top of page
  • Travis Wright


Whether you’re new to the industry or simply need a refresher course on drum handling, we’ve put together a list of seven rules you as a company can’t afford not to be following. We encourage you to share these tips with your staff and employees at all distribution centers to better ensure a safe and accident-free work environment.

1. Use Proper Drum Handling Equipment

It’s never acceptable to man-handle steel drums or barrels. And simply rolling drums by hand is a surefire way to cause an accident.

When the manual movement of drums is required, a vertical drum lifting device is essential. This helps ensure that the operator and product are safe throughout the process.

2. Train Your Staff

Your staff must be trained on how to properly and safely handle drums. The majority of accidents that occur from working with steel drums or barrels are easily preventable if workers simply follow proper protocol. Most drum handling equipment manufacturers today offer training and safety materials for handling drums and using drum lifting equipment.

3. Never Modify Or Overload Drum Handling Equipment

Drum handling equipment is designed to handle very specific sizes and types of drums. No other type of drum or object should be transported using this equipment. In addition to this, under no circumstances should any modifications be made to drum lifting devices, drum grabs, or drum rotators.

4. Always Secure Drums When Moving Them

No drums or items should ever be moved by a forklift or piece of drum lifting equipment without being properly secured. Drums in particular, due to their shape, are less stable than a square crate. Should the drum handling equipment stop or jerk forward suddenly, unsecured drums are more likely to fall over and place workers at risk for injury. Drum lifting equipment is a much safer option than a forklift since it is designed specifically for drum lifting.

5. Be Cognizant Of Drum Contents

Obviously, the contents of drums can vary, but more often than not they contain corrosive or flammable liquids. Because of this, it’s of the utmost importance that your staff takes the necessary steps to protect against spills or leaks. Drums should be clearly labeled with the contents inside. Ensure everyone on the floor is aware of the contents and that all operators are informed of the appropriate handling procedures.

6. Inspect Drum Pallets For Defects

It’s also extremely important to inspect transportation pallets before drums are transported. These pallets are a drum’s primary source of stability during transportation. A chipped, splintered, cracked, or uneven pallet can severely undermine safety levels. Defective pallets can buckle under the weight of the drums or broken points may even puncture the drums during transport.

Make sure your staff is inspecting pallets for any damage or defects before using them.

7. Ensure Staff Wears Protective Clothing

This should be a given, but any employees working in a warehouse or factory environment should be wearing the proper attire. This includes, but is not limited to, steel-toed boots, gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, and earplugs. Employees should always be dressed properly before going on the floor of a warehouse or factory.

Improve your company’s safety standards today by calling or contacting Handling Concepts. Our team of experts is here to answer your questions and help find a solution that meets your needs!


bottom of page