The Handling & proper use of Lead Acid Batteries is not hazardous provided appropriate precautions are taken and proper facilities are available in the event of any mishap. A nutshell guide is appended below to help indicate potential hazards that may arise and an outline of precautions that should be taken up to minimize such hazards.If an accident should happen, each section below will advise the correct accident and emergency procedures
Batteries contain sulphuric acid, which may leak and may be given off as gasses and/or a fine mist during charging.
Battery acid is a poisonous and corrosive liquid which will cause burns and irritation to the skin and eyes and will also burn through clothing.
Skin Contact: Immediately drench the affected area with clean water and remove any contaminated clothing. If soreness or irritation persists, seek medical advice.
Eye Contact: Spped of action is vital. immediately wash out the eyes with clean water for at least 10 minutes and seek prompt medical attention.
Ingestion: Do NOT induce vomiting, but make the patient drink as much water or milk as possible and seek immediate medical attention.
Spillages: For small spillages, swill away thoroughly with plenty of water.
Disposal: Suitable acid resistant, labeled containers should be used
Electrical energy can be supplied from batteries and charging
Burns may occur from the heating effect on tools and conductive objects in contact with live battery terminals or conductors. In addition, sparks and molten metal may be ejected and combustible materials ignited. It is possible to receive a severe electric shock from charging equipment and from a number of batteries connected in series.
Burns: Cool the area with cold water, apply a sterile dressing and seek medical attention.
Electric Shock: Immediate action is essential in cases of severe electric shock as the nerves controlling breathing and heart action may be affected. Do not delay treatment by calling for a doctor: this should be done quickly if help is available of when the casualty recovers:
Hydrogen and oxygen are emitted during charging and can be emitted at other times, particularly if a battery is moved or shaken. Therefore, always consider that gas is present in the immediate vicinity or at the top of the battery.
An explosive atmosphere is created if the concentration of hydrogen in air exceeds 4%.
Seek any necessary medical attention and remember that sulphuric acid may have been ejected
Weight: Batteries are generally heavy, awkward units to handle and correct lifting techniques must therefore be used.
Damaged Batteries: Battery plates consist of lead and its compounds but can only be exposed if a battery is broken open. In such an event, any spillage should be well damped, swept up and placed in a suitable acid resistant, labelled container prior to disposal. Normal personal hygiene precautions should be observed.
Disposal: Batteries, battery cases, battery acid and lead and lead compounds, must not be burned but must be disposed of in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Law of Land.
For further information consult your Local Environmental Department
Fire: Since batteries contain combustible materials, the Local Fire Authority should be consulted where a quantity of batteries are stored together.
Acid filled batteries are subjected to the Road Traffic Regulations under ‘Carriage of Dangerous Substances and Packages’