Industrial Packaging for Critical Contents

Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Packaging for Hazardous Materials

October 9th, 2014 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Industry News

The first step in determining a proper waste container is identifying and understanding the waste generated on site- is it hazardous?  After identifying the waste as hazardous it is important to choose the proper container in order to secure a safe workplace.  Many industries will generate hazardous wastes, and knowing how to handle these materials in a safe and prepared manner helps prevent unnecessary incidents.

When hazardous waste is generated it is important that it be handled carefully and quickly in order to prevent accidents or damage.  By identifying the properties and reactions of hazardous waste you can begin the safe and proper containment on site.  Drums, like Skolnik’s Salvage Drums or 55 gallon steel drums with the proper lining are often handy to keep around areas where hazardous wastes when be generated.  After you understand the hazardous waste generated on site you can begin considering packaging for these hazardous materials.

The Handbook for Hazardous Waste Containers, created by the EPA, states that companies who generate hazardous waste can store the substances on-site for no more than 90 days if it is in an approved container; these containers must be portable.  Surface impoundments and waste piles are not approved methods for storing hazardous waste on-site.  The waste must also be stored in a facility with requirements as outlined in the 49 CFR 265.32.  These include, but are not limited to, an internal communications system or alarm, fire extinguishers, and automatic sprinklers.  Hazardous waste needs to be handled carefully and by trained individuals familiar with the properties of the waste.

Once you’ve determined which type of containers to use for the generated waste consider “assigning” them.  Reusing a drum for the same type of materials, on site, can reduce the need for cleaning.  In turn, this reduces the contaminated run-off created from cleaning out the drum; water that has been used to clean hazardous materials must also be contained and stored safely to avoid further contamination.

As always, if you have questions or concerns it is smart to consult the 49 CFR.


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