A Semi-Monthly Newsletter for Gases and Welding Distributors Association Members June 8, 2010 
Breaking News   •   Safety & Compliance
Industry Beat   •   GAWDA News   •   Education & Training

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Weldcoa’s WolfPack passes drop test to receive special DOT permit for
Matheson Tri-Gas.

Wolfpack drop test

Matheson Tri-Gas requested the development of a 12 cylinder gas pack for Silicon Tetrafluoride and presented the following challenges:

The pack must pass two drop tests in order to obtain a special DOT permit to use the pack in this gas service.
The manifold must be of the highest integrity to ensure product quality.
The manifold must be equipped with a pneumatically actuated valve that the end-user would use to control the flow of the gas to their process.
The leads on the manifold must be removable to facilitate loading and unloading the pack for cylinder filling.

Wolpack drop test

The Weldcoa Wolfpack was selected as the basic platform because of the strong external frame. The inline wheel configuration and four-way lifting features were also appealing to the customer.

WolfPack Features as Tested
Manifold: 1” main header and 1/4” rigid stainless steel, electro-polished, removable leads; two valves, one manual and one pneumatically operated
Leads connected with high integrity metal gasket face sealed fittings
  Anti-rotation clamps for the connections
  Welded cylinder/lead connections
“Multiclamps” provided additional hold-down support for the cylinders

Drop Test Results
A third party was used to perform the drop tests. The tests required a fully configured cart and manifold with cylinders connected. The cylinders were filled with water to simulate the mass of the gas and they were pressurized.

The two tests were a vertical drop on the base from a short distance and a rotating drop on the head from almost four feet.

The pack passed the tests and the manifold did not leak. The cart sustained damage but within the prescribed limits. A plan for additional improvements has been developed.

The customer obtained special permission from the DOT and Wolf Pack is now Matheson’s standard product for this application.

Learn more at www.weldcoa.com,
call 630.806.2000

338 Sullivan Street
Aurora, IL 60505

If you have questions regarding GAWDA Benefits or Services, contact
GAWDA President Jenny McCall at 251-457-8681 or jennym@wescoweld.com

Breaking News

Lincoln Wins Welding Fume Trial

A jury sitting in the Welding Fume Multidistrict Litigation returned a unanimous verdict May 27 in favor of Lincoln Electric in a case brought by South Dakota resident David Mann. Mann alleged that he developed manganism as a result of exposure to welding fumes in the 1970s and 1980s, and again in 2003.

Mann claimed that Lincoln was strictly liable for manufacturing an unreasonably dangerous product and for negligently failing to warn of the risks of serious neurological injury as a result of exposure to manganese in welding fumes. Mann also asserted claims for fraud and conspiracy, which were dismissed by the court prior to trial. Lincoln was the only defendant remaining at the time of trial. The jury returned its verdict for Lincoln after two and a half days of deliberations, following two weeks of trial. The jury found that Lincoln was not strictly liable for Mann's injuries, but also found that Lincoln was negligent for failing to adequately warn of the risks of neurological injury as a result of exposure to welding fume. Ultimately, the jury determined that Lincoln was not liable for any harm because Mann was employed by "sophisticated users" of welding products, who were responsible for warning of the risks of exposure to welding fumes, and for ensuring safe welding practices were followed.

The verdict is a significant win for the industry and a real blow to the plaintiffs, who had what they thought was a very strong case. The verdict is the second defense win in 2010 following the Arroyo trial. Overall, Mann is the 25th win in the 30 welding fume cases that have gone to trial to date.


FMCSA Begins Pre-Employment Screening Program

On May 11, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration launched its Pre-Employment Screening Program, which allows commercial motor carrier companies to electronically access driver inspection and crash records as a part of the hiring process.

The program offers access to up to five years of driver crash data and three years of inspection data regardless of the state or jurisdiction. By using driver safety information during pre-employment screening, commercial carriers are expected to be able to better assess the potential safety risks of prospective driver-employees. Drivers are given additional opportunities to verify the data in their driving history and correct any discrepancies. Drivers’ records will be protected in accordance with federal privacy laws.

Complete details on the Pre-Employment Screening Program's fees for driver safety records and how carriers and drivers can participate are available here.


Five wiki terms you should know
To add your own term, go to www.GAWDAwiki.org.


Safety & Compliance News

FDA Requests Comments on Food Transportation ANPRM The Food and Drug Administration has issued a request for comments on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to implement the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005. 75 Federal Register 22713 (April 30, 2010). The 2005 Act is the latest of several legislative and regulatory attempts to regulate the safe transportation of food and food additives, including gases. One of the main problems is that the Department of Transportation has primary jurisdiction over transportation safety, but the Department of Health and Human Services (which houses the Food and Drug Administration) and the Department of Agriculture have jurisdiction over the safety of food production.

The 2005 Act requires the Food and Drug Administration to issue regulations setting forth sanitary transportation practices to be followed by shippers, motor and rail carriers, receivers and others engaged in food transport, and requires the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture, to establish procedures for transportation safety inspections for the purpose of identifying suspected incidents of contamination or adulteration of a food. This current advance notice of proposed rulemaking only addresses the Food and Drug Administration’s obligations under the Act; the required Department of Transportation rulemaking will be published at a later date.

The advance notice of proposed rulemaking outlines a number of incidents of unsafe food transportation that have been reported since 1974, and asks for data and information on any additional contaminations or outbreaks as well as data and information on the food transportation industry and its practices.  Comments are due August 30, 2010.

Kerry, Lieberman Introduce Climate Change Bill Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) introduced climate change legislation in the Senate on May 12. The House has already passed its version of climate change legislation, which includes a cap and trade provision.

Opponents estimate that the Senate bill would initially raise the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel by 11-13 cents per gallon by requiring producers and importers of refined petroleum to purchase pollution credits from the government; these credits would raise an estimated $20 billion dollars in 2013. The additional fuel costs would significantly increase in each subsequent year.  A maximum of about $6 billion of the 2013 money would be dedicated to transportation investment, and likely none would go for highway or bridge infrastructure improvement. 

Only a maximum of $2.5 billion would go into the federal Highway Trust Fund. It would be largely restricted non-highway energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reducing projects.  The bulk of the $20 billion raised from transportation users would be returned to consumers in the form of electricity cost rebates, or spent on greenhouse gas emission technology development, such as clean coal carbon capture and sequestration. It is thought that this increase in transportation fuel costs would make it politically difficult, if not impossible, to then also raise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel to fund the Highway Trust Fund and support the federal-aid highway program.



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Industry Beat
(what people are talking about)

New Hires at Gas and Supply (Baton Rouge, LA) • Adam Slater joins Gas and Supply as an e-services sales specialist, Sean Pellegrin is the new store manager in Hammond, LA, and Richard Parrot comes on board as an outside sales representative for Gas and Supply’s propane division. Gas and Supply promoted Lance Livaccari to outbound telesales and appointed Jamie St. John to medical gas sales. Mark Shelton is moving to a new role as continuous improvement facilitator, and Jason Stierle is a new network technician. Gas and Supply says farewell to Whitney Greene, store manager in Venice, LA, who is retiring after 18 years with the company.

Taylor-Wharton Emerges From Chapter 11 (Mechanicsburg, PA)Taylor-Wharton International received approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on its Plan of Reorganization. The plan allows Taylor-Wharton to emerge from Chapter 11 by June 30. As part of the restructuring under Chapter 11, Taylor-Wharton is pursuing the sale of its Huntsville, AL, cylinder operations. As required by Bankruptcy Code, Taylor-Wharton held a court-authorized auction on June 3 to select the highest and best offer. Norris Cylinder Company agreed to a stalking horse bid to purchase the assets for $11 million, subject to certain adjustments. Taylor-Wharton implemented a voluntary restructuring in November 2009 to significantly improve the company’s capital and to create financial flexibility

Maine Oxy Acquires New Store (Auburn, ME)Maine Oxy opened its tenth location in Chicopee, MA, after acquiring Chicopee Welding Supply. The new location enables access to markets in Connecticut, eastern New York and western Massachusetts.

Mississippi Welders Adds Staff (Winona, MN)Mississippi Welders Supply Company welcomed four new members to its team. Scott Good was named fill plant manager. Rick Wussow was hired as sales representative for the Rochester, MN, store. Stacey Huber serves as customer service representative. Colby Skar was appointed as a lab analyst in the specialty gas lab.

Praxair Plans Oxygen Plant in Ontario (Danbury, CT)Praxair will design and build an oxygen separation facility in Ontario, Canada. The facility will be constructed on the site of Essar Steel Algoma’s steel mill in Sault Ste. Marie. The cryogenic air separation plant is part of a l50-year supply agreement between Praxair Canada and Essar Steel Algoma that will generate 900 tons of gaseous oxygen per day.

In Memoriam

James Gordan Duff, Jr.

James Gordan Duff Jr.

James Gordon Duff Jr., 1967-68 NWSA President

James Gordon Duff Jr. passed away on May 2, 2010, at the age of 86. Mr. Duff served as president of the National Welding Supply Association, now GAWDA, in 1967-1968. He also was president of the Independent Welding Distributors Association in 1965.

After piloting a B-24 bomber with the Army Air Corps in the South-West Pacific Theater during WWII, Mr. Duff returned to UCLA to finish his degree. He then joined the FBI, serving in the Baltimore and New York field offices until he returned to Los Angeles to take over his father’s welding supply business. He always carried his ex-FBI card with him, convinced it would save him from traffic tickets. It didn’t.

An avid golfer, Mr. Duff carefully studied the Rules of Golf. From 1983 until 1989, he was a director of the Southern California Golf Association, serving as chair of its rules committee. He often said, “If you’re not playing by the rules, you’re not playing golf.” After selling his business in 1986, Mr. Duff moved to Pebble Beach.

Mr. Duff is survived by his wife, Jean and son, James.


Make Plans For Maui Convention TodayPreparations are underway for the 2010 Annual Convention, October 2-5, in Maui, HI. Network with suppliers and distributors at the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa overlooking the southern shores of Maui. You can view a tentative schedule of events and a list of speakers here.

GAWDA has negotiated discounted room rates at the Grand Wailea and hotel reservations are now open. The group rates are listed here. You can make your reservation directly with the hotel on or before August 23, 2010, by calling (800) 888-6100 or online at this special GAWDA Housing Page.

A Win for All at Regional Meeting in Atlantic City The New York-New Jersey Regional Meeting was held May 26 and 27 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ. More than 125 people attended the meeting, which was hosted by Lloyd Robinson, president of AWISCO (Maspeth, NY) and GAWDA’s President-Elect. Several speakers were on hand to present industry and leadership topics. GAWDA FDA & Medical Gases Consultant Tom Badstubner alerted attendees to upcoming changes in Food and Drug Administration regulations. Bill Self, president of The Leadership Factor, explained how to think like a customer. Tony Coco, director of Americas marketing and national accounts for Thermadyne, spoke about exceeding customers’ expectations. Chart Industries’ Gary Degenhardt presented cryogenic delivery systems to improve end-user efficiency. Eighty golfers enjoyed the outstanding weather and magnificent golf.

Lloyd Robinson (right) awards Airweld’s Tom Biedermann the “50-50” prize.

GAWDA Consultant Tom Badstubner informed the gathering of upcoming changes in FDA regulations.

GTS-Welco’s Byran Gentry hit the “Longest Drive.”. Jim Appledorn of Lincoln Electric won “Closest to the Pin” honors.

Everyone enjoyed the Beverage Cart sponsored by Weldcoa.

See more photos from the NY-NJ Regional Meeting here


Workshops, Web Conferences & Seminars

Upcoming Events
View more information about these regional meetings here.
June 27-28 • Hattiesburg, MS, Regional Meeting
July 15-16 • Naperville, IL, Regional Meeting
July 21-23 • Whitefish, MT, Regional Meeting
July 22 • Seven Springs, PA, Regional Meeting
August 15-16 • Southern Pines, NC, Regional Meeting
August 17 • N. Stonington, CT, Regional Meeting
August 23-24 • Kansas City, MO, Regional Meeting
September 8 • Gettysburg, PA, Regional Meeting
October 2-5 GAWDA Annual Convention

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