4 Common Forklift Battery Charging Hazards

Electric-powered lift trucks reduce your business’s carbon footprint, lower noise pollution, and require less maintenance than gas-powered trucks. While electric forklifts provide many benefits, their charging stations present many possible dangers. Learn about four common forklift battery charging hazards to understand how to protect yourself and others.

Potential Crushing Injuries

Forklift batteries can weigh between 1,000 and 4,000 pounds, so trained operators use machines to lift and move the batteries for charging. Maintaining the battery-handling machinery will ensure predictable, smooth movements.

Improper manual handling can crush hands and feet or cause muscle strain. Train and retrain employees on how to operate the handling equipment to avoid these incidents.

Acid Exposure

Another common forklift battery charging hazard is acid exposure. Lead-acid batteries contain an electrolyte of sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is corrosive and can cause chemical burns.

Workers can protect themselves from sulfuric acid splashes by wearing acid-resistant gloves, goggles, face shields, and aprons. Additionally, employers must provide an eyewash station with at least 15 minutes of flowing water.

Tip: Clean Acid Spills Immediately

Acid spills can destroy surfaces and cause burns, slips, and falls. Wear PPE and use an acid spill kit to clean the spill immediately. The kit may include materials such as an acid neutralizer, an absorbent, brushes, disposal bags, and labels.


Overcharging can cause a forklift to heat excessively, which may lead to the battery catching on fire or exploding. Overcharging means continuously charging a battery that’s already at full capacity, which causes the electrical energy from the charger to convert into heat energy.

Never overcharge the battery. If you have problems charging your battery, or if the battery does not hold its charge, consider an electric forklift battery replacement. New and refurbished batteries charge safely and effectively.

Fire Safety Tip: Control Hydrogen Gas Accumulations

A spark source is extremely dangerous in battery charging stations. When batteries charge, they generate hydrogen gas, which is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and extremely flammable. Proper ventilation systems are essential for preventing hydrogen accumulation.

Electric Shock

Finally, improper handling can cause the battery to shock the worker. Only trained and qualified personnel should charge batteries.

Keep metal tools away from uncovered batteries. Also, employees should not wear metallic jewelry or other items that may conduct electricity.

Workers should never directly touch or use an object to touch the positive and negative terminals simultaneously. Doing so may cause a spark that ignites the hydrogen gas.

Avoid crushing injuries, acid exposure, fire, and electric shock by maintaining equipment and keeping personnel up to date on best practices. Shop with Green Power Forklift Batteries for lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries—our high-quality products keep your fleet powered and improve operational safety.