Leakage is the main reason behind 84% of accidents while handling hazardous material. More than 94% of incidents with chemical exposure require hospitalization. Industries handling chemical and petroleum products must find innovative inventory management methods to prevent accidents, besides improving their bottom line by reducing downtime and compensations.
One of the best pieces of equipment to use is a drum stacker. This equipment has wheels and intuitive grip mechanisms to hold drums in place during transportation.
Learn more about the role of drum stackers in handling hazardous material:
- Preventing Contamination
While drum stackers are built to prevent the spilling of chemicals, it also helps retain the material’s properties. Using other equipment like forklifts with forks can easily pierce through drums, coming into contact with the drum contents. If the drum carries sterile material, the quality will be affected. Drum stackers are easy to clean and set up to prevent bacteria and other substances from affecting the chemical composition.
- Safe Transportation of Drums
Drums are challenging to handle with any other type of equipment. When using forklifts, they can easily roll over the edge and drop. When carrying them on pallets, they may wobble and shake when moving on uneven surfaces. It is crucial to find a piece of equipment that is specifically built for transporting drums. Drum stackers have eagle-grip designs that hold plastic and HDPE drums of all sizes in position.
In addition, they have polyurethane wheels that allow manoeuvrability on different types of warehouse floors.
- Protect Employees
Although employees wear PPE when handling hazmat, they are not 100% safe from incidents. It is easy for a drum to slip off their hands and drop, leading to spillage and damage. A drum stacker provides an extra protective cushion for all employees. They will not have to carry materials by hand and minimize drum rollovers that cause leakages.
- Reduce Employee Fatigue
Traditional drum lifters required operators to carry drums manually and place them on the equipment for transportation. Repeatedly lifting, rolling, and transporting these drums causes fatigue and back strain. Equipment for material handling provides a reliable alternative that minimizes employee fatigue. They are built with hydraulic lifts to raise and lower loads. Drum stackers like the Godrej manual drum handler have hand and foot-operated foot pumps to lift drums. This working mechanism reduces operator fatigue. This equipment is lightweight and easily manoeuvres without straining the operators.
- Improve Handling Performance
Drum stackers can handle more loads daily than when operators manually roll drums. In addition, they have lifting mechanisms that allow the storage of hazardous materials on racks. Since the drum is tightly held on the stacker, it neither slips nor falls. This is a more efficient option than rolling drums and using other equipment to store them on racks. Once these drums reach their destination, there is a hand lever for tilting them. This machine can be used on-site to minimize direct contact with the hazardous material.
Best Practices for Using Drum Stackers
- Stick to Equipment Limits
Sticking to the equipment holding limits is the best way to use drums in a warehouse, pharma or chemical plant. Every piece of equipment for material handling has its load limit, and overloading would cause accidents. Operators and managers must properly label equipment to ensure employees use them efficiently.
- Proper Stacking of Drums
To avoid accidents from occurring later in the operations, workers handling hazardous materials must learn how to stack them properly. Due to their shapes and sizes, drums are challenging to stack. Following proper stacking procedures safely holds these drums in place, preventing them from falling or accidental fire. It makes it easy for the drum stackers to retrieve stored chemicals from storage areas.
- Training Injury Prevention
Although equipment for material handling reduces manual handling of hazardous material, it is still crucial for operators to learn injury prevention techniques. There are various operational guidelines that chemical and pharmaceutical industries should follow when handling materials. Employees will always be ready to assist in case of an accident or injury or prevent physical harm when using this equipment.
All workers working with drum stackers must be adequately trained to handle hazardous materials and read the signs. Even with such robust equipment, being sufficiently prepared to respond during emergencies is crucial. With the details above, managers and workers in chemical industries can formulate proper ways of transporting and storing their hazardous material.