A forklift’s battery life is essential to successfully lift and transport large and heavy materials from one end of an area to another. Without proper care, personnel can expose themselves to possible hazards if they don’t maintain the batteries of forklifts. For example, an employee can get electrocuted if chargers aren’t connected correctly. It’s essential that personnel practice and reiterate every forklift refresher training requirement, especially if they had a recent accident with one. As far as refresher training goes, it’s vital to ensure all employees reiterate and consistently exercise the best practices for forklift battery maintenance so they can improve their skills and avoid future accidents.
Properly Charge the Battery
For many warehouses, there are types of workers that only charge forklift batteries when it’s convenient for them. This is known as “opportunity charging.” Opportunity charging is a poor practice as it can result in the battery overheating if it doesn’t get charged at the correct times. (Avoid quick or opportunity charges unless it’s a rapid-charge system.) On average, forklifts run on up to two thousand hours a year. They should only run during work hours. A forklift should only be charged at specific temperatures and times and only go through a full battery charge if it falls below thirty percent. So, it’s important not to undercharge or overcharge the battery, as doing so can lessen the lifespan of your forklift.
Keep Forklift Batteries at a Safe Temperature
When charging your forklift battery, it’s important to note that it shouldn’t go above one hundred and thirteen degrees. If that happens, its lifespan will get harmed, it’ll overheat, and some of the water will get boiled away. Additionally, overcharging lithium can cause an explosion. However, when charging the battery, workers must keep the company’s instructions in mind. The battery’s set temperature which shouldn’t be exceeded varies with battery and model type (follow Mfg. recommendations). Ensure battery longevity by following the 8-8-8 rule. During a standard 24hour period, batteries should be in use for eight hours, charged for eight hours, and cooled for eight hours.
Always Exercise Best Forklift Safety Practices
Make sure workers are wearing proper gear when handling forklift batteries. This is part of best forklift safety practices. It’s highly preferred to wear steel-toed work boots, chemical-resistant rubber gloves, an apron, a face shield, and goggles. Loose-fitting clothing must never be worn; some of it could get caught and cause a severe injury or accident. Also, if a worker gets acid on themselves or it gets in their eyes, ensure there’s a washing station nearby so they can thoroughly wash their eyes or other affected areas for at least 15 minutes. If employees are working with lead-based batteries, be aware they can get severely burned by the sulfuric acid contained within batteries if they’re not wearing appropriate clothing.
When practicing and reiterating the best practices for forklift battery maintenance it’s essential to keep repeating the process and ensuring workers receive the necessary training. That way, they’ll remember all the best practices. First Quality Forklift Training provides employers with the suitable material to help get their workers up-to-date on certification information. They also provide the essential skills to succeed as a forklift operator, especially when a worker needs to relearn a skill after experiencing an accident.