It sounds like we handle liquid hazardous waste in a similar manner. We were handling 5-gallon liquid waste containers approximately 9 times through the disposal process with some lifts required a raised elbow and we were having wrist and shoulder CTDs. Waste was transported in buildings and to a truck using a commercial plastic laundry bin cart. We converted to 3.5-gallon waste containers; redesigned and custom-fabricated (from plastic) our waste carts with lower sides to reduce the lifting height, and accommodate two high stacks of six containers, added six appropriate casters (4 swivel casters on the corners, one locking, and two fixed casters in the middle) to allow the carts to easily move like tanks, and added a handle closer to elbow height, and starting using the lift gate on the truck. Waste container handling was reduced to 3 times - once to put the container in the cart; the loaded cart was rolled onto the truck using the lift gate and locked in place using the locking caster; the loaded cart was taken off the truck in the same manner and the waste containers were taken out of the cart to store by compatibility before they were finally lifted to pour into 55-gallon drums. We tried pumping the waste using a couple different methods, which were unsuccessful - mostly due to plugging from solids (pipette tips, etc.) that researchers would add to the liquids. A mechanical lift assist device might work to reduce the ergonomic stressors from pouring but we have not tried this.
Frank R. Demer, MS, CIH, CSP
Health Safety Officer
Industrial Hygiene and Safety
University of Arizona
Department of Risk Management Services
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 210300, Tucson, AZ 85721-0300
Street Address: 220 W. 6th St., Tucson, AZ 85701 (2nd floor, East Bldg.)
Web Address: http://risk.arizona.edu/
We installed a compressed air system to transfer our solvent waste from 5 gallon containers into our bulk containers. The system is far better ergonomically than manual handling and the investment has paid for itself many times over.
Wayne Wood | Associate Director, University Safety (EHS), University Services -Directeur Adjoint, Direction de la pre´vention (SSE), Services universitaires |McGill University | 3610 rue McTavish Street, 4th floor | Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A 1Y2 | Tel: (514) 398-2391
We routinely collect liquid hazardous waste in 5-gall containers in our laboratories. This waste stream primarily consists of flammable solvents and water. Full containers are moved to our bulk haz waste accumulation room and transferred to 55 gall drums. The 5-gall containers are very heavy so lifting/pouring can easily lead to spills. We have found that hand pumps also tend to be messy. Does anyone use a mechanical pump (intrinsically safe, possibly air driven, or other) to manage this type of transfer?
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