Do You Need a Platform for Your Steel Drums?

do you need a platform for your steel drums

This is where proper spill deck platforms come into play

Although not every business produces chemical waste, there are plenty of companies that find themselves in need of steel drums to contain various chemicals and hazardous materials, either those that are used in the course of their business operations or those that are created as a byproduct of operations. Whether your chemicals are functional, they're waste products, or both, proper storage is a must.

You not only need to make sure that your work environment is safe, but you must also comply with legal standards regulating the storage and disposal of chemicals and other hazardous materials. This could require the use of steel drums.

However, steel drums may not be sufficient. What happens if one of them is damaged or leaks? Where will chemicals or waste go? You don't necessarily want to shut down your entire business operation to deal with this type of spill or face the legal repercussions of being unprepared.

This is where proper spill deck platforms come into play and there are several reasons why you might want to include them as part of your overall plan for storing steel drums, regardless of what they contain.


Steel drums are meant to be tightly sealed, keeping the contents within from spilling out, but there's always a chance of spills when you're dealing with liquid chemicals. It's entirely possible that some amount of spillage could occur in the course of emptying or filling drums. In some cases, you may leave drums unsealed (albeit closed) for a short time in order to empty or fill them over several sessions, depending on how much of the contents is needed at a time or how much filling is produced and added at once. This could lead to spills if drums are jostled or overturned. In addition, circumstances beyond your control could cause some amount of spillage or leakage. You need to be prepared for such scenarios. With the right storage platforms you won't have to worry so much about what happens should spillage occur. Many platforms designed for use with steel drums are specifically equipped with spill barriers to accommodate some amount of leakage and spills. They may even offer extras like a one-piece system to guarantee that leaks never go beyond the spill barrier. Or they may come equipped with sumps to account for excessive spills. Spills are a major concern when you're dealing with hazardous materials being stored in drums. When you have not only the health of your employees to consider, but also legal standards to comply with, it's important to do all you can to make sure your business is operating in a safe and responsible manner. Proper ventilation may also be an issue, in which case you can look into platforms designed to accommodate this specific need.

Drum Staging

When dealing with full drums, most businesses want to keep handling to a minimum. This is because moving steel drums containing chemicals or chemical waste increases the potential for spills and other mishaps to occur. That said, you may stage drums in a variety of areas, depending on the type of business you conduct and how you carry out operations. For example, you might fill drums in one area, store them temporarily in another, and then further stage them for pickup. Or you may need to keep them away from potentially harmful conditions caused by extreme temperatures or the movement of heavy equipment. Alternately, you might want them well clear of areas where workers are present. The point is that having suitable platforms to move them can limit the potential for harm to drums, facilities, and workers. Appropriate staging with storage platforms is an essential safety element when moving drums around your facility.

Legal Requirements

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rules and regulations concerning the safe handling of hazardous materials, be they chemicals, waste products, or other substances. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also has rules on the subject as it pertains to the safety of employees.

You must be aware of the need for secondary containment systems, such as platforms with spill barriers and steel spill sumps that will keep hazardous materials from contaminating work areas or seeping into the ground and potentially getting into the soil and the water supply. Should you fail to comply with government regulations, you could find yourself in legal hot water.