A forklift is an essential piece of equipment in most warehouses and industrial businesses. Changing the battery in a forklift poses some unique challenges since they contain extremely hazardous materials and are very heavy, ranging from 60 pounds to as much as a ton or more. Here are some steps to ensure that you change the forklift battery safely and properly.
Things You'll Need
- Safety goggles
- Rubber gloves
Preliminary Safety Steps
Remove any gold, silver or metal jewelry, especially watches, chains or bracelets. This is important to avoid the possibility of electric shock.
Wear proper protective attire. This includes OSHA approved safety goggles or eyewear, long sleeves, steel toed boots, splash-proof apron and rubber gloves to protect your hands from coming in contact with any chemicals.
Engage the parking brake fully before changing the battery in the forklift. You don't want the forklift to shift or move while changing the battery.
Create abundant ventilation in the work area. Open doors, windows and turn on fans to ensure proper air flow.
Properly Change the Forklift Battery
Read the manufacturer's instructions on how to change the battery.
Lift the battery up and out using either a second forklift, battery carrier or overhead hoist. The battery will be heavy so you will not be able to lift it without mechanical assistance.
Inspect the battery thoroughly for cracks and other damage that could be hazardous. Remember to also inspect the terminals and connectors.
Clean, replace or repair any parts as necessary.
Place the new battery into the forklift. Double check to make sure it is positioned properly and secure the battery tightly and safely.
Tips & Warnings
- Never attempt to handle a battery with your bare hands or lift it yourself.
- Do not touch the battery with any metal tools to avoid electric shock.
- Seek immediate medical attention if any chemicals from the battery contact your skin or eyes.