How to Stay Safe When Handling Industrial Drums

How to stay safe when handling industrial drums

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How to Stay Safe When Handling Industrial Drums

How to Stay Safe When Handling Industrial Drums
6 December, 2017

Handling Steel Drums Safely

Industrial drums such as streel drums or plastic drums have an extensive use within industrial environments, and are often heavy pieces of cargo, especially when full. Often made from steel, they are primarily used for both the transportation and storage of liquid or powders, including oils, fuels, chemicals and other hazardous solutions. As a result, there are various precautions that must be undertaken when handling drums within the industrial sphere. Please read on below to find out more about how to stay safe when handling industrial drums.

How to stay safe when handling industrial drums?

Handling drums of any size can pose significant risks to those working within a warehouse. An average 55-gallon drum can weigh anywhere between 400-600 lbs and can often contain hazardous materials. As a result, the manual handling of industrial drums is not advised under any circumstance. There are various safety hazards associated with industrial drums, which include:

  • The size and shape of industrial drums often meaning they are hard to transport
  • When workers are confined to small spaces, meaning they are unable to use forklifts or other lifting and lowering equipment, and as a result must handle the drums manually
  • Unsafe floor conditions, including slipperiness, uneven terrain or debris, which can cause trips and falls
  • Hazardous materials within the drum which have the potential to leak out
  • Drums which are not full and therefore have the potential to shift their weight

These potential risks can be extremely dangerous in the workplace, chemical contact can lead to disfigurement, chemical burns or even death in the worst case scenario. Skeletal and muscular injuries will also be prevalent when manually handling loaded drums. However, there are always ways in which risks can be mitigated, and include:

Making sure the workplace is clean – a clean workplace is much safer than a cluttered workplace. Therefore, make sure the floor space is free from debris and that it is not slippery, as this could obstruct the lifting operation. Ensure the drum is completely sealed and cleaned externally of any chemical spills prior to handling.

Use the correct drum handling equipment 

Workers must be provided with the proper equipment and training in order to allow them to perform lifting and lowering tasks safely. Here at Lifting Gear Direct, we stock many different types of lifting equipment and accessories to aid the lifting and lowering of drums. See our full range here.

Forklift mounted drum handling devices are a great choice for lifting and moving drums but if you don't own a forklift then perhaps a drum truck, trolley, drum stacker or drum rotator would be more suitable. Drum lifting clamps are another source of drum lifting equipment, these are typically used with a crane/hoist to lift drums higher than normal.

Follow proper guidelines – make sure all workers follow the requirements set out under The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). This legislation applies to all workplaces that use lifting equipment, with requirements including making sure all equipment is safe for purpose, and all employees have been suitably trained

Get in touch with Lifting Gear Direct today

We hope the above information has been helpful in answering any questions you may have regarding staying safe when handling drums in the workplace. The handling of industrial drums can be an extremely safe process when proper precautions are taken and the right equipment is used. If you wish to find out anything else regarding industrial lifting drums, please do not hesitate to contact the Lifting Gear Direct team, who will be happy to answer any questions you many have. You can contact them here.

                                                    drum handling safely

December 6, 2017