How should electrical cable drums be handled / shipped?

Electrical cable drums can be heavy and difficult to handle manually. It is important that a proper risk assessment is done before handling drums.

Plywood drums should not be rolled on the ground. Wooden cable drums are not meant to be rolled over significant distances.

When rolling drums the following considerations should be taken into account:

  • The mass of the drum
  • The visibility in the direction in which the drum is being rolled
  • The condition of the ground (which should be smooth, hard and flat)
  • The method of rolling and the direction of lay of the cable on the drum
  • The condition of the drum
  • Any additional considerations flagged by the risk assessment

Particular care should be taken with full drums of cablerolling the cable drums in the correct directionWhen lifting drums use appropriate lifting equipment, rated for the load they are intended to carry.

When lifting with a crane it is important to make sure the drums are properly supported with a through shaft and spreader bar to prevent damage to the drum or to the cable.Using a forklift to lift the cable drums from the correct directionWhen using a forklift truck to lift the cable, the drum must be handled correctly, lifting from the right direction. The cable should never be lifted by the flange on the flat and must be lifted on its edge as shown below; Transporting drums that are safely strapped to the vehicle

When transporting cable drums it's essential to make sure that the drums are adequately strapped to prevent rolling and are secured to the vehicle.


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