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<<  June 2016  >>





If you run a fleet of electric vehicles using rechargeable batteries, then you need to be familiar with OSHA standard 1926.441, which cover battery handling and charging. You not only need the right policies and procedures, but also high-quality, dedicated battery handling equipment like the products we offer hear at Multi-Shifter.

Battery Storage

OSHA requires storage units to be "substantial" because batteries are heavy. After all they are basically big blocks of lead, so have a lot more weight than other objects of the same size. Standard shelving, even heavy-duty shelving, will collapse under the weight of more than a few batteries. This not only creates a falling object hazard, but opens the possibility that falling batteries will crack open and spray corrosive chemicals on your workers. Multi-Shifter equipment is sturdy enough to take the weight.

Speaking of corrosive chemicals, OSHA also requires battery storage units to be "resistant to the electrolyte". All Multi-Shifter battery handling equipment bears acid-resistant coating designed to protect it against normal leaks any battery might have. This prevents acids from slowly eroding away the strength of the unit over years of use, resulting in catastrophic structural failure.

Recharge Areas

You may know that charging batteries give off explosive hydrogen gas during the charging process. In an enclosed room this gas can build up to dangerous levels. When exposed to the spark source of a charging battery, a disastrous explosion may occur. OSHA regulations, and plain common sense, require that charging areas be well-ventilated so the hydrogen gas cannot build up.

Another threat fleet managers might not consider is the possibility of a collision. An incoming forklift could veer off and smash into storage or charging equipment causing batteries to fall or crack open. OSHA requires that battery handling equipment be protected from such collisions. Our products are sturdy, but you shouldn't expect them to stand up to a collision with a truck. Put equipment behind sunk metal posts or a low concrete barrier. This allows workers easy access while preventing a vehicle crash from damaging the equipment.

Battery Transport

We'd like to add one more piece of advice for fleet management outside of OSHA regulations, and that is the use of Multi-Shifter battery lifters. Rather than having trucks drive into the recharge area, creating traffic jams and the risk of collision, send a battery lifter out into the work area. The lifter carries a load of charged cells that are swapped for drained cells in the field. The lifter then travels back to the charging area. This is both more efficient and safer than having the trucks drive in.

Safety should be job one on any construction site. A safe work environment requires the right policies, but also the right battery handling equipment. Use Multi-Shifter equipment to protect your workers, and improve the efficiency of your fleet.


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