IBC totes often house dangerous chemicals, and if not handled properly, they may cause injury or harm. Below are some tips for ensuring the safety of all involved while handling the totes.
Only House One Chemical Per Tote
It’s important to avoid inadvertently mixing chemicals by reusing totes. Even if the tote feels empty, it is virtually impossible to flush all of the existing chemicals out. There is a great amount of risk involved with accidental chemical mixing as some can lead to deadly explosions or harmful vapors. NaOH and H202 are such chemicals.
Thoroughly Clean Tote Returns
Whenever a customer returns an IBC tote, it is important to thoroughly clean the interior. Flushing the reconditioned IBC totes with water is an acceptable method of cleaning while there are also specially formulated cleaners that may do a more thorough job. Bear in mind that even a small pollutant such as dust or dirt can degrade chemicals placed inside the tote.
Check The Tote For Malfunctioning Parts
The bottle and draining valve are especially at risk for malfunctioning, so make sure you look at all components of a tote to ensure they work. The tote should not have any leaks whatsoever, the pallets should still function, and the frame should remain sturdy. Any totes that are not functioning as new should get replaced.
Limit The Use Of The Tote
An IBC tote has a shelf life, and though it may still function well in theory, it’s best to retire them ever so often. Never wait until a tote starts showing signs of damage, but rather, assign a lifespan to each tote. If unsure, always consult a professional. Additionally, identify each working tote with a label to make it easier to remove from service at a later time.
Avoid Using A Contaminated Tote
Though the lifespan of a tote is fairly long, never use anything potentially contaminated.
Avoid Using A Damaged Tote
Damaged totes are dangerous and cost time and money to deal with. Never use any damaged totes and retire them as soon as possible.
Properly Record IBC Tote Usage
It’s important to keep track officially of the number of IBC totes that are deemed usable. Not knowing their dates of use and chemicals housed can lead to accidentally using an unreliable tote. A notebook or a computer program are more than adequate to help with tote management.