6 Safety Precautions for Handling Batteries

Batteries are large, contain corrosive acids and produce an electrical charge. All of these post a threat to your safety and necessitate a number of precautions be taken when handling batteries.

1. Avoid bringing metal into contact with batteries. This includes metal tools and hoist chain as well as personal items such as jewelry, watches and belts. As metal conducts electricity, anyone touching a metal object as it comes into contact with the battery runs the risk of electrocution.

2. Never allow both terminals to make contact with an item (particularly yourself) simultaneously. When both terminals are engaged, an electrical current will pass through anything touching them.

3. Do not hand-guide batteries during lifting/moving process. This puts you in danger if the battery were to drop or shift. Also, touching the battery proves a danger as it may lead to electrical shock or bring the worker into contact with corrosive battery acid.

4. Practice safe and appropriate lifting procedures. Do not bring unprotected hands into contact with the battery throughout the moving process. Additionally, use only specified lifting equipment designed for this purpose and approved for the battery’s weight. Otherwise, one runs the risk of damaging the battery or lifting equipment.

5. Wear protective equipment when handling batteries including gloves, eyewear and hardhat. Gloves and protective eye gear are to guard against battery acid while a hard hat is important during the lifting process in case a battery swings or falls.

6. Batteries can be dangerous when mishandled. Not only are these batteries large and heavy objects that can cause severe injury and damage if dropped, battery acid is extremely corrosive and can cause severe burns to the skin or corrode equipment that it comes into contact with. Likewise, touching batteries without proper equipment and preparation can result in high-voltage electric shocks.

All personnel working with batteries should first be trained in the proper lifting and handling procedures. Also, it is a good practice to regularly remind workers of appropriate battery handling procedures in order to maintain a safe working environment.

Industrial Battery & Charger Inc. scheduled maintenance programs offer the ability to pro-actively manage your fleet maintenance on a schedule rather than a purely corrective basis. A preventive maintenance program is at the core of any efficient and well run facility, and will save you time and money in the long run, as well as increase the lifespan of your batteries.