Stainless steel drums are one of the most widely used and robust pieces of industrial storage equipment, but it’s imperative that businesses and individuals follow stringent health and safety rules and regulations when steel drums are transported.
Steel drums are bulky and heavy (they can weigh upwards of 200 kg when fully loaded), and they’re commonly used to store potentially hazardous or dangerous industrial materials, such as chemicals, fuel, oil, explosives, etc.
If you’re preparing to transport steel drums, read on as we explain what needs to be considered before moving them.
What Needs to Be Considered Before Transporting Steel Drums?
Stainless steel drums are hardwearing industrial storage solutions, but there’s much to consider and plan for when it’s time to transport them.
If you want to move steel drums, you need to put together an action plan in order to establish the safest method of transportation.
The major points to consider are:
- The contents of the steel drums (are the goods hazardous? delicate?)
- The weight of the drums when fully loaded
- The number of steel drums to be transported
- The distance they are being transported
- The methods and routes of transport available (are they being flown or travelling by road?)
- Health and safety rules
- Laws that need to be followed
You also need to consider the experience you have when it comes to transporting industrial goods. If you’ve never transported hazardous chemicals before, it’s a good idea to hire a professional instead of attempting it yourself.
How to Safely Load and Unload Steel Drums for Transport
There are many transport options available. An industrial company may have its own vehicles and drivers, or the job might need to be outsourced to a haulage company. Once you have established the method of transportation, it’s time to think about how to get the stainless steel drums on the move.
To be transported, steel drums need to be moved from their storage area and safely loaded onto transport. Regardless of whether or not the stainless steel drums are destined for a cargo plane or a container ship, the first part of the journey will probably be by van or lorry.
Steel drums are heavy, and there’s no way they can be manhandled onto lorries when full. Instead, appropriate industrial equipment needs to be used. Steel drums can be moved via forklift or, depending on their weight, by mobile drum holders or drum trolleys.
Once they have been moved onto the transport, it’s important that steel drums are safely secured. They must be tied down and secured in such a way that they won’t move during transit and cause an accident.
Health and Safety Rules and Regulations
Before being transported, there are several health and safety issues that need to be addressed by those responsible for the stainless steel drums and their contents.
To begin with, industrial steel drums need to be clearly labelled. They should have a UN rating, which demonstrates they are fit for purpose, and the contents of the drum should be made clear. If the contents of thestainless steel drums are classed as potentially dangerous, they need to be labelled as such. For example, petrol must be labelled as flammable, while chemicals must be labelled as hazardous.
There are strict rules enforced by the Health and Safety Executive, and these need strict compliance. The rules vary (for instance, there are more rules concerning explosives than foodstuffs) so always check directly with HSE if you are in doubt. There are limits on the quantity of fuel that can be transported in any one vehicle, and certain licences are required for transporting quantities considered industrial.
It’s important to also carry out a risk assessment, to ensure your staff are adequately trained (and where necessary, certified and licensed), and to have an action plan ready in case there is an accident during transport.
Contact ITP Packaging to Find Out More About Safely Transporting Steel Drums
Stainless steel drums are an incredibly versatile, robust and cost-effective industrial storage solution, but if you’re using steel drums for transportation, it’s imperative that you follow HSE rules and regulations.
If you want to source high-qualitystainless steel drums, or need further advice on storage or transportation, contact ITP Packaging for more information.