Industrial drums pose a significant workplace risk for anybody working with them. A 200-litre drum could weigh up to 270 kilos, making manual handling an inefficient method of moving drums. It is physically demanding and potentially dangerous.
These risks are manageable by using appropriate drum lifting equipment and the correct safety procedures. Handling industrial drums safely requires constant awareness and ongoing education about the potential hazards for those working with them.
Risk factors are unique to every material handing situation, so it is important to handle drums in the safest way possible. Some of the most common safety hazards include:
- Handling heavy drums that cannot be manually handled
- Using drum handling equipment in confined spaces
- Storing drums in restricted spaces where range of movement is impeded
- Handling industrial drums where the sizes and shapes make even lightweight drums unwieldy to handle manually
- Dealing with slippery, cluttered and uneven, unsafe floor surfaces
- Handling half-filled drums that may shift their weight whilst in transport
- Dealing with leaked hazardous materials from improperly sealed drums
- Coping with the physical strain on people who are handling high volumes of industrial drums
Risk reduction strategies
Improper handling of industrial drums can lead to serious short and long-term consequences that include death, chemical burns, musculoskeletal injuries and overexertion disorders. There are different risk-reduction strategies for differing environments, but the following are relevant to most working environments:
- Make sure workers are trained to use industrial drum handling equipment properly
- Keep working areas clean, free of clutter and dust
- Ensure that spaces have proper lighting, suitable access and ramps as necessary
- Make sure that workers have and wear protective clothing, gloves, footwear and headwear when handling industrial drums
- Label all hazardous materials clearly
- Use recommended containment methods in the event of accidental exposure or a spill
Ergonomic drum handling equipment
It is important to have and know how to use the correct equipment for the job.
Sitecraft has an extensive range of products offering customised solutions for all drum-handling requirements. We have a wide range of drum dollies, lifters, rotators, clamps and crane attachments that can handle a wide variety of drums.
- Our drum dolly is made of steel and has a galvanised finish. The castors can be replaced easily and have a load capacity of 300Kg.
- Our multi-lift drum lifter can lift both steel and plastic drums and features a heavy duty load brake winch
- Our heavy duty crane rotator caters has a galvanised finish, can rotate 360 degrees and has a load capacity of 1000Kg, making it ideal for heavy industries
- Our drum clamps are capable of dealing with rough, daily use. For extra strength and durability, they are steel-forged, tempered, heated, and quenched. Clamps come with complete instruction manual and test certificate.
- Our range of drum handling equipment also includes drum lift and tip, rim grip drum lift and tip, drum grab, pallet loading drum truck, ergonomic drum trolley and a variety of drum lifters.