety, compliance and industry best practices. GAWDA University is an industry-tested training program that will help your company and now it’s completely free. If you would like to take part in a brief overview of GAWDA University please e-mail Kate Marlys, GAWDA membership director, at kmarlys@fernley.com to register.

University of Industrial Distribution—Sponsored by GAWDA
March 8-11, 2010
University Place Conference Center and Hotel, Indianapolis, IN. Details can be found here.

GAWDA Professional Compliance Seminar
March 22-25, 2010
Ball Park, GA (near Atlanta). To register, visit this page.

Upcoming Events
For more information about these events, please click
on underlined titles or call GAWDA at 215-564-3484.
March 2Bonita Springs, FL Regional Meeting
March 23-24Houston, TX Regional Meeting
April 18-20GAWDA Spring Management Conference
May 26-27Atlantic City, NJ Regional Meeting
June 1-2East Lansing, MI Regional Meeting
July 15-16Naperville, IL Regional Meeting
July 21-23Whitefish, MT Regional Meeting
July 22Seven Springs, PA Regional Meeting
August 17N. Stonington, CT Regional Meeting
September 8Gettysburg, PA Regional Meeting
October 2-5 • GAWDA Annual Convention
 



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