How to make manual drum handling safer, easier, and faster
The Risks ...
Moving full drums without the right equipment is a backbreaking and hazardous task, but one that happens every day throughout this country, and in this day and age it's risky business.
A lot of companies don't have the right equipment because they perceive it to be an unnecessary cost, when in reality they can't afford to be without it, and there are two reasons why;
1) the piece of legislation called the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and;
2) the powerful agency called Worksafe NZ.
Most companies are somewhat familiar with these, but often do not comprehend the extent to which something as simple as moving drums without the right equipment can quickly become very costly for them.
To be clear, there are probably numerous tasks carried out in most businesses every day which are potentially more hazardous than moving drums, however the humble drum changing exercise still carries inherent risks which are often overlooked, and if the right drum handling equipment is not used then the chances are that the birds will come home to roost sooner or later, and it could be costly.
Worksafe NZ was set up in response to the Pike River disaster and they have a lot of resources dedicated to prosecuting violations of the Act.
As an agency that is essentially self funded, they have a financial incentive to prosecute wherever they see an opportunity, and a serious injury caused by not having the right equipment for a job can see any employees in the vicinity fined for inaction in mitigating the hazard, their supervisors, the management and company directors also fined for failing to take all reasonably practicable steps to prevent injury. Easy money.
Maybe if employees were aware that they could well be liable in the event of an accident in their workplace then they would take issues like this more seriously, however, the vast majority of employees do not realise that in the event that they or one of their workmates do themselves an injury requiring urgent medical attention, they could be in the gun to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars unless they can prove that the hazard has previously been identified and reported through the proper channels.
So to get back to drum handling, a full drum can weigh up to 200Kg, is difficult to handle without the right gear, and if it tips over, it becomes a 200Kg roller very quickly.
Backs, shoulders and feet/ankles all have serious potential to come off second best when a full drum goes wayward.
Some Solutions ...
Most drum handling equipment is inexpensive, and for a very small investment a company can drastically reduce the likelihood of a drum handling incident occurring.
Below are some options for assisting manual drum handling:
|Drum Lifting Trolley, 600mm lift height||
Easily lift drums on and off spill pallets with this drum lifter. Avoids the need for bulky ramps for loading the spill pallets.
|Drum Lifting Trolley, 300mm lift height||
Suited for easily moving drums and lifting onto low objects such as shipping pallets or workfloor spill containment bunding.
|Drum Lifting Clamp, suits 180-220Kg drums||
Sits on the top of the drum and grips the drum below the top seam when lifted.
|2 Wheel Drum Trolley, for 180-220Kg drums||
A robust 2 wheel trolley with large pneumatic wheels for moving drums over uneven surfaces.
|2 Wheel Drum Trolley, for 50-60Kg drums||
Suited for easily manoeuvering 50-60Kg drums around the workshop.
|Drum Cradle, suits 50-220Kg drums||
Suits applications where a drum tap is fitted to a drum for direct dispensing.
|Aluminium Drum Opener Wrench||
Makes opening drum bungs easy with the right tool for the job.
In the meantime, stay safe!