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"BATTERY CHARGING SAFETY"

Battery charging operations deal with some common hazards, such as burns and back injuries. But fortunately, there are many simple precautions that can be taken to combat these dangers.  Battery charging should be accomplished in areas devoted exclusively to this type of activity, and there's a good reason for this. Hazards common to this type of work can be isolated from employees not engaged in battery charging. 

Wood-slat floor boards or rubber mats should be utilized in the area to minimize slips and falls and the danger of electric shock.  

Ample ventilation to disperse fumes is necessary, and water for prompt flushing of spills of electrolyte on the floor is another important safety factor. Availability of water is also important for fire protection. Fire doors should be installed between the charging area and areas where flammable liquids are located. 

Only trained personnel should charge or change batteries, so don't attempt to do any job you aren't authorized to do. No-smoking regulations must be observed. 

Back injuries are a common problem, so handling of batteries should be done on roller conveyors or chain hoists to avoid back strains and hernias. Use a handcart to transport batteries.  If it is necessary to lift a battery manually, it should be done in accordance with safe lifting procedures–by using your leg muscles, not your back muscles. Squat close to the load, hold it close to your body, and lift by gradually straightening your legs. Don't try to handle a tough lifting job alone. Ample help should be used for all lifts. 

Never place metal tools on top of batteries, and never put them in a spot where they might fall on a battery and cause a short circuit. This could result in an explosion or serious burns.  

If you're charging or changing the battery for an industrial truck, make sure the truck is correctly positioned and the brakes set. When jump charging a dead battery, connect the red clamp to the  positive terminal of the good battery first.  Then connect the other red clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery.  Next, connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of the good battery and connect the other black clamp to the frame or ground of the dead vehicle away from the battery. 

Safety Reminder:  Check the fluid level of batteries regularly. 

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