Forklifts are essential equipment for many different facilities, but like any piece of heavy machinery, owners and operators must enforce careful precautions to ensure the safety of those using and working around them.
While there are a variety of forklift types available on the market today, electric-powered forklifts are favored for their quiet operation and their low impact on the environment, especially when compared to internal combustion forklifts.
Electric forklifts provide a number of benefits, but they do carry some safety concerns regarding the large, lead-acid battery that powers them. As such, OSHA recommends that any facility using an electric forklift installs a dedicated forklift battery charging station.
OSHA recommends forklift battery charging stations meet a few key requirements to ensure that those operating or working near electric forklifts are kept safe. Those recommendations for a safe forklift battery charging station are as follows:
First and foremost, OSHA recommends that any facility using electric forklifts create a designated area for forklift battery charging. This space should be sectioned off from the rest of the facility, and it is recommended that this area be monitored to ensure that only trained and authorized personnel have access to this forklift battery charging station.
Electric forklift batteries can give off highly explosive hydrogen fumes towards the end of the battery charging process. For this reason, OSHA recommends that the forklift battery charging station include adequate fire protection — in the form of proper ventilation, construction, and fire-rated building materials — to keep employees safe in the event of an accident.
Electric forklift batteries present a burn hazard. Because they contain sulfuric acid, which is highly corrosive, OSHA recommends that your forklift battery charging station include an eyewash station, to protect employees in the event of a splash. To accommodate an eyewash station, it’s a good idea to look for upgraded FRP and HDPE wall surfaces that can stand up to the water.
Electric forklift batteries are heavy. In most cases, they are too heavy for one employee to safely lift alone, which is why OSHA recommends a lifting beam or equivalent to help move the battery in and out of the charging port. Before you build a forklift battery charging station in your facility, make sure you’ve consulted with a contractor or building expert who can either build around a lifting beam or who can make accommodations to ensure you can safely install the lifting mechanism after construction.
A forklift battery charging station is essential to the safe and productive operation of your warehouse or facility. But, how do you go about installing a forklift battery charging station that meets all of OSHA’s requirements, in a way that’s both efficient and cost-effective? Modular construction utilizing panelized wall systems provides an ideal solution.
Modular panelized wall systems are uniquely positioned to deliver the charging station that meets every OSHA requirement, are uniquely designed to easily fit within your existing facility, and structurally sound to keep your employees safe for years to come.
Beyond offering a range of high-quality construction options and customization features, modular wall system construction has the ability to deliver on every safety recommendation that OSHA has outlined.
Modular panelized wall construction is a long-term investment option for any warehouse or facility with a need for a forklift battery charging room. Providing not only the strength and safety features you need, modular construction is also durable and flexible for the future. And, with additional tax benefits — modular panelized wall systems are often considered tangible personal property — your forklift battery charging room will depreciate in just 7 years, rather than the 39 required for traditional construction.
This tax benefit, among others associated with the quality and flexibility of modular wall system construction, ensures you’re getting the best, safest forklift battery charging station, at a smart, affordable investment cost.
If you’re looking to implement a forklift battery charging station, but aren’t sure where to start, Starrco’s high-quality modular components offer all the features your facility needs to meet OSHA’s requirements for a proper forklift battery charging station. For more information or for help getting your station’s design started, our experts are here to help! Give our team a call at 800-325-4259 or contact us online today.