Drum Storage Container – Proper Drum Storage
The appropriate procedures for handling and storing chemical drums depends on the drum contents. Prior to any handling, drums should be inspected to ensure inventory is properly stored. Follow the set of guidelines below for safe drum storage.
- Inspect for deterioration (rust, corrosion, leaks).
- Check all bungs and lids.
- Look for dents.
- Ensure labeling is readable.
- Utilize a drum dolly or forklift for transporting.
- Wear PPE at all times.
- Do not transport if drum is under pressure.
- Assume unlabelled drums are hazardous.
- Do not block exit or entryways.
Secondary Containment Requirements
Safe drum storage and compliant secondary containment requirements are addressed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as well as the Uniform Fire Code (UFC) and the International Fire Code (IFC).
The EPA addresses two different areas, regarding secondary containment. Subpart I, which identifies portable storage containers such as 55-gallon drum storage containers and Subpart J which covers large tank systems. Illustrated below is Subpart I, the Use and Management of Containers.
According to the EPA, a secondary containment system must have sufficient capacity to contain 10% of the volume of containers or the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater. Spilled or leaked waste and accumulated precipitation must be removed in a timely manner in order to prevent overflow of the collection system. The containment system base must be sloped or designed and operated to drain and remove liquids resulting from a spill, leak or precipitation; unless containers are elevated or protected from contact with accumulated liquids.
UFC and IFC Secondary Containment Requirements
UFC and IFC both state that buildings used for storing hazardous materials shall be provided with secondary containment to eliminate the flow of liquids to adjoining areas. Including the storage of liquids where the capacity of an individual vessel exceeds 55 gallons or the aggregate capacity of multiple vessels exceeds 1000 gallons; or the storage of solids where the capacity of an individual vessel exceeds 550 lb. or the aggregate capacity of multiple vessels exceeds 10,000 lb.
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