Handling and maintaining a forklift battery is more complex than it appears. It’s easy for personnel to make mistakes during the everyday processes of charging, washing and watering these batteries, which can lead to compromised battery life, safety hazards and a less-successful warehouse operation.
To help reduce the occurrence of these errors in the battery handling area, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has mandated that all battery charger stations be outfitted with certain equipment and items. When an OSHA fine can cost your warehouse as much as $7,000, or as much as $70,000 for repeat offenders, it’s important to follow their regulations.
To make sure your battery room safety, warehouse efficiency and warehouse organization are at their optimal levels — and to ensure you don’t get fined by OSHA — make sure these three things are always present in your warehouse’s forklift battery charger station:
The right battery handling equipment
Personnel should have access to the best tools and materials for proper forklift battery maintenance and charging. Cranes, hoists and forklift battery extractors are all needed to transport these heavy batteries. Battery chargers and wash cabinets are also necessary. Other features, like properly-labeled battery storage areas and acid-resistant floors, are crucial to have installed.
Adequate safety equipment for personnel
No personnel should be permitted to enter the battery handling area without wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). It’s your responsibility to provide gear like goggles, face protection, rubber gloves and aprons for all personnel to wear while handling forklift batteries.
Battery spill control equipment
While having a spill-free battery room is obviously ideal, accidents happen that involve a battery’s hazardous acids and electrolyte spilling out. To prepare for these accidents, keep your battery handling station well stocked with absorbents that neutralize acid and electrolyte.
How do you work to keep your warehouse’s battery charger station working at its full potential? Share your tips and recommendations by leaving a comment below.