Lithium-ion forklift battery safety — Lithium-ion forklift battery vs lead-acid batteryLithiumBattery
Lithium-ion forklift battery safety — Lithium-ion forklift battery vs lead-acid battery
Lithium-ion forklift battery safety is a very crucial issue if you have a large warehouse or production facility. Many industrial environments usually require several forklifts working at various shifts. If you are a manager of such facilities with multiple forklifts working, you will be concerned about the safety of your workers.
According to OSHA, every year, 85 workers die from accidents related to forklifts. Additionally, there are almost 35,000 accidents that lead to severe injuries. While there are a further 62,000 accidents that are classified to be non-serious. This is why operators need to know the importance of safety when working with a forklift. One of the dangers that workers must face as they work with the forklifts is the battery of the machine.
The forklifts have undergone several new advancements. They have been re-engineered to increase their operational safety. This is why many companies are looking to invest more money in the material handling industry. This is because they rely on lithium-ion batteries to help power their machines.
Lithium batteries are known for their various advantages and benefits. They have increased efficiency and do not need too much maintenance. They are very good at saving costs. One of the biggest advantages of lithium batteries is the fact that they have improved safety features. The following are the safety features of the lithium-ion battery:
1. They do not need watering
Lithium batteries are designed in a way that they do not need any watering. The batteries are sealed shut, which means that they need little or no maintenance. However, on the other hand, lead-acid batteries are filled with electrolyte–water and sulfuric acid. This is because the batteries generate electricity by way of a chemical reaction of the sulfuric acid and the lead plates. They need to be filled regularly with the use of water. Either this is done, or there will be a total degradation of the chemical process. This means that the battery will fail so early in its life. Watering the battery has various safety hazards and workers will have to be careful to minimize possible risks.
2. They do not undergo excess heating
The greatest safety hazard of using a lead-acid battery is the fact that it may overcharge. If this is the case, this may cause the electrolyte to become overheated. This usually leads to the formation of oxygen and hydrogen gas, which leads to an increase in pressure inside the lead-acid battery. The battery has been created to withstand possible internal pressure buildup. This may happen with the excess accumulation of gas, this may cause the water to overflow out of the battery, with this occurrence, the entire battery or the charge plates could be destroyed. There could even be an explosion of the battery. This may cause serious damage to your production facility. Furthermore, the explosion can lead to serious consequences for the employees in the production facility.
3. They do not need a separate charging station
Lead-acid batteries usually need proper monitoring and a different charging solution. This is needed for the risks to be minimized during charging. If the battery that is being charged overheats in the process of charging, this can lead to the formation of dangerous gases. This can enhance the risks of an explosion that can cause injuries to workers. Therefore for lead-acid batteries, there is usually the need for a different space for adequate ventilation. This space can also be used in the case of detecting gas levels. This means that crews can be notified beforehand if there are unsafe levels of oxygen and hydrogen gases.
If you do not charge lead-acid batteries in rooms that are safe with proper precautions observed, workers may not be able to stop any possible accident. Workers may fail to spot the odourless emission of gases that may lead to a fire. This may become very hazardous if not properly put out on time.
A separate room or station is needed to properly charge the lead-acid batteries. However, this is not usually the case with lithium-ion batteries. This separate room is not needed because the lithium-ion batteries unlike the lead-acid batteries do not discharge potentially dangerous gases as they are charging. This means that crews can connect the electric lithium battery directly to the charger. This way, you get to keep on charging the battery while it is still inside the forklift machine.
4. Minimal forklift injuries
For the batteries to be charged, you need to remove the lead-acid batteries. And this has to be done many times during the day. This is especially difficult for people that own numerous forklifts or if they operate different work shifts.
Lead-acid as opposed to lithium batteries usually work for about 6 hours after which they will have to be charged. They will also require about 8 hours to become fully charged and more time to cool down after charging. This means that the lead-acid battery will not be able to power a forklift machine for the full work shift.
This usually leads to frequent battery swapping. This is where the hazard lies. Battery swapping with lead-acid batteries is hazardous. These batteries usually weigh about 4,000 pounds and they are best handled with the use of material handling equipment. When such equipment is used to handle the battery, there is a possibility of the battery falling on a worker or an operator. OSHA has said that handling lead-acid batteries this way can lead to fatal accidents among workers.
5. Lithium batteries do not use acid
One of the major causes of severe accidents in the factory is the use of exposed acid. Lead-acid batteries rely on acid to work properly. This dependence on acid makes them very dangerous. Workers are at the mercy of these corrosive acids used by the battery. The electrolyte or sulphuric acid may get into the eyes of the workers and the operators. Apart from the eyes, the acid can also damage other parts of the human body. Acid from lead-acid batteries are known to cause severe skin burns and injuries to many workers. Operators of forklift machines are not spared from this accident also.
For more about lithium-ion forklift battery safety — lithium-ion forklift battery vs lead-acid battery,you can pay a visit to JB Battery China at https://www.forkliftbatterymanufacturer.com/lithium-ion-vs-lead-acid/ for more info.