22 Drum Handling Safety Tips

Warehouses that operate drums and barrels must acknowledge and prioritize drum handling safety.

Partially filled drums are more unstable to handle and can cause imbalance which will lead to accidents and probable damage.

But that’s not the only downside of drum handling. Read 8 Dangerous Risks of Drum Handling to know what the other risks are. 

As an employer, it’s not enough to just acknowledge all the possible risks of every equipment.

You must also apply the necessary safety procedures for a healthy work culture. 


1. PPE when Handling Drums

Have you got your PPE in check? Check again with the list below if you’re in the business of handling drums.

Especially if their contents include hazardous chemicals. 

Need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? Boxter has the best safety gear in town! 


2. Drum Moving Safety

  1. Before moving, check the drum for damage and ensure its lid is securely fastened.
  2. Wear appropriate PPE as chemical filled drums may be coated in hazardous residues.
  3. When moving drums, ensure the path is clear, smooth and spacious.
  4. Ensure the drum truck used is in good condition and is designed to handle your specific drum type being handled.
  5. Strictly avoid moving drums on steep slopes manually.
  6. Operate a drum truck, drum porter, drum cradler with a straight back using two hands and your leg if required and ensure no one is close to the load.


3. Drum Lifting Safety

  1. Always use fully-tested drum lifting equipment , keep hands and other staff clear of the drum while operation is taking place.
  2. Check if the safe working load (SWL) of the Drum Handler is suitable for the weight of drums.
  3. Ensure a secure connection between the drum and the lifter. If not, lower the drum back down and secure.
  4. When lifting a drum with an Overhead Drum Lifter, keep the load as close to the ground as possible in case it is detached.
  5. Do not keep drums in a raised position when the machine is left unattended for any period of time.
  6. When lowering drums, ensure no cables, hoses or equipment are trapped beneath the drum.


4. Drum Tipping Safety

  1. Ensure drums are securely fixed to the Drum Rotator before being raised and personnel should refrain from standing in front of the drum rotator during operations.
  2. Move the drum tipper at low speed to ensure the drum is stable at raised heights.
  3. Ensure you have visual access to where you are tipping the drum contents. If required, appoint personnel to provide guidance from a safe viewing location.
  4. The vessel or container must have a large enough hole to receive the drum contents. Or consider using a large funnel, drum tap or other device to prevent costly spillages.
  5. Keep drums in the raised position while decanting only. Gently lower drums back down to the ground once complete.

Handle it Right.

Every industrial material must be handled correctly.

Drums that contain hazardous chemicals require an extensive safety strategy in the warehouse. Not just because it is costly, but it can endanger your workers.

As for general warehouse operations, particular safety procedures must be practiced as well.

Be in the know by reading Top 5 Warehouse Safety Tips before you start work tomorrow. 

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