Battery Safety for Forklifts

Forklift batteries are one of the most energy-efficient power sources available. If done correctly, handling and maintaining the batteries is a relatively secure process, but the units do pose some risks. Your staff will be healthy during charging and replacement activities if you have the right equipment, such as battery handling systems, and follow well-defined safety procedures. Checkout Forklift Training Systems.

Handling Systems for Batteries

Batteries for forklifts are extremely strong. While a normal worker can pick one up, battery handling systems ensure the worker’s safety when replacing a forklift’s power cell. These units raise and transfer batteries from the forklift, allowing staff to safely transport them to the charging station. These units protect staff from corrosive acid, flammable gas, and electric shock by holding them away from the batteries.

Small fleets will benefit from battery handling systems that hold a single layer of cells. Internal lifts in larger units allow batteries to be placed on multiple layers, optimizing energy in a small room. Other equipment cleans the acid off the batteries’ outsides, reducing worker exposure to corrosive materials.

Protective Gear

Battery handling systems are only one aspect of a broader power protection system for forklifts. Other systems must be in place to reduce the risk of an accident and to handle staff in the unlikely event of an injury, according to OSHA laws and common sense.

Staff should wear personal protective equipment and when using materials handling equipment. Any unexpected acid splashes are protected by eye protection, heavy rubber gloves, and corrosion-resistant aprons. In the charging area, there should be an emergency eyewash station, and the route to the station should be kept clear of obstacles. Keep in mind that a worker in need of an eyewash station is most likely approaching blindly. Finally, sufficient ventilation is required in the charging area to prevent the buildup of explosive hydrogen gas.

Procedures And Policies

The standard of technology is just as good as the people who use it. Staff can conduct their jobs in a dangerous manner unless they have consistent operating procedures and proper training. Employees will spend precious time trying to determine what to do in an accident if they are not given adequate safety training, and they are more likely to make bad decisions.

Tasks like power cell replacement should be written down, with each move detailed. It is preferable to have too much rather than too little training. Don’t make assumptions on what “everyone” knows. Staff should be taught how to use battery handling systems and safety devices, and they should be closely monitored during training to avoid forming bad habits. Managers must stress in both word and deed that the company’s most important objective is protection, not performance, income, or anything else.