Understanding OSHA’s Forklift Battery Handling Procedures and Requirements

Battery carriage

Forklift batteries are one of the most hazardous items in any warehouse — so as a result, ensuring battery room safety is not only essential for optimal warehouse efficiency and safety — it’s also required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s guidelines.

When typical fines for violating OSHA’s guidelines can range from $7,000 for minor infractions to as much as $70,000 for warehouses considered to be repeat offenders, your warehouse can’t afford not to follow OSHA’s rules and regulations.

To make sure you are upholding the correct level of battery room safety, here is a list of some of the most important OSHA regulations and guidelines to always follow for optimal battery room management:

Ensure proper battery room ventilation

All battery rooms are required to have adequate ventilation that will keep personnel safe from any escaping gases or fumes that leak from the forklift batteries while they’re being stored or maintained.

Install the right battery room flooring

OSHA maintains that all battery room floors should be acid resistant. During the forklift battery washing process, it’s possible for its chemicals to spill out. Since these chemicals are highly acidic, it’s necessary to have acid-resistant flooring that will withstand any spills that occur.

Maintain correct forklift battery washing and charging practices

When charging a forklift battery, OSHA dictates that all vent caps should be kept in place to prevent electrolyte spray from the battery; make sure all personnel understand that vent cap maintenance is essential to keeping them in working condition.

Keep the battery room clean and well-maintained

Cleanliness is another important component to a safe, efficient lift truck battery room. Each battery room should also be equipped with fire protection equipment and equipment that can flush and neutralize any spilled chemicals.

How else do you help keep your workplace safe? Share with us by leaving a comment below. Read more: Forklift battery wash equipment

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