FIBC which is the short form of Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers or big bags are extremely useful in industrial and other commercial spaces where large loads of heavy materials are collected, sorted, stored, transported, and so on. However, it is important to follow certain guidelines while using your fibc to avoid mishaps that may threaten the safety of your workers or possibly damage the materials you are working with.
First and foremost, ensure that you are using the right fibc for the material you wish to carry in it. Make sure to check important aspects of the big bag, such as the presence or absence of a lining and its maximum load capacity, and then fill the jumbo bag accordingly.
At no cost should you exceed the maximum weight the big bag is meant for carrying as this could strain or even tear its base or its handles. Maintaining a safe working load prevents immediate accidents as well as ensures the long life of the fibc.
Before filling the FIBC, make sure that the space you are doing so in is safe for the material you are handling. This is especially important if you are handling inflammable/toxic/food items. Always place the bag on an even platform before you begin to load it. It is also recommended to support the sides of the bag with an appropriate lift device.
If your bulk bag has liners, pre-inflate them and extend them past the fill spout to ensure maximum ease and safety. Fill only to the recommended level and use a gentle shake/vibrate technique to help the material settle in evenly. Depending on the type of bulk bag you are using, you may also need to seal off any discharge spouts before filling it.
If the FIBC you are using has four loops, use all of them while suspending it. This will even out the load to mitigate the possibility of a tear and also ensure maximum stability in the lifting/moving process. Read the bag manufacturer’s instructions to be clear about the right way to handle the jumbo bag while using hooks, forklifts, and other handling devices.
Despite all the precautions you take to lift or move the big bag, do not allow any worker/supervisor to stand directly beneath a suspended FIBC. They may be allowed to stand beside it if there is no risk of material falling out during movement.
While stocking or transporting a filled FIBC bag, make sure it is resting on a pallet that is free from sharp edges, nails, and other surfaces that can cause damage. Stock and transport in a covered space to protect the bag from the sun and other weather conditions.
While transporting an FIBC, fasten it securely and avoid subjecting it to sudden stops or lifts. If you are required to stack bulk bags one on top of the other, first check if the FIBC is designed to do so. Even then, make sure to only stack the bags in a pyramid shape or with two supporting walls on the sides.
If your jumbo bag is reusable, clean it thoroughly and store it under wraps or inside a cover in an indoor space. The FIBC should be kept in a place away from direct sunlight and without being exposed to rain, snow, or other weather conditions.
You must also ensure that the warehouse/storeroom where the bag is stored is free from water or moisture contamination. Reuse a big bag only if you have followed all care and storage instructions carefully. Even then, before reusing the bag, make sure to check for any degradation
Safety should always be prioritized over convenience or cost. Avoid taking any steps or actions in a hurry and put your workers ahead of your material at all times. Remember, materials can be replaced, but a life lost cannot be reclaimed!
Detailed guidelines for safe handling of FIBCs issued by the international FIBC Association (FIBCA) can be accessed here .