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Keeping Your Drum Sealed Is Open and Shut With a PIG Latching Lid

Do you store messy materials or hazardous waste in a 55-gallon drum? Do you need to use the drum throughout the day? Are you hassling with the bolt ring or do you just take it off until the drum is full? If you answered yes to any of these questions, read on.

Regulations and Safety Go Hand-In-Hand

Environmental Protection Agency regulations require containers to be “kept closed, except when necessary to add or remove hazardous wastes” [40 CFR 264.173].

That makes sense — keep the nasty stuff sealed in the drum and you’ll keep your workers safe during the day. It really is as simple as that. But we’ve seen that not everyone understands what the regulation means when it says to keep your drum closed. We’ve even visited plants where someone stuck a piece of cardboard on top of a drum and called it closed. Nope! If that drum ever got bumped or jostled, the contents could spill out and create a big mess — not to mention putting employees at risk if it contained hazardous waste. And if an inspector saw that cardboard lid, it would mean an instant fine.

Keep A Lid On It

To keep your drum covered properly, you have two choices: use the lid that came with your drum and reattach it with the original bolt/nut ring system or install an easy-access latching lid while the drum is in use. The original lid assembly is fine if you’re going to use the drum for longer-term storage and you only need to access it once in a while. But if you need to use that drum regularly, your employees will end up wasting time removing and replacing the original lid because it’s so labor intensive. We’ve seen many workers simply set the original lid on top of the drum without reinstalling the bolt ring just because it’s such a pain to use.

This is where the PIG Latching Drum Lid can really save your workers time and company money — it lets employees access the drum easily with one hand and no hassle while it seals tight to stop spills and dangerous vapor emissions. And when the inspector sees that latching lid on your drum, he knows you’ve taken the right steps to comply with closed container regs.

So now that you know you need a latching lid, how do you choose the right one? Answer these three questions:

  1. 1. What type of drum do you have?
  2. 2. Are you using a steel drum outdoors or indoors?
    • Outdoors: Use the PIG Outdoor Latching Drum Lid. It’s zinc primed for extra protection against rust and corrosion.
    • Indoors: Still a few options. Go to the last question.
  3. 3. What are you storing in the drum?
    • Flammables: Use the PIG Latching Drum Lid with Fusible Plugs. It’s the only latching lid designed specifically for NFPA 30 venting requirements. The built-in nylon plug melts to vent the pressure during a fire and keep the drum from exploding.
    • Stuff that creates dangerous vapors: Use the PIG Vapor-Control Latching Drum Lid. It has a second smaller port to insert waste to keep the lid closed and limit the vapor emissions from the drum.
    • Everything else: Use the standard PIG Latching Drum Lid. It’s easy to use, eliminates bolt ring hassles and helps you keep workers safe while complying with regs.


You tell us: What kind of lid are you using on your drums right now? Does reading this make you want to switch to a different one? Tell us in the comments section below.