Safety should be a top priority in your forklift battery maintenance program. Complying with OSHA regulations for safe forklift battery care procedures reduces the chance of injury or death when charging and servicing industrial batteries, such as those used in forklifts.
Initiating these safety precautions not only protects your employees and assures proper maintenance of your batteries, but also ensures your warehouse is following the law. If you aren’t in compliance, you could be facing high legal fees and create a poor reputation for your business.
OSHA Battery Safety Requirements
There are plenty of OSHA regulations regarding forklift batteries. OSHA requires all forklift battery charging tasks that take place occur in a designated area. This battery room must be equipped with certain required items that keep employees safe and batteries in good condition.
A planned battery forklift maintenance can help you follow the OSHA guidelines and be in compliance. OSHA ALSO lists the following requirements that must be part of your company safety protocol:
- Only allow designated certified and approved personnel to change or charge batteries.
- All battery charging and changing needs to be performed in designated area by the employer.
- Charging installations must be protected from potential damage from trucks.
- Smoking and other potential ignition sources are prohibited within designates charging area.
- Make sure all battery filler caps are in place when being transported.
- Always engage parking brake before batteries and charge or changed.
- Removed and clean any and all battery corrosion and build up.
- Adequate ventilation is required within the charging area while charging.
- All employers must provide facilities for eye flushing, body and work area with water wherever electrolyte is handled. The only exception to this requirement are in areas when employees are only checking battery electrolyte levels or adding distilled water.
- Turn chargers off when leads are being connected or disconnected.
- Unsealed batteries must be enclosed with outside vents or in a well ventilated room, arranged as to prevent the escape of fumes, gases, and electrolyte spray.
- Face shields, aprons and rubber gloves must be proved for all workers handling acids or batteries.
- Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are required within the battery room.
Implementing a proper forklift battery planned maintenance program ensures your warehouse and its forklift equipment is in compliance with these OSHA guidelines. You may also want to consider investing in additional battery safety equipment to further ensure that your employees who are working with industrial batteries, forklift batteries, and industrial chargers are always safe.
A well-organized battery maintenance program helps to prevent safety hazards and keep your employees free from harm. By complying with OSHA guidelines, you will protect your warehouse crew and properly maintain your forklift batteries.
Want to learn more essential components of a successful forklift battery maintenance program? Download the full ebook today.