Safe battery handling
Large dc voltages are more dangerous than similar ac voltages
Only trained competent people should handle large batteries. (large is anything difficult to pick up with one hand). A single battery is designed to provide huge reserves of power and a spanner across the terminals will usually spit metal and then heat up the spanner!
Special attention must be paid when working on long `strings' of batteries which provide several opportunities for DANGER
if precautions are ignored. A string of batteries becomes more and more dangerous as the number of cells is increased. Voltages greater than 40 should be considered lethal.
Battery String Handling Do's + Don'ts
- Wear rings bracelets metal watch straps when working near batteries
- Use or leave metal un-insulated tools where they could short across battery terminals
- Work on high voltage dc strings unless another competent person is present in the room
- Touch two points in a battery string at the same time
- Expose batteries to naked flames or excessive heat
- Work in an unventilated battery environment
- Force batteries into a limited space because they need to expand during use
- place tools or metal objects on batteries
- Cover un-insulated battery terminals and termination points with an insulating material while working on a unit
- Make sure that any necklaces or chains are kept inside clothing and there is no danger of them dangling inside the unit or near battery terminals
- Leave one link out of the string until the connections to the unit is made. Using a meter set to DC check for any voltage across the gap before fitting the last link. If the meter shows a voltage reading DO NOT MAKE THE CONNECTION. Check all other connections or ask for help
- Connect the earth side of the battery last
- Be aware of what you are working on. If in doubt ASK
- Where practical use insulated gloves and tools
- Ensure installation is in accordance with an approved drawing
NEVER SHORT CIRCUIT A BATTERY THEY ARE ALWAYS LIVE AND CAN EXPLODE.
Unlike AC high dc voltages will clamp you to the source and cause massive muscle contraction. At best you will end up with burns and broken bones at worst your heart will stop.