There are usually different risks you are exposed to while handling forklift batteries. For instance, there is the constant risk of acid burns if the sulfuric acid is not handled well.
The battery is also very heavy and can easily crush an operator if not well handled.
During charging there are also hydrogen gases build up that can lead to fires when exposed to sparks in high concentrations.
So what should you do to keep your operations safe from these risks?
Wear Protective Equipment
The forklift batteries normally come with sulfuric acid which is very corrosive. When it comes into contact with the skin it can easily burn you and therefore it should be handled with utmost precaution.
A great way of doing this is by using a face shield and other protective clothing like gloves and aprons.
The ideal protective clothing should be chemical resistant.
Use Wash Stations
In the event that Sulfuric acid spills and comes into contact with the skin or eyes, you should have an appropriate emergency response.
In case it comes into contact with skin wash the affected area with warm flowing water for at least 30 minutes.
On the other hand, if the spill extended to the clothing remove and discard them carefully under flowing water.
Install Proper Ventilation
Charging a forklift battery can be potentially dangerous when proper ventilation is not provided.
During charging the forklift batteries release hydrogen gas which is highly flammable if allowed to build up into high concentrations.
Proper ventilation helps to diffuse the hydrogen. You should also ensure that the charging area is free of any flames/sparks that lead to fires.
Neutralize Acid Spills
When acid spills on the floor of the warehouse it poses a serious risk to the pedestrians. The spilled acid should be cleaned off immediately.
However, the best way to do this and ensure the acid is completely harmless is to neutralize it using Baking soda solution.
The baking soda solution also plays an important role in neutralizing any acid spilled on the battery surface during cleaning.
Use Proper Lift Equipment
The forklift batteries are usually very heavy and therefore can easily crush you if not properly handled.
Therefore you should use the right equipment when retrieving and transferring the battery.
You can use an extractor system to retrieve it and transport it using a cart or other relevant equipment with a roller surface for easy unloading.
Therefore always use protective equipment when handling the batteries to protect you from acid spills. You should also make use of baking soda to neutralize any acid spills and install wash stations to flush any acid that comes into contact with skin or eyes. Installing proper ventilation systems is also crucial in addition to using the recommended lift and transportation equipment.
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