In an ideal world, you would never have to recharge a forklift battery. However, charging your forklift battery is essential for working in a real-life warehouse. In this guide, you will learn about safety practices and procedures for forklift battery charging.
Know the Four Components of a Lead-Acid Battery
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are four main characteristics of a lead-acid battery that could lead to safety risks. The first is the battery’s weight. These batteries are extremely heavy, and if you drop one of them, you might hurt yourself.
The next is caustic fluids, the electrolytic mixture that powers the battery. This mixture includes sulfuric acid, and if you come into contact with the substance, it will lead to a chemical burn.
Dangerous gases are the third safety risk because batteries will emit hydrogen gas when they’re charging. If the level of hydrogen gas becomes too great, it could lead to a fire or explosion in the charging area.
Finally, there is exposure to electricity since you are dealing with active battery cells. New forklift batteries are less likely to experience problems, but you should understand these components whether your battery is new or used.
Keep the Battery Charging Room in Proper Condition
Keeping your battery charging room properly equipped with all necessary safety gear will ensure that no disasters take place. OSHA requires any battery charging to take place in a designated area that’s separate from other warehouse activities.
This room must have adequate ventilation to prevent the gases and fumes from building up. You can prevent collisions by placing structural barriers around the charging equipment. Water accessibility is another critical component because you will need it for hydrating the batteries and cleaning up electrolyte spills.
Understand Proper Equipment Handling and Training Procedures
Training is the most effective way to maintain safety while charging a forklift battery. As long as all workers are knowledgeable about what to do in any battery handling situation, there shouldn’t be too many problems. In addition, wearing personal protective equipment, such as goggles, rubber gloves, and aprons, will protect you from chemical exposure.
Overall, charging a forklift battery is a safe process if you know what you’re doing. Now that you know about the safety practices and procedures for forklift battery charging, you will be able to charge your forklift battery with ease.