Material Handling SolutionsFull beer drums, barrels or kegs are not just heavy, they are bulky and awkward to handle, placing a number of stresses and strains on the person(s) handling them.

As more companies become aware of the dangers of manual handling, breweries and beer distributors are reporting instances of injuries to the back, neck, shoulders arms and wrists as a result of the repetitive nature of moving beer drums.

The impact of moving beer drums on employees

Moving beer drums – even when at a ‘safe’ or ‘legal’ weight for a single person to handle – places a number of stresses and strains on the body, as the nature of the job involves twisting and turning whilst manoeuvring the drums.

In the HSE’s Manual Handling at Work guide, it recommends that when holding a load at elbow height close to the body, the maximum weight for a male employee to lift repetitively is 20kg.  However, beer drums can weigh significantly more than this when full.

How to improve your employee well-being

Guidelines recommend that at least two people are required to lift and move beer drums.  However, this can often be impractical.  We would therefore recommend that companies involved in the lifting and moving of beer drums, kegs and barrels should look to the introduction of industrial manipulators for all of their manual handling tasks.

Our industrial manipulators have been shown to improve ergonomics and employee well-being in manual material handling tasks. It reduces, and in many cases eliminates, the stresses and strains placed on operators during the lifting and moving of items such as beer drums. With the added benefit of fail-safe devices that guard against the load falling should an accident occur or the power fails, an Indeva industrial manipulator will increase your productivity whilst improving ergonomics and safety.

The cost of installing such a device will be negated by the fact that it will reduce production downtime and employee sick days by eliminating injuries due to manual handling.

To speak to one of our team about your beer drum handling requirements, please call us on 01246 252333, or email