16.5 Battery Charging
Lead acid batteries contain corrosive liquids and also generate Hydrogen gas during charging which poses an explosion hazard. The following guidelines should be followed for battery charging areas:
- A “No smoking” sign should be posted.
- Before working, remove all jewelry from hands and arms and any dangling jewelry to prevent accidental contact with battery connections (this can cause sparks which can ignite vapors).
- Always wear appropriate PPE such as rubber or synthetic aprons, splash goggles (ideally in combination with a face shield), and thick Neoprene, Viton, or Butyl gloves.
- A plumbed emergency eyewash station must be readily available near the station (please note, hand held eyewash bottles do not meet this criteria.)
- A class B rated fire extinguisher needs to be readily available. If none is available, contact EHS at 607-255-8200.
- Ensure there is adequate ventilation available to prevent the buildup of potentially flammable and explosive gases.
- Keep all ignition sources away from the area.
- Stand clear of batteries while charging.
- Keep vent caps tight and level.
- Only use the appropriate equipment for charging.
- Store unused batteries in secondary containment to prevent spills.
- Have an acid spill kit available. The waste from a spill may contain lead and neutralized wastes may be toxic. Contact EHS at 607-255-8200 for hazardous waste disposal.
- Properly dispose of your used batteries.