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Using Signs and Labels to Improve Battery Room Safety

Safety is the most important factor in every battery room, and many of the potential hazards of battery change-outs can be mitigated with a decidedly low-tech solution: signage. Clear, discernable signs can prevent workplace accidents by pointing out hazardous areas and marking vital safety equipment for quick access. It’s important to note that battery rooms are extremely safe when properly designed and outfitted; notwithstanding that, managers need to take appropriate actions to prevent accidents and to keep personnel informed. To understand the role of signage in the accident-free battery room, it’s helpful to start by considering some of the general principles of workplace safety. The authors of the first chapter of Warnings and Risk Communication (1999) advocate three hierarchical lines…more

TT-959: Proper ATC Vertical Alignment

Models Affected: All ATC Units The importance of proper vertical alignment of the Automatic Transfer Carriage (ATC) battery compartment with the truck or stand Description: The most common mistake made while operating an ATC is improper vertical alignment of the ATC roller bed with the stand or truck roller bed. If the ATC is too low as a battery is being pulled onto it, the battery will “dive” into the compartment once the midpoint of the battery is pulled past the last roller of the higher compartment. This can result in damage to the rollers and axles and possibly the extractor arm. In order to avoid these issues, it is important to ensure the roller beds are properly aligned before…more

TT-958: Proper Use of ATC Magnet and Vacuum

Models Affected: All ATC Units The importance of proper and safe operation of the Automatic Transfer Carriage (ATC) magnet and vacuum Description: A crucial factor in proper operation of the ATC, which is often disregarded, is the proper use of the magnet or vacuum on units equipped with one of these options. Proper and safe operation of the ATC requires that once the battery is fully retracted into the ATC, the flip stop and containment bar (if equipped) should be engaged. The battery should then be pushed forward to “pin” the battery between the extractor arm and flip stop. At this point the magnet or vacuum should be turned off. Failure to utilize the flip stop/containment bar and leaving the…more

TVA Offers Incentives for Diesel Lift Truck Fleet Conversion

If you’ve been thinking about converting your lift truck fleet from diesel to electric, there’s never been a better time. Few projects offer a better long-term return on investment, and forklift fleet conversion is a relatively simple process. The Tennessee Valley Authority recently announced a program incentivizing diesel-to-electric lift truck conversion, providing hundreds of businesses in the region with an excellent new resource. This isn’t the only program of its kind in the United States, but it’s easily one of the most substantial, and many businesses will use the incentive to justify a full-scale fleet conversion. Electric forklifts are smaller, quieter, more environmentally friendly, and generally more maneuverable than their gas-powered counterparts. They’re also easier on operators, and ergonomic designs…more

OSHA Standards in the Battery Room — Part Four: Construction Industry Standards

Comparing Battery Handling Regulations for General Industry and Construction In the previous two posts, we provided a basic introduction to OSHA regulations for battery rooms in general industries. This post will examine OSHA standard 1926.441, which addresses batteries and battery charging in the construction industry. The relationship between the battery handling regulations in standards 1910 and 1926 is complex. In some places the two standards overlap, and in others they address completely different issues. Most of the standards from OSHA 1910.178(g) also apply to battery handling in the construction industry, but the reverse is not necessarily true for all applications. Because the two sets of regulations interact in unique ways in different applications, only an OSHA compliance officer or a…more

National Safety Month

The National Safety Council established June as National Safety Month. BHS kicked off National Safety Month by sharing a blog titled OSHA Standards in the Battery Room — Part One: Introduction to OSHA Regulations. This blog is the first in a four-part series, guiding readers on the OSHA standards that are most relevant to battery handling. OSHA plays a fundamental role in establishing and enforcing standards that ensure workplace safety. The quantity and complexity of regulations can be overwhelming, and this blog series offers a simplified approach to improve understanding. The second and third blog in the series are live on the website. Keep an eye on BHS1.com for the fourth and final blog, which will be posted later this…more

OSHA Standards in the Battery Room — Part Three: The Rest of OSHA 1910

OSHA’s Rules on Safety Equipment in Battery Changing Areas In our previous post, we discussed the OSHA standards that refer specifically to changing and charging batteries for powered industrial trucks: 29 CFR 1910.178(g). While this code forms the core of the OSHA requirements for battery handling, safety regulations from other parts of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards for general industry also have an important place in your battery room. Most of these regulations are concerned with safety equipment. The location of essential protective devices such as fire extinguishers, first aid stations, and eyewash stations are vital to worker safety, and in many cases, they are also regulated by law. Of course, electric forklift batteries are extremely safe when properly…more

OSHA Standards in the Battery Room — Part Two: OSHA 1910.178(g)

Interpreting OSHA General Industry Regulations for Safe Battery Handling Regulations are a big part of running your facility, and regardless of your industry, OSHA guidelines are especially important. In this blog, we’ll take a look at these detailed (and occasionally confusing) guidelines and try to provide a general overview. Remember, if you need to ensure compliance, you may need to consult with OSHA officials or hire a qualified expert. See our first blog for information regarding the different OSHA industry-specific standards. OSHA standard number 1910.178, subsection G, establishes guidelines for updating battery handling equipment, planning a battery room, and establishing appropriate battery changing procedures. It consists of 11 entries, and if your operation uses lift trucks in any capacity, these…more