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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Miner's Tip

Battery Safety

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All Mines
Category: Maintenance

Photo of battery Battery powered equipment is commonplace in modern mining operations. Battery power often has many advantages over other types of power for mining equipment. In recent years, several hundred accidents have occurred where miners were blinded or seriously burned by batteries. Many of these accidents were related to charging, installing, removing, or maintaining batteries. MSHA believes these types of accidents are preventable. In addition, miners can be protected from needless serious injury if they wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as chemical resistant rubber gloves, aprons and face shields.

Photo of battery Batteries contain acid and can explode and/or catch on fire. In the event of a battery explosion or fire, acid and toxic fumes are released. When acid contacts the skin, extremely painful burns and scarring result. When breathed, the lungs are burnt from the toxic chemicals present in fumes. Blindness will likely result if this acid contacts the eye. These physical injuries are irreversible. Therefore, when working with batteries, it is important to prevent exposure by wearing PPE.

When batteries are being charged, explosive gasses are produced. Heat and sparks can ignite these gasses causing a fire or explosion. All smoking, open flames and spark producing items such as grinders, welders or other electrical equipment, should be kept well clear of batteries.

Photo of battery terminal Surface leakage is a condition caused when dust mixes with spilled electrolyte on the battery, creating a low resistance path. This low resistance path can "short" the battery. A shorted battery creates heat that can potentially cause a fire. Batteries should be kept relatively clean and free of excess dust to insure against shorting.

Accidents and injuries involving batteries are avoidable. DO your part!!

Battery Manufacturers

Raeco Battery Corporation 800-957-3226
East Penn Manufacturing Company, Incorporated/Deka 610-682-6361
Joy Technologies 814-432-1364
Gould Industrial Battery 800-336-8651
GNB Industry Power 724-228-4160
Douglas Battery Manufacturing Company 800-Douglas
C&D Technologies 800-543-8630
Crown Battery Manufacturing Co. 419-334-7181
Mescher Manufacturing Company 540-530-7856
Stamler Corporation 423-989-5050
Electroplate Batteries Incorporated 606-377-2032
Balco 724- 459-6814
Johnson Industries Incorporated 606-639-2029
Saylor Mine Supply 606-573-6097
EnerSys Incorporated 800-844-8999


Reissued: 04/30/2002
Tag # AP2002-M024

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