The Battery Acid Spill Kit: 4 Essential Components
Electric lift trucks are powered by lead-acid batteries, which must be routinely charged and watered. Battery spills and boil-overs can present hazards to workers, floors, and equipment — but if your facility has appropriate neutralizers and clean-up supplies, you can mitigate the risks.
Of course, battery acid spill kits aren’t optional: OSHA 1910.132 requires employers to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers who might encounter chemical hazards, and OSHA 1910.178(g) sets additional requirements for charging areas.
But well-designed kits have benefits apart from compliance. Addressing spills appropriately keeps your facility clean, safe, and efficient, and adequate supplies are the single most important component of your spill response strategy.
Battery Acid Spill Response Supplies: What Makes a Great Spill Kit?
Spill kits aren’t especially complicated, but you’ll need to evaluate your options carefully to make sure that your facility is prepared for any emergency.
Below, we’ll discuss the essential components of a battery acid spill kit and how they work together to keep your operation safe. To outfit your facility, view our full selection of spill response kits and supplies.
1. Battery Acid Neutralizers
Forklift batteries contain sulfuric acid, which needs to be adequately neutralized prior to cleanup. In another article, we discussed ways to neutralize battery acid safely, and we noted the benefits of pre-mixed granular sorbents.
While you can neutralize sulfuric acid with a dilution of baking soda or soda ash, that’s not always practical: Forklift batteries may contain as much as 432 pounds of acid, and diluting baking soda takes time. Dedicated neutralizers can be administered quickly, preserving traffic lanes and protecting floors and equipment.
Additionally, products like AcidSorb use a buffered compound that reduces toxic vapor emissions by reducing the heat generated during neutralization. AcidSorb also changes color to indicate neutralization — workers will know exactly when they can begin cleanup. Learn more about AcidSorb acid neutralizer.
2.Battery Spill Socks, Booms, and Pillows
To keep acid from spreading, your team will need to establish a perimeter around the spill. Socks, pads, and pillows absorb spilled acid while providing additional neutralization.
Socks, booms, and pillows are not a replacement for a granular or liquid neutralizer — these absorbent products work with the neutralizers to keep the spill under control. Chemical pillows can also be used to protect battery drip pans and floors during the charging process.
3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Before addressing spills, employees must don appropriate PPE. OSHA requires employers to perform a hazard assessment, select appropriate PPE for each hazard, and communicate selection decisions to each affected employee.
Battery acid spill kits typically contain the following equipment:
- Chemical goggles
- Disposable aprons
- Latex overboots
- Nitrile gloves
WYK Sorbents spill kits include PPE for one or two workers, depending on the size of the kit. Depending on your operation’s needs, you may consider purchasing additional separate PPE kits (especially if several workers will be assigned to spill response).
4. Clean-Up Supplies
Even after you’ve neutralized the acid, you’ll want to use dedicated clean-up supplies to maximize safety and efficiency. It’s also a good idea to review local laws and regulations for the disposal of neutralized battery acid: You may need to label the waste to ensure compliance.
Many of Solus Group’s kits include brooms, dustpans, disposal bags, and disposal labels, which provide workers with everything they need to handle the final steps of clean-up.
OSHA-Compliant Battery Acid Spill Kits Keep Workers Safe
Purchasing a spill kit can help you meet your obligations under OSHA. More importantly, the right supplies will enable your workers to address spills quickly and safely.
A few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure workers know how to use spill response supplies and properly don their PPE. Read more tips for creating a PPE training program.
- Use adequate signage to identify your spill response supplies.
- Keep your spill kits in a well-lit, temperature-controlled area.
- Have a process for replenishing your supplies when a spill occurs.
Need additional assistance? Solus Group’s team can help you find the right battery acid spill kit for your operation. Call 314-696-0200 or click here to submit a request online.