• Posted by: Ecospill Spill Kits

The Right Way to Transport Drums: Tips and Best Practices

Transporting drums containing hazardous or heavy materials is a task that demands utmost care and attention.

One mistake could lead to accidents, spills, and even legal and reputational damages. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the top tips and practices for transporting drums securely, so you can avoid potential pitfalls and ensure your cargo arrives at its destination in pristine condition. By following our recommendations, you’ll be able to minimise the risks of accidents and spills while safeguarding your business from repercussions arising from unsafe drum transportation. So, if you want to transport drums safely and confidently, this blog is for you.

Transport Drums: The Best Practices

When transporting drums, loading and securing them properly is crucial to prevent accidents and spills during transit. Similarly, safe handling and unloading practices are equally important to avoid potential hazards.

Loading and securing drums

Loading and securing drums is a critical aspect of safe drum transportation. Properly align and evenly distribute the drums when loading to prevent them from shifting during transport. Make sure to use appropriate lifting equipment like forklifts or pallet jacks to move the drums without causing damage.


Once the drums are loaded, securely fasten them in place using straps, chains, or ropes. Avoid stacking them too high to minimise the risk of tipping or falling during transport. Regularly inspect the drums and the securing mechanism during transit to ensure they remain in place and undamaged.

In order to provide additional protection against spills or leaks during transport, you can consider using portable bunds . These bunds can be easily moved and placed under the drums to provide an extra layer of protection.

Handling and unloading drums

Efficient handling and unloading of drums are just as essential as loading and securing them. Mishandling during unloading can cause spills, leaks, and other hazards. Firstly, inspect the drums to ensure they are in good condition before unloading. Use appropriate lifting equipment, such as forklifts or pallet jacks, to move the drums without causing any damage.

When unloading, position the drums correctly and secure them tightly using straps, chains, or ropes to keep them in place. Additionally, always unload the drums onto a flat, stable surface to prevent tipping or rolling.

During the unloading process, carefully monitor the drums for any signs of damage or leaks. If a spill or leak does occur, have appropriate spill response equipment on hand, such as portable spill mats and sorbents , to quickly contain and clean up the spill.

Adhering to these best practices ensures the safe and efficient transport of materials, preventing spills and accidents while maintaining environmental and regulatory compliance.

4 Tips for Moving and Transporting Drums

To ensure safe and successful drum transportation, here are four essential tips to keep in mind:

1. Educate your employees

Training and educating your employees on proper drum handling and transportation is crucial to ensure the safe transport of your materials. It includes teaching them how to inspect and handle drums and use any necessary equipment for drum transport, such as forklifts, pallet jacks, straps, chains, or ropes for securing drums.

In addition, employees should be able to distinguish between drums that require special transporting equipment and those that are safe to move manually without safety gear. It is also essential for them to know how to check drum labels to ensure they are not transporting any hazardous materials while bypassing care and handling regulations.

Employees must be aware of the hazards associated with drum transport, including spills, leaks, and tipping. They should know how to respond to these situations by using spill response equipment and reporting incidents to the appropriate authorities. Placing warning signs near drums requiring special transporting requirements can help employees recognise when special equipment is needed. A drum handling instruction manual can also help educate employees, whereas regular training can ensure they retain this knowledge.

2. Use proper drum transporting equipment

Using appropriate equipment for drum transport is crucial for both safety and efficiency. This includes using equipment rated for the weight and size of the drums and any accessories required to secure or move the drums, such as drum dollies, lifting hooks, and drum carriers.

Using improper equipment can lead to accidents and damage to the drums while also causing delays and inefficiencies in the transport process. Regular inspection and maintenance are also crucial to ensure the equipment is in good condition and functioning optimally.

3. Ensure a clean and clutter-free workplace

Cluttered or obstructed work areas can increase the risk of accidents, such as trips and falls, as well as damage to drums and other equipment. Therefore, regular cleaning and maintenance of work areas, including storage areas and loading docks, can help prevent accidents and make drum transport convenient and more efficient. Providing adequate lighting and ventilation in work areas is also critical to ensuring good visibility and air quality.

4. Avoid overfilling drums

Overfilling drums can lead to spills, leaks, and other hazards during transport. It can also damage the drums and their contents and cause delays or rejections at loading docks or storage facilities.

To avoid overfilling, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and any applicable regulations or guidelines for filling the drums. Also, inspect the drums before transport to ensure they are not overfilled or damaged.

Importance of Proper Drum Transport for Safety and Compliance

Proper drum transportation is crucial for ensuring safety and compliance in the handling of hazardous materials. Failure to transport drums safely can result in a variety of negative consequences, including:

  • Violation of environmental regulations and fines
  • Lawsuits and compensation claims from affected parties, such as individuals who have been affected or businesses that have suffered damages as a result of a spill or accident
  • Damage to brand reputation, which could impact customer loyalty and trust in the business
  • Lost revenue and increased insurance premiums due to accidents and spills

By taking the necessary precautions and following proper procedures for drum transport, you can avoid these negative outcomes and ensure the safety of your employees, customers, and the environment.

Ecospill – Your Partner in Safe Drum Transportation

At Ecospill, we are committed to helping businesses ensure the safe transportation and handling of their materials. With a range of spill containment equipment, Ecospill can provide your business with the resources and knowledge necessary to comply with environmental regulations and keep your employees safe. Partnering with us, you can prevent potential violations, lawsuits, and reputational damage while ensuring a fully compliant workplace. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your drum transportation needs.