Handling of batteries in warehouse and workshop applications is common but there are risks of back injuries due to the heavy nature of batteries. Estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017–18 National Health estimate about 4.0 million Australians (16% of the population) have back problems. It is estimated that 70–90% of people will suffer from lower back pain in some form at some point in their lives. Pain is the main symptom in most back problems.
Storage cages with positive locking base designs allowing safe storage in pallet racking are now available with rollers. This design means that batteries can be effortlessly rolled from the front of the pallet to the rear and vice versa when needing to pick a battery for use. Integrating this concept with a mobile scissor lift trolley is also of great assistance in this safe battery handling process. It’s also worth considering supplying these cages to your battery provider so they can send future shipments to your site already pre loaded into these bunded battery handling cages. This also helps prevent damage to batteries in shipping to your site.
For long term and bulk quantity battery storage applications outdoor class 8 corrosive dangerous goods storage units can also be considered to ensure that there is less DG storage inside your warehouse as there is possibly restrictions in place for bulk DG storage within your warehouse or workshop facility. The batteries can be stored either on timber or steel pallets inside these stores or even inside a storage cage ready to be moved into your warehouse facility to top up stock once internal stock reaches a minimum stock holding.
In addition to the handling challenges associated with batteries there is also compliance requirements to be considered. Bunded battery cages are a way to assist in battery storage compliance. In addition to bunding whilst the battery is being stored there is also end of life to be considered and the recycling phase. It is important that the batteries and transported safely and securely to recycling plant to ensure no spills and environmental damage occurs.
There are specialist manufacturers who also provide battery lifting jibs to assist in the workshop and maintenance areas for safe and seamless battery changeout. Removing risk across the whole operation from logistics to storage to installation of batteries is all important to reducing the chance of your operation adding to the statistics of back or other workplace related injuries.
When assessing the risk of battery storage and handling in your workplace ensure you conduct an end to end assessment taking into consideration all the potential risks before implementing a final solution. You may need to consider including a DG consultant but most likely a quality industrial storage systems supplier will need to be engaged to recommend the best solution for your battery handling and storage requirements.