Tag Archives: Spark Resistant Drum Handling Equipment

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Liftomatic’s Ergo Product Line

20 years ago, there was no effective “portable” handling solution designed specifically for difficult-to-transport industrial drums. Forklift attachments were typically the old stand-by, but their main design had pallets, large loads and truck loading in mind, not specific, precise placement of drums or barrels.

Often stored in confined spaces with limited accessibility (especially in research facilities, laboratories and small pilot plant operations), the main way to relocate these cumbersome drums was once only by brute force. Injuries, inefficiencies and greater labor costs were all a result – until 1994 when Liftomatic Material Handling introduced the first multi-capable Ergo-Matic® Lifter.

ErgoMatic Drum Handling Device

ErgoMatic Standard Drum Handler

Incredibly safe and effective, the portable drum handler has proven its worth for many users across a broad spectrum of industries. Moving drums to and from skids, scales and spill or containment pallets are a few of the jobs this tool excels at. One of its secrets is the unique Parrot-Beak® Clamping mechanism that grabs any steel, fiber or plastic drum automatically in its lifting operation.

Some newer features of this device include a cushioned belt-cradle that protects drum sidewalls during lifting, lowering and transport functions. Its ergonomic design, with foot pedal activated lifting and lowering with adjustable speed control, has greatly benefited workers across the country.

We have also listened to our customers through the years to address other concerns and suggestions in the industry. As such, we’ve continued to add to the Ergo product line with a high-rise version, a spark resistant model for hazardous locations, and a power lift option that makes arduous tasks quite a bit easier.

About 10 years ago, we further added to the Ergo material handling range with a modularized process allowing for a mix and match of components, a counter-balance version (the Ergo CB series) and a new power-drive system, (available with the Ergo PW PL), making this tool an unparalleled boon to industry.

In the 20 years Ergo has been around, we’ve come up with about 25 different updates to meet the needs of our diverse customer base. Within the next year, we plan to release the next addition, which will allow manipulation of the drum or portable device.

To learn more about our Ergomatic drum handling solutions, visit us online or feel free to call us at 800-837-6540. You can also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest industry updates.

Top 5 Tips for Safe Drum Handling

On-site Demonstration Request Form

On-Site Drum Handling Equipment Demonstration

June is National Safety Month, the perfect time for a refresher on the proper way to handle drums and other heavy materials in the warehouse. We’ve put together a list of the top drum handling safety tips. Be sure to share each of these tips with staff members at all distribution centers to ensure a safe, accident-free environment.

1.) Use proper equipment to lift and move drums. “Man-Handling” of drums is NEVER an acceptable practice. Rolling drums on and off pallets, trucks or docks by hand is a sure way to cause an accident.  Crushed hands, feet and back injuries are all too common in this situation.  In areas where manual movement of drums must be accomplished, a vertical, positive-engagement lifting device is essential for operator and product safety. A capable operator with a proper drum handling attachment can safely load about 80 drums into a truck or container in less than 30 minutes with no manual movement of the drums involved.

2.)  Be aware of the danger of unsecured drums on forklifts. Imagine a forklift operator moving a pallet of four drums through a warehouse when suddenly, the operator has to stop short to avoid a collision with other equipment. Without proper safeguards in place, NOTHING is left holding those 4 drums and they will (and do) lunge off the pallet, causing potential injury and product loss.  A mechanical forklift attachment for handling drums is a much safer option.  Positive engagement devices are available for handling 1-8 drums at a time and those attachments are available to efficiently fit on and be removed from the lift truck.

3.) When using pallets, inspect them carefully first. Stacking drums on old or splintered pallets can cause punctures and leaks. Most pallets are held together with nails that can work their way through the wood and puncture drums, causing leaking and other damage. If you must use pallets, be sure they are strong and level, and do not have any sharp points or edges beneath a drum.

4.) Many products that are stored and transported in drums are corrosive and/or flammable. Always identify the materials in the drum and then find out what precautions should be taken during the material handling process. For example, if you are working with flammable substances, make sure you’re using spark-resistant drum handling equipment for the job at hand.

5.) Train operators on proper drum handling safety. We see far too many accidents that would be easily preventable if workers were following proper material handling protocols. Certain manufacturers of drum handling equipment have a wealth of training and safety materials available on proper drum handling technique and equipment applications. Liftomatic Material Handling even offers on-site drum handling demonstrations to show operators how to safely use their equipment.

At Liftomatic, our main goal is to maximize the efficiency of supply chain operations. This can only be achieved if warehouse staff are aware of the correct procedures for operating our equipment. For more information or to schedule an in-plant drum handling equipment demonstration, please submit a request online or call 1-800-837-6540.

Do you have any other material handling safety tips you’d like to share? Let us know on Twitter! We’ll retweet the best responses.