Although automotive batteries come in a variety of sizes, they operate using similar principles. They are the source of a vehicle’s electrical energy, and they work by converting electrochemical power from a lead-acid solution stored within. The sulfuric acid solution, although diluted using water, is still actively corrosive enough to cause damage to alloy steel, metal, pets and humans.
To ensure safety in the use and handling of batteries, Car Battery Australia recommends these tips:
Wear protective clothing and eyewear at all times
The sulfuric acid solution batteries have can cause chemical burns. Never attempt to handle car batteries with bare hands. Always use sufficient protective clothing and accessories such as gloves and safety glasses when checking or changing batteries.
Check your local council waste disposal regulations and restrictions
Find out about local restrictions and guidelines about chemical waste disposal. If spills occur, do not dispose of battery residue by dumping it in the soil or water since this will cause contamination. Spills can also be neutralised using alkali-based chemicals and powders such as soda ash.
What Results From Not Following Car Battery Health And Safety Guidelines?
In case of contact with skin and/or hair, contaminated clothing should be removed immediately, and the affected area flushed using running water for about 15 minutes. If contact with the eyes occurs, flush continuously using running water. Serious irreparable damage can be afflicted to your eyes if this procedure is not adhered to instantly.
Who to contact in case of an emergency
Call the “Centre for Poisons Control” and Information for guidance, or make contact with a local hospital emergency service. It’s also important to see a doctor for further check-up and treatment if necessary. If the battery acid has been swallowed, do not encourage vomiting — drinking a glass of water is preferable. In all instances, it’s critical to see a doctor immediately.
Battery explosions are probable if guidelines are not met
Because batteries produce flammable gases during charging and vehicle operation, they can potentially explode. Care must be taken when using conductive materials near batteries since these could produce a spark. It’s also important to avoid exposing the car battery to sparks, flames and lit cigarettes. If disconnecting a battery, remember to turn off the ignition or battery charger off first.
It still astounds us, how many do-it-yourself battery installers, have no idea about proper car battery health and safety procedures. Handling batteries has many risks, not only to oneself, but also your vehicle. Don’t cut corners, book a professional roadside technician at all times.
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