Drum Mixing Safety

by Steve Guglielmo
Published in 4th Quarter 2014 MHEDA Journal

Mixing Safety with Efficiency

IBM Lexmark needed large drums and drum handling equipment to mix the toner chemicals that go into its printer ink cartridges. The company is very safety conscious and was looking for the most efficient and safest solution possible for their mixing needs.

They approached Western Storage and Handling Sales Engineer Mike Thorpe about their challenge to see if he could offer any solutions.

"They had seen a particular drum roller project that was available through Morse Manufacturing that they felt was exactly what they needed," says Thorpe. "However, there were a number of safety considerations that had to be discussed before an order could be made."

Morse sells its Hydra-Lift Drum Rotators as stand-alone equipment, but Morse Sales Manager Phil Mulpagano cautioned Lexmark that there were some OSHA guidelines that needed to be considered before going that route. To comply with OSHA, Mulpagano suggested that Lexmark also purchase an enclosure with a safety interlock to surround the drum rotator.

"Lexmark was buying three units and the thought occurred to them that they could put all three drum rollers in one enclosure with a lock to secure that room," says Thorpe. "We went through several different scenarios before Lexmark decided that the single enclosure for each unit was the most secure method of storage and would limit the company's liability."

Morse worked with Thorpe and IBM every step of the way, explaining how the enclosures would work in terms of control wiring, figuring out schematics and above all, safety and OSHA-compliance information.

"IBM is very safety conscious but also cost conscious," says Thorpe. "In the initial segments of the project, they really wanted OSHA information to make sure this was a necessary expense. Morse was able to provide text reference for where they could find the general requirements for this type of machine as it was listed in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration documentation. They were extremely helpful."

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IMORTANT: OSHA holds the employer responsible for the suitability of design and application of tools and machinery. Install all Morse Rotators in accordance with requirements for enclosure and safety interlock, etc. One way to accomplish this is with a Morse enclosure with safety interlock, so the rotator automatically turns off when enclosure door is opened. Power connections and motor controls must also comply with applicable local codes.

For OSHA compliance in the USA, see OSHA subpart O.1910.212(a)(4) "Barrels, containers, and drums. Revolving drums, barrels, and containers shall be guarded by an enclosure which is interlocked with the drive mechanism, so that the barrel, drum, or container cannot revolve unless the guard enclosure is in place."