What's the Best Way to Store and Move Those Heavy Drums of Solvents?

MicroCare cleaning agents are shipped in bottles, pails and drums. The largest package, metal drums, can weigh in excess of 600 lb./280 kilos. Moving such heavy objects is a serious undertaking and not to be attempted without the proper equipment, training and supervision.

Full drums can be moved by forklift trucks and lifted onto racks to provide gravity feed to the point of use. Drum pumps are an even better idea and strongly recommended. Whenever drums are handled to transfer the cleaning agent, to empty drums, or to move them manually, several cautions should be observed:

Safety Precautions to Observe When Moving, Handling and Storing Solvents

  • The use of proper drum handling equipment is recommended.
  • Always store drums and pails in cold, dry locations out of direct sunlight. Inside storage is greatly preferred over storing the drums outside, where the drums may be vulnerable to the elements. Do not let the temperatures of the drum climb above 50° C/110° F.
  • While MicroCare products are extremely cost-effective, they are not cheap. When storing the drums, always double-check that the bungs are tightly sealed. This will eliminate the possibility of spills through a loose or a leaky bung and will minimize evaporation losses and save money.
  • Wear the proper safety equipment, including gloves, splash goggles, aprons (when handling open drums), and safety shoes with steel toes if the drums are to be moved.
  • Before moving drums, make sure the bungs are tightly closed to prevent splashing.
  • Before moving drums, and when working near other drums and equipment, be careful of pinch points.
  • Remember that solvent vapors are heavier than air and will collect in low points in poorly-ventilated rooms. Prior to entering a confined space, open all hatches or vents on the equipment and ventilate the area.
  • Persons moving and storing these products should receive safety training about solvents. They should know where SDS sheets are stored, fire extinguishers are located, the phone numbers to call in case of a spill, and reasonable 'first-response' emergency procedures.
  • In the event of a spill, provide plenty of ventilation to circulate air at the spill level and monitor the clean-up crew for safe work practices. If the spill is large, evacuate the area until the concentration of vapors is reduced to safe levels.