Statistical data analysis of spills can provide benefits to clients, observes Tom Moses, president and founder of Spill Center™, the North American leader in spill support and environmental claims management.
“Our proprietary computer systems track statistical data, including container types, as part of our handling the DOT 5800.1 incident reports on behalf of our clients,” relates Tom, a former US EPA toxicologist who holds a law degree and a certificate of hazardous materials control and emergency response. He notes that Spill Center completes more incident reports for clients than any other organization in North America – more than 300 US DOT forms each month.
“When companies centralize spill reporting with Spill Center, we can notify them whenever we detect a spike in any unusual frequency of spill incidents. We were involved in a case with a nationwide transportation company that suddenly had an increase in steel drum leaks system-wide. This was unusual because the company had never experienced any 55-gallon steel drum spills before,” Tom recalls.
“In the course of an eight-hour day, they went from a statistical frequency of zero up to 80% of steel drum failures. Spill Center’s proprietary systems picked up on that and we notified the company. Otherwise, they would not have noticed it because the spills were occurring in cross-dock operations in terminals all over the US, he says.
Tom explains that a terminal manager does not typically pick up the phone and call other terminal managers or corporate to report those incidents to them. But the Spill Center computers detected the increased frequency for the customer.
“We contacted our customer’s customer, a chemical shipper. The proper wrenches had not been provided by the drum manufacturer to tighten the bungs on the steel drums, so every drum going out of the chemical plant was a quarter-turn loose.
“It cost our client $200,000 in cleanup and response costs in that 8-hour period, but the problem was identified in that short time frame and stopped,” notes Tom. “Without the Spill Center data, the situation could have cost significantly more before the source of the problem was found.”