Why Baking Soda Isn’t Enough To Safely Neutralize Forklift Battery Spills

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By Jennifer Taylor February 8, 2016

Chemistry lab protocols traditionally recommend sodium carbonate (soda ash) or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to neutralize acid spills. Even today, most working laboratories rely on a mixture of baking soda and water to neutralize the occasional small acid spill.

But the warehouse environment is very different from the typical laboratory, and baking soda isn’t enough to safely clean a forklift battery spill. Here’s why:

    The volume of acid in an industrial battery is much greater than the typical lab spill.

    Forklift batteries contain as much as 432 pounds of sulfuric acid. Even a fraction of this load creates an immediate risk to safety and equipment, and must be dealt with as quickly as possible.

    Baking soda will eventually neutralize large spills, but meanwhile the acid will spread across a larger area. Warehousing operations are much better off with a product that simultaneously neutralizes and absorbs spills, like BHS AcidSorb sorbent from Solus Group.Baking Soda

    Forklift battery spills can occur anywhere in the warehouse.

    Wherever your electric forklifts travel, the possibility of an electrolyte spill follows. When a spill occurs in an out-of-the-way corner of your facility, it can be tough to respond quickly enough to contain the flow. Only dedicated products like Universal Chemical Socks and Pads, available in BHS Safety Spill Kits from Solus Group, immediately arrest the spread of this caustic liquid.

    Most warehouse employees haven’t been trained to test pH levels.

    While trained laboratory technicians can test the pH of a spill to verify full neutralization, most warehouse employees don’t receive that kind of training.

    AcidSorb products remove this hurdle. They clearly change color to indicate a safe pH level, allowing anyone to confidently recognize fully neutralized electrolyte.

    In most warehouses, staff downtime bites directly into profits.

    When employees have to clean up a battery spill, they’re drawn away from their daily revenue-generating tasks. Containing a spill as quickly as possible will reduce downtime and keep your warehouse running on all cylinders — and a fully stocked spill kit will allow you to clean the spill much faster than a box of baking soda alone.

Solus Group offers a wide range of safety spill kits, including a wall-mounted version that’s easy to mount anywhere in the warehouse. These kits collect everything you need to quickly and safely contain battery spills, including personal protective equipment.

While baking soda may do just fine in the laboratory, you’ll need something more for your warehouse. AcidSorb products from Solus Group are safer and more reliable than conventional baking soda. They also help to reduce downtime, allowing your operation to stay productive, even when faced with an accident.

References:

29 CFR 1910.178, Powered Industrial Trucks. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, United States Department of Labor, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.

29 CFR 1910.151, Medical Services and First Aid. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, United States Department of Labor, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.

Hurum, Deanna. “Laboratory Safety.” Washington. Washington University, n.d. PDF. 13 Jan. 2016.

“Spill Response Guide: Corrosive Acids.” University of Iowa Environmental Health & Safety, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.

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