High-power industrial lead-acid batteries can pose significant safety risks when they are not handled properly during use or maintenance. For proper battery safety, it’s important to know what health and safety risks heavy duty batteries can pose, as well as how to use heavy duty batteries in a safe manner.
Charging Heavy Duty Batteries
When heavy duty batteries are charged, they can generate concentrations of hydrogen gas that have the potential to explode, and may also pose a risk of electric shock. For this reason, it’s imperative to ensure that any area in which heavy duty batteries are being charged is well-ventilated and monitored for hydrogen gas buildup. Additionally, make sure that there is no open flame or other intense heat source around charging batteries, and do not allow any employee or guest to smoke in areas where heavy duty batteries are plugged in for charging. Handle all batteries carefully, especially electrical components and any place where you could come into contact with battery fluid, to avoid burns. Be careful never to over-charge heavy duty batteries, as this can result in the generation of harmful gasses, leaks, and even explosions.
Maintaining Heavy Duty Batteries
When servicing and maintaining heavy duty batteries, especially those that have been damaged, it’s important to understand which parts of the battery are safe to touch and which should be avoided. Otherwise, you may burn yourself or, if working with lead-based heavy duty batteries, accidentally ingest materials that are unsafe. When maintaining heavy duty batteries, follow all of the manufacturers instructions to ensure both present safety and long-term function of the battery. Never touch both terminals of the battery at the same time. When re-filling fluids in heavy duty batteries, be careful not to overfill them, and make sure not to touch your eyes, mouth, or nose while servicing heavy duty batteries. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling any battery. Finally, remember that batteries can be extremely heavy, so use proper lifting techniques to avoid straining your back or any other muscles while transporting heavy duty batteries.
Storing Heavy Duty Batteries
Corrosion may cause heavy duty batteries to leak, exposing workers to lead and other chemicals – particularly sulfuric acid – that can cause burns, lead poisoning, and other harmful reactions. Make sure that batteries are stored in a cool, dry area to prevent exposure to elements that may cause corrosion. Store batteries in trays that can contain a spill if one should occur. After a battery has been stored for an extended period of time, make sure to examine it for any damage, decay, or leakage before placing it back in use.
Disposing of Heavy Duty Batteries
Finally, take care when disposing of heavy duty batteries, as damaged or otherwise unusable batteries can pose a safety risk not only to those who work in a facility but also to those who may be collecting the battery for disposal. Ensure that your disposal techniques adhere to all local laws and specifications for safety and environmental consideration, and never place heavy duty batteries in regular trash.