Hazardous Waste Operations

Chapter 296-843, WAC

Effective Date: 05/01/04

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Drum and Container Handling

WAC 296-843-180

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Your responsibility:

To handle drums and containers in ways that minimize the hazard to employees

You must

Handle drums and containers safely

Handle drums and containers suspected of containing shock-sensitive (explosive) wastes safely

Maintain worker safety in drum and container opening areas

Ship and transport drums and containers safely

IMPORTANT:

  • Containers or drums containing shock-sensitive (explosive) or potentially shock-sensitive wastes require special handling precautions.
  • Handle, transport, label, and dispose of drums and containers according to this chapter and other United States Department of Transportation (DOT), WISHA, EPA, and Washington Department of Ecology regulations for:
    • – Drums
    • – Containers
    • – Hazardous substances
    • – Contaminated soils
    • – Liquids, and other residues

WAC 296-843-18005
Handle drums and containers safely

You must

Preparation for moving drums and containers:

  • Assess hazards to employees, such as radioactive waste, before handling drums and containers.
  • Consider unlabeled drums and containers to contain hazardous substances and handle them accordingly, until the contents are positively identified, labeled, and assessed for hazards.
  • Inspect and make sure drums and containers are sound before moving them.
    • – If it isn’t practical to inspect drums without moving them, move drums and containers to an accessible location and inspect prior to further handling
  • Remove soil or other materials covering drums or containers with caution to prevent rupture.
  • Use ground-penetrating systems or other types of detection systems or devices to estimate the location and depth of buried drums or containers.
  • Use the sampling plan and procedures included in the site-specific HASP to sample the contents of containers and drums.

You must

Moving drums and containers:

  • Warn all employees exposed to drum movement operations about the potential hazards associated with the contents of the drums or containers prior to moving them.
  • Minimize movement of drums or containers.
  • Select, position, and operate tools and material handling equipment to prevent the ignition of flammable vapors.
  • Handle tanks and vaults containing hazardous substances with the same precautions as for drums and containers, taking into account the size of tank or vault.

You must

Handling spills and leaks:

  • Contain and isolate the entire volume of a hazardous substance in a drum or container when a spill occurs.
  • Have available and use both of the following in areas where spills, leaks, or ruptures may occur:
    • – United States Department of Transportation (DOT) specified salvage drums or containers
    • – Suitable quantities of proper absorbent materials.
  • Empty drums and containers, that cannot be moved without rupturing, leaking, or spilling, into a sound container.
    • – Use a pump or other device classified for the material being transferred
  • Have fire-extinguishing equipment on-hand to control fires in their initial stage.

Reference:

For further information, see the Safety and Health Core Rules, WAC 296-800-300, Portable Fire Extinguishers.


WAC 296-843-18010
Handle drums and containers suspected of containing shock-sensitive (explosive) wastes safely

You must

  • Allow only essential employees in the transfer area.
  • Communicate as follows:
    • – Signal the beginning and end of shock-sensitive (explosive) waste handling activities with an alarm system that’s capable of being perceived above background light and noise.
    • – Maintain continuous communications throughout the handling operation:
        • Between the employee-in-charge of the immediate handling area and the site safety and health supervisor and the command post.
        • Using portable radios, hand signals, or telephones, as appropriate.

– Prevent the use of communication equipment or methods that could cause shock-sensitive (explosive) materials to explode.

  • Provide material handling equipment with explosive containment devices or shields to protect equipment operators from exploding containers.
  • Don’t move bulging or swollen drums or containers until the cause for excess pressure is determined and you can move the drum or container safely.
  • Consider packaged laboratory wastes or laboratory waste packs shock-sensitive or explosive until the contents have been characterized.
    • – Make sure laboratory waste packs are opened only:
        • When necessary.
        • By a person knowledgeable in the inspection, classification, and segregation of the containers within the pack.

WAC 296-843-18015
Maintain worker safety in drum and container opening areas

You must

  • Keep employees who aren’t involved in opening drums or containers a safe distance from the opening area.
  • Use appropriate shielding between the employee and the drums or containers, when excess interior pressure can't be relieved from a remote location.
  • Provide an explosion-resistant barrier that doesn’t interfere with the work to protect employees working near or adjacent to drum or container opening operations from accidental explosions.
  • Position controls for drum or container opening equipment, monitoring equipment, and fire suppression equipment behind the explosion-resistant barrier.
  • Prohibit employees from standing on or working from drums or containers.

Reference:

The shipment of shock-sensitive (explosive) waste may be prohibited under United States Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. You and your shipper should refer to Title 49 CFR.

WAC 296-843-18020
Ship and transport drums and containers safely

You must

(1) Identify and classify drum and container contents prior to packaging for shipment.

(2) Provide staging areas:

    • Each staging area must have adequate entry and exit routes.
    • The number of drum or container staging areas must be kept to the minimum needed to identify and classify materials safely and prepare them for transport.

(3) Permit bulking of hazardous wastes only after a thorough characterization of the wastes has been completed.

Note

Note:

Handle, transport, label, and dispose of drums and containers according to this chapter and other United States Department of Transportation (DOT), WISHA, EPA, and Washington Department of Ecology regulations for:

– Drums

– Containers

– Hazardous substances

– Contaminated soils.


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