Preventing chemical risks
- If a large number of batteries are handled, dedicate an area to this activity, equipped with collective protective equipment (suction backsplash) to evacuate off-gases.
- Design storage areas or rooms with impermeable floors or waterproof containers.
- Train employees on the specific chemical risks of lithium batteries.
Preventing fire and explosion risks
- Prevent thermal runaway (see above).
- Ventilate charging and storage areas and mark them clearly.
- Store batteries in dedicated, fire-resistant areas or cabinets. For damaged batteries, see the box below.
- Clearly display what to do in an emergency.
- Train employees on the specific fire and explosion risks of lithium batteries.
- Transport batteries in accordance with the ADR (packaging, labelling) and in such a way as to avoid shocks that could damage them during loading, transport and unloading.
Preventing electrical risks
- Use batteries with connections that ensure protection against direct contact (minimum protection class IP2X or IPXXB).
- Only disconnect batteries when they are not under load.
- Have protections (insulating caps) installed on bare live parts.
- Prevent batteries from touching each other during storage.
- Train operators in the prevention of electrical risks and, if necessary, give them the necessary authorisation.
Preventing thermal runaway
- Take care not to knock, drop or puncture the batteries when handling them.
- Follow the storage instructions given by the manufacturer (temperature and humidity ranges, charge rate, etc.).
- Use suitable chargers.
- Do not abuse the batteries (e.g. do not charge them too fast).
Damaged batteries: beware of danger!
A battery, new or used, is damaged if it appears deformed, swollen, punctured or if it has electrolyte leakage. Damage is not always visible and is usually the result of a shock, drop or thermal attack.
Damaged batteries present thermal runaway risks, short circuit risks, chemical risks due to electrolyte leakage, fire risks due to exposure of lithium to air humidity and explosion risks in case of combustion runaway.
To prevent these risks, here are some rules of prevention:
- Keep damaged batteries away from other batteries, away from humidity and temperature variations.
- Store damaged batteries in non-metallic, non-combustible, airtight containers with a pressure relief valve and absorbent material.
- Handle damaged batteries only in ventilated areas and with special precautions (insulated gripping tools, PPE, etc.).
- Monitor damaged batteries (increase in temperature, appearance of swelling, etc.).
It is essential to provide a safety shower, an eye wash station and a first aid station.
Find all the INRS recommendations on the safe storage of lithium-ion batteries
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