Drum Storage Guide

The DENIOS Guide to Safe Drum Storage

In every industry a large proportion of hazardous materials are stored in drums. To ensure an efficient production process, drums have to be transported safely to the work place and filling and dispensing processes may also have to be under taken.

Improper handling can quickly lead to environmental, fire and health hazards. The dangers arise not only from the contents of the drum, but also from the handling of the drums.

By manually transporting, lifting or holding drums, employees are exposed to various dangers. Avoid risks and ensure safe working conditions for employees who handles drums in daily operations.

In the following FAQs we provide you with useful tips on the storage and handling of hazardous substances in drums.

Which drum is suitable for the stored media?

When storing hazardous materials, it is essential the right material for the stored media is chosen to ensure chemical resistance. In order to be able to select the appropriate drum material, we recommend taking a look at the safety data sheets of the substances to be stored. There you will find all relevant information on storage and transport.

Our media consistency list provides you with useful information on suitable container materials for a wide variety of stored media. Click here.

Media Resistence List

What requirements must be met when storing hazardous materials in drums?

When storing hazardous materials in drums, a risk assessment must be carried out to determine whether storage poses risks to employees and the environment.

The following criteria must be considered:

  • Properties or state of aggregation of the stored media
  • Quantity of stored media
  • Type of storage
  • Activities during storage
  • Joint storage of different media
  • Working and environmental conditions; facility construction, room size, climate

Based on this, suitable precautions must be carried out to eliminate or minimise the hazards/ The following protective measures should be considered:

  • Design of facility
  • Organisation of work processes
  • Provision of appropriate equipment
  • Limitation of the duration and extent of exposure
  • Appropriate hygiene measures; regular cleaning
  • Avoidance of accidental release of hazardous substances

If the stored media is assigned to a water hazardous class, regulations must be observed and a secondary containment system put in place.

For any business storing clean and waste oils, fuels, chemicals or other hazardous liquids, a spill pallet should be used. Designed to catch and contain drips, leaks or spills that can occur from drums and other containers, a DENIOS spill pallet offers a safe solution for drums holding hazardous materials.

Regulations require the sump to hold 110% (or more) of the largest container or 25% of the total volume of liquid being stored, whichever is greater. All DENIOS spill pallets meet this.

It is also essential that the appropriate material of the spill pallet is chosen to ensure optimum resistance to the stored media. DENIOS offer a wide range of models in steel, stainless steel and polyethylene.

With our practical product finder you can quickly and easily find the right spill pallet for your needs.

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What safety precautions should be taken before decanting and filling drums?

If activities such as transferring, filling and decanting are to be carried out, these must be assessed separately in the risk assessment. Follow the below 3 steps to ensure safe drum decanting and filling.


1  Take precautions to retain spills

Prior to decanting and refilling, appropriate precautions should be taken to prevent spills. It is advisable to carry out the work only in areas specially designed for this purpose, which are not located within passageways or traffic routes.

  • For filling from drums, special filling stations can also be used, which simultaneously serve as a storage unit.
  • In order to absorb spills as quickly as possible, suitable absorbents should also be provided.
  • Flexible shut-off barriers or duct covers also serve to prevent environmental damage caused by the release of hazardous liquids

2  Measures to reduce emissions

Measures to reduce emissions are necessary in order to reduce emissions of vapors during work. Ensure good ventilation of the work area and, if necessary, install extraction systems. Care should be taken here to ensure that the drums can be positioned as close as possible to the suction.


3  Protective measures and proper preparation

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) offers safety when unloading and transferring from drums. Use respiratory protective masks when a technical exhaust system is not usable or not sufficient. Protective gloves and protective clothing protect the employee from skin injuries.
  • If hazardous substances come into contact with the skin despite protective measures, suitable auxiliary measures (for example eye rinses and emergency showers) should be available.
  • If work is carried out by individuals, monitoring measures must be taken to ensure the rapid availability of relief measures in case of emergency.



How can drums be safely filled?

In order to prevent leaks and spills during the transfer process, we recommend the use of drum funnels. Manufactured out of polyethylene or steel dependent on the stored media, our drum funnels facilitate drum filling processes and reduce the risk of spills.

We also offer models with overfill protection. Control instruments, such as level indicators, also help prevent overfilling.

How can materials safely be decanted?

For decanting processes we recommend the use of hand pumps and electric drum pumps suitable for the medium to be pumped. In the case of highly flammable liquids, ex-protective measures must be tested and explosion-proof equipment must be used.

After decanting, carefully remove the pump from the drum to minimize the release of hazardous substances and skin contact.

When decanting materials stored in drums, the general safety precautions must also be considered.

What is needed to mix liquids in drums?

To ensure the correct consistency and viscosity of your stored media we recommend using a mixer or agitator to mix your liquids. It is essential that the mixer or agitator chosen is suitable for the drum contents.

When mixing liquids in drums, the general safety precautions must also be considered.

How are drums safely transported internally?

Special care must be taken when transporting drums, as hazardous materials can escape uncontrollably if the drum is damaged, which can have catastrophic consequences. Therefore, suitable equipment for safe internal transport should be used to reduce the risks of accidents.

Fasslifter und -transporter

Employees should be equipped with the right tools for handling drums and DENIOS have developed a wide range of products for every drum handling task, be it lifting, moving, turning, tipping or emptying to ensure safety for both employees and the environment.

  • Drum trolleys and dollies are used to transport drums vertically and horizontally
  • Drum lifters allow safe loading/unloading of drums
  • Forklift attachments help to transport drums over long distances
  • Drum tongs facilitate the lifting and turning of drums

Our products for transporting and handling drums are easy to use, meet the highest safety standards and protect employees. Make working life easier!

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Disclaimer (copy 2)

Changes and errors excepted. All the information provided has been carefully researched. Nevertheless, DENIOS can not assume any guarantee for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided.

Need more information or advice? Call 01952 700 567 to speak to a DENIOS expert.