The forklift battery changing system can be a surprisingly prominent source of health and safety hazards for your personnel who work with forklift battery extractors. It’s estimated that about one in four workplace-related accidents and injuries involve a forklift in some way, and no small portion of these accidents take place as a result of insufficient forklift battery safety procedures.
Making your warehouse’s forklift battery changing area more safe won’t just cut down on lost worker time and save you from the costs of workers’ compensation — it’s often necessary to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s safety guidelines in order to avoid hefty fines. OSHA fines range from $7,000 for minor infractions and first-time offenders to as much as $70,000 for warehouses with multiple violations.
To ensure optimal safety for personnel working with your warehouse’s forklift battery extractor, follow these key safety tips and procedures:
Require personnel to wear safety gear
Did you know that the average forklift battery weighs an astonishing 2,000 pounds? Because of this, all personnel must wear steel-toed boots while working around a forklift battery extractor. These boots protect one’s feet against the possibility of the battery falling. Additionally, personnel should wear eye goggles, gloves and other personal protective equipment while performing routine battery maintenance.
Educate personnel on responding to problems
When extracting a forklift battery from the lift truck, it’s possible that personnel will discover any one of a number of potential problems. For example, acid may leak from the battery and coat its exterior while being used in a forklift truck. In this case, it’s crucial that personnel know how to protect themselves from battery acid — and how to clean this acid off the battery to preserve its terminals.
Use the correct battery extractor
Generally, there are two methods of forklift battery extraction that allow personnel to remove a forklift battery from the forklift truck itself: overhead and side extraction. Both methods of extraction require a unique type of forklift battery extractor to ensure safe, efficient extraction. Before allowing personnel to handle any extractors, be sure they’re using the correct piece of equipment.
Want to know even more about the best battery room safety procedures for forklift battery changing equipment? Feel free to ask us anything related to this part of the warehouse by leaving a comment below.