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FAQ - What are the Health & Safety Guidelines for Flooded Wet Lead Acid?


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Health & Safety Datasheet for the handling of Flooded Lead (WET) Batteries

The handling and proper use of lead acid batteries is not hazardous providing proper precautions are observed.
We recommend the following precautions:-

Sulphuric Acid

Batteries contain sulphuric acid which may be given off as droplets or spray during recharging. Sulphuric Acid is corrosive and poisonous which can burn/irritate skin and eyes, it could also burn clothing.

Precautions: Always handle batteries with care. Always store upright. Never over-fill with acid. Always remove vent plugs and charge in a well ventilated area. Use eye protection and protective clothing if there is any risk of acid splashing. Always keep away from children.

Emergency Action

Skin contact: Immediately wash the affected area with copious amounts of clean water. Remove any contaminated clothing.
Eye contact: Immediately flush for at least 10 minutes with plenty of clean water.
Swallowing: Immediately drink large quantities of water of milk.
In all cases seek urgent medical attention
Spillages
Small spillages can be swilled away with large quantities of water.

Electrical Hazard

Precautions: Before using metallic tools on a battery remove metallic objects such as watches and rings from hands and wrists. Before filling or removing the battery make sure all equipment connected to it is switched off to avoid accidental sparking. When undoing the terminal connections, disconnect negative first and reconnect last. When refitting take care tools do not cause an accidental short circuit.

Emergency Action

Burns: cool area with cold water, apply a sterile dressing.
Electric shock: Approach casualty with care. Switch off or otherwise break current. If this is not possible detach casualty from contact by means of insulating material i.e. Wood, rubber or plastic hose pipe, folded newspaper. Do not touch with bare hands.
In each case seek urgent medical attention.

Explosive Gases

The gases given off during charging are explosive.

Precautions: always charge in a well ventilated environment. No smoking or naked flames. Avoid sources of ignition close to batteries. Always switch off current before making or breaking electrical connection. Avoid sparks caused by accidental short circuits.

Emergency action

Seek any necessary medical attention remembering that acid may have been sprayed.

Weight: Batteries can be heavy and awkward to handle, take care and use the correct lifting techniques.
Damaged Batteries: Battery plates consist of lead and its compound; these can only be exposed if the battery is broken open. In the unlikely event of this happening any spillage should be well soaked, swept up and placed in a suitable acid resistant container prior to disposal. Normal personal hygiene precautions should be observed.
Disposal: Batteries, battery cases, battery acid and lead compounds must be disposed of in accordance with the Environment Protection Act 1990. For further information consult the Environmental department of your Local Authority.
Fire: Since batteries contain combustible materials the Local Fire Authority should be consulted where a quantity of batteries are stored together.



Transportation by Road

Acid filled batteries are subjected to the Road Traffic Regulations under Carriage of Dangerous Substances and Packages


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