You know you have to wash your forklift batteries, but what’s the best way to go about it? The right gear can save your operation time and money, while preventing costly accidents. Here are a few guidelines for creating a battery wash procedure that’s simple, effective, and affordable.
For optimal safety and efficiency, choose an automated solution.
Washing forklift batteries by hand is not only time-consuming and tedious, it may also expose your staff to corrosive electrolyte spray. For large forklift fleets, hand-washing batteries is practically impossible.
Automated equipment provides a safer and more cost-efficient way to wash your batteries, no matter how many forklifts you have on the floor. Operating a BHS Battery Wash Cabinet (BWC), for instance, is as simple as pushing a button. This frees your staff for revenue-generating tasks.
Minimize wastewater disposal costs with a closed-loop system.
Disposing of the runoff from washing forklift batteries can get expensive; disposal companies charge as much as $2-$3 a gallon to haul away wastewater.
Limit this cost by reusing wash water with a closed-loop recycling system. They’re easy to set up; just connect a battery wash cabinet with the BHS Recirculation/Neutralization System (RNS). The RNS cleans and filters water, quickly removing contaminants while balancing the pH level for immediate reuse.
For the ultimate wastewater disposal plan, install a BHS Wastewater Recycling System (WRS). The WRS adjusts wastewater pH to a neutral level, then isolates and removes contaminants. There are only two byproducts: clean water and landfill-safe sludge that quickly dries for conventional disposal.
Smaller fleets may realize a better ROI with stand-alone wash stations.
At minimum, your operation should use battery wash stations for manual washes. These steel enclosures contain and collect wash water, including overspray.
Plan for safety.
No matter what type of battery wash equipment is right for your operation, OSHA requires you to protect your employees. That means providing comprehensive personal protective equipment, including:
- Indirect/vented goggles
- A chemical splash face shield
- Acid-resistant gloves
- Acid-resistant aprons
- Acid-resistant footwear
The BHS Personal Protective Kit combines all of these items into one simple package. Employees should wear protective clothing no matter how you wash your batteries, but even with these safeguards in place, accidents can happen. Every battery room should include eye-wash stations and spill kits.
Along with ongoing training for staff, the right equipment will make your battery washing process much more efficient — and when you wash your batteries more efficiently, they’ll spend more time doing what they do best: keeping your forklift fleet moving.
29 CFR 1910.151, Medical Services and First Aid. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.
29 CFR 1910.178, Powered Industrial Trucks. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.
Stanfords, Jeremy. “Tips for Washing Forklift Batteries.” Ezinearticles. 15 Mar. 2010. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.