Handling FIBCs Safely

For storing and transporting flowable bulk goods, flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC), also called bulk bags, are the economical way to go. However, safety should always be your priority. The Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association (FIBCA) has created FIBC Safe Handling Guidelines to address safety concerns while filling, transporting, and emptying bulk bags.

Quick Overview of Safe Handling

This is a brief overview of FIBCAs guidelines. Consult the FIBCs website and print version of the guidelines for greater detail.

You should always consult with your supplier to ensure you use the correct FIBC for the product it will hold. The product must be compatible with the FIBC and its components. If the product is dangerous goods, hazardous, food, etc., ensure the FIBC is approved for the product and appropriate for the filling and emptying environment. Any electrostatic or explosion concerns must be addressed prior. When using a Type C FIBC, any handling devices used for grounding must be free of (e.g., paint, dust, oil) that could impede connection with FIBC loops.

FIBCs should be free from damage that could compromise their strength. All FIBC manufacturer’s recommendations, information on the FIBC label, and all regulatory and safety requirements must be adhered to.

All devices used to move FIBCS should be designed for use with FIBC. They should also have safety latches and be rated for the capacity of the filled bag. To protect the integrity of the bag’s loops, forklift tines, crane hooks, or bars must have edges with a radius of 5 millimeters or greater and must not have sharp edges that could tear or damage the loops. When lifting, moving, or storing FIBCs, there are several safety rules to adhere to:

  • Close the FIBC in the manner recommended by your supplier
  • Use every loop provided to lift the FIBC
  • Never gather loops to use a single hook unless the FIBC is specifically designed for this purpose.
  • Keeps loops vertical to prevent damaging lateral forces
  • Do not exceed the rated capacity or safe working load (SWC) of the FIBC
  • Ensure the FIBC is filled evenly and stable
  • When moving FIBC with a forklift, keep the bag close to the mast and at an appropriate angle, never drag or push an FBIC, and never withdraw tines without removing the load.
  • Ensure pallets are the proper size and are free of nails or protrusions that might damage the bag
  • Keep all personnel clear of a suspended FIBC
  • Secure FIBCs during transportation
  • Only stack FIBCs if they are designed to be stacked, and then use a pyramid or supported method
  • Never approach or attempt to repair an FIBC with others stacked on top of it
  • Store FIBCs in a covered space free from water or UV rays that could damage them
  • Determine shelf-life by performing periodic performance testing compared against new bags.

Tyoga Bulk Bags Tyoga doesn’t just source bulk bags; it offers customized bulk bags based on your specific application and how you plan to fill, transport, and discharge the bags. Contact us to help you find a solution that will fit your needs and budget.