Safety Tip of the Week – Battery Charging Safety

Because batteries contain chemicals, chemical reaction by-products, and an electrical current, they can pose a hazard to workers if not handled properly. Workers that operate, maintain, and recharge batteries should use caution.

Battery Charging Dos:

  • Wear gloves and suitable eye protection— preferably goggles or a visor;
  • Wear a plastic apron and suitable boots when handling battery chemicals such as sulphuric acid or potassium hydroxide;
  • Empty your pockets of any metal objects that could fall onto the battery or bridge across its terminals;
  • Keep sources of ignition – such as flames, sparks, electrical equipment, hot objects, and mobile phones – well away from batteries that are being charged, have recently been charged, or are being moved;
  • Use suitable single-ended tools with insulated handles;
  • Fit temporary plastic covers over the battery terminals;
  • Charge batteries in a dedicated, well-ventilated area;
  • Share the load with a workmate when lifting batteries – they can be very heavy;
  • Use insulated lifting equipment and check there are no tools, cables, or other clutter you could trip on; and
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after working with batteries, especially before eating, smoking or going to the toilet.
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