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2021


Battery Safety for Field Service Technicians: Basics of Developing Safe and Effective Procedures

Rick Tressler



Battery service technicians, be they in-house or in the employ of a commercial service operation, are required to follow established safety rules. Safety is of paramount importance when servicing a stationary battery, largely due to the fact the battery is always energized. There is no option. Most routine maintenance tasks are carried out with a battery connected to its charging source, operating on float charge. Such tasks typically include the use of portable, handheld test equipment and tools to measure and record operating parameters like cell voltage, specific gravity, inter-cell connection resistance, internal ohmic values, etc. To accomplish such tasks, a technician must be in relative proximity to the battery. Use of appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) is essential to reduce the likelihood of an accident. Proper tools are required. Training is required based on the tasks a technician is expected to undertake. To further reduce the possibility of a mishap, proper safety techniques are required. The objective of this paper is to raise awareness of those involved in developing training and procedures and, of course for those performing the maintenance. Several common maintenance tasks will be presented with specific discussion relating to process and technique with emphasis on enhancing safety and effectiveness to make the point. While the paper does not cover all possible tasks and scenarios, it is hoped the ones covered will get readers thinking about how maintenance is being performed where they work and what can be done to improve safety, thus, a reduction in accidents.


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