FIBC Safe Handling Guidelines
Storage & Transportation
Every year more than 500 million bulk bags, or FIBCs, are used around the world. They’re used to transport a wide variety of solid materials that you see or use every day. And FIBCA, the Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association, wants to ensure that FIBCs used for these essential materials are filled, emptied, stored, and shipped safely.
To educate the public. FIBCA has assembled safe handling guidelines to address some common situations, but you’ll still want to consult your FIBC supplier regarding your specific application and handling environment. A full set of guidelines can be found at FIBCA.com. But, in this video, we’ll focus on the key points related to the storage and transportation of FIBCs. Don’t forget to adhere to all other applicable regulations, standards, and supplier recommendations.
Before handling an FIBC, you need to ensure that all equipment and devices are designed for FIBCs, are rated for the capacity of the filled FIBC, and conform to the guidelines for handling by forklift, crane, or hoist. Once you have the right equipment and have reviewed the handling guidelines, you’ll need to remember these six critical points when storing and transporting FIBCs.
1. Ensure that any pallets used are free of nails or protrusions that could damage the FIBC and that your pallet is sized so the FIBC doesn’t hang over the side unless it’s designed and approved to do so by the manufacturer.
2. Avoid sudden lifts and stops with your FIBC during transportation.
3. Make sure your FIBCs are secure during transportation.
4. Only stack FIBCs if they are designed to be stacked, you are sure of their stability, and they are stacked using a pyramid or supported method. Pyramid stacking means each bag above the first layer must sit on at least four lower bags. Each layer is tiered inwards, forming a pyramid. Supported stacking means backs are stacked against two retaining walls of sufficient strength.
5. Never, under any circumstances, approach or repair a damaged FIBC without first removing all FIBCs stacked on top.
That leads us to number 6. Protect your FIBCs. Always store your FIBCs inside a covered facility or warehouse free from any water or moisture contamination that could damage your FIBCs. To avoid damage, you need to protect your FIBCs from sunlight and harmful UV rays as well as inclement weather like rain and snow. And if they have to be outside, Always cover your FIBCs. But remember, outdoor storage is not recommended.
Finally, let’s review a few important notes on storage and transportation. FIBCA doesn’t endorse any typical shelf life for an FIBC. The best method for determining if an FIBC remains suitable for use is to conduct periodic performance testing and compare it against new samples of the same type.
It’s also important to remember that some static-protective FIBCs and liners have a reduced shelf life and can even be more sensitive to environmental hazards. Be sure to get advice from the manufacturer or supplier on the best storage methods and any shelflife limitations for static-protective FIBCs.
Visit FIBCA.com, where you’ll find the full FIBC safe handling guidelines and a list of FIBCA members dedicated to providing you educational resources like these.