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Tote Dumpers in Sanitary Material Handling Applications

A tote dumper may not be the first piece of material handling equipment you think of for a facility that must maintain strict sanitation protocols — whether that’s food processing, pharmaceuticals, or the grain supply chain itself.

However, given the overlap between bulk materials and sanitary applications, tote dumpers may make the difference between a safe, productive operation and a hot target for OSHA inspectors. To understand why, it’s important to know just what a tote dumper is, what it can do, and what’s best left to another piece of material handling equipment.

A tote dumper is a machine that both lifts and tips large-scale containers, emptying bulk loads in a safe and controlled manner. Some manufacturers call them bin dumpers. Some call them cart dumpers. But if they can lift and empty containers used in bulk material handling applications, they’re tote dumpers, too.

To understand the ergonomic advantages of a tote dumper in a sanitary facility, take the example of a food manufacturer that empties 50-pound sacks of grain into a hopper at the beginning of the process. Workers who lift and empty those bags repeatedly throughout a shift are at a high risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders and other injuries, even if they employ two-person lift protocols.

Tote Dumpers and Ergonomics for Bulk Materials

While OSHA generally recommends keeping single-person lifts to 50 pounds or less, emptying containers exacerbates the risk of picking up even small loads. Dumping grain inevitably requires weight shifting over the lifter’s frame, and potential twisting, each of which add to the likelihood of muscle strains, sprains, or tears.

Compare manual lifting or standard material handling equipment to the use of a tote dumper. The latter strategy provides clear benefits, both in our example scenario involving grain and in other sanitation-sensitive operations:

  • A single employee can operate a tote dumper more safely than two (or even three) employees can empty a heavy load by hand.
  • Tote dumpers empty bins in a smooth, even motion that’s both faster and safer than using a forklift or manual labor.
  • Hydraulic dumping equipment can be built directly into production lines. Alternately, mobile Bin Dumpers with high capacities and small footprints can empty totes anywhere on the line.
  • Stainless Steel Dumpmaster Bin Dumpers from Solus Group are ideal for sanitary applications, with a smooth surface that’s easy to clean.
  • Stainless Steel models of Bin Dumpers comply with most sanitation guidelines, including the FDA Food Code 2017.

For logistics providers and manufacturers who handle food and pharmaceutical products, sanitation is crucial. At the same time, every employer has a responsibility to protect employees from preventable injuries.

Tote dumpers — including the whole line of Simpro Bin Dumpers from Solus Group — meet both goals at once. To learn more, call the material handling experts at Solus Group by dialing 314-696-0200 today.


Ergonomics eTool: Solutions for Electrical Contractors.OSHA. U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2019.

Food Code 2017.FDA. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 9 Mar. 2018. Web. 18 Dec. 2019.