There are many risks involved working within an automotive industry, and with health insurance and workers’ compensation costs skyrocketing in Massachusetts and across the country, preventing risk of injury is a prime concern of employers in the automotive industry.
Today we discuss one safety concern in particular: Where there are cars, there are car batteries—and car batteries, like all chemically generated power sources, come with specific risks that should be considered carefully. So, to help you and your employees, here are three safety tips for working with automotive batteries safely, and avoiding unnecessary and easily preventable workers’ compensation claims.
1. Handle with care
This should go without saying, but batteries contain hazardous materials and should be handled with care by every employee. Be sure to store them well away from other machinery and teach staff to never use sharp tools in close proximity. Remember, puncturing a battery could result in injury or death.
2. Know each battery type
Make sure you and your employees read the manufacturer’s instructions before handling or using a battery. Different battery types each come with their own risks. Truck lift batteries can be especially hazardous. Make sure you take the time to read the manual for any new battery type before handling—this will help avoid getting a dangerous shock.
3. Store at the proper temperature
Batteries are filled with temperature-sensitive ingredients, and storing them at an improper temperature can not only decrease the effectiveness and life span of the battery, but can also increase the risk of malfunction, chemical leakage, or even a fire or explosion. Be sure all batteries are stored within the temperature range specified by the manufacturer, and away from direct sunlight.
As an employer, you should post battery and electrical safety materials and OSHA workplace information in plain view of your employees—and you should always model appropriate safety procedures when working around automotive batteries. Safe protocols and preventive behavior will not only reduce your liability and propensity for workers’ compensation claims and costs, but it will prevent potential workplace hazards, keep your workforce safe, and help your business stay ahead without incurring unexpected disability costs.