forklift service personnel need to know the parts of an industrial battery in
order to properly and safely handle it at the end of every shift.
The parts of a industrial battery include:
Figure 2. This is a cutaway of an industrial battery showing the rugged plates, extra heavy grids and impact-resistant case.
- Cell: The interior of the battery is divided into cells, with each cell
containing a set of alternately spaced positive and negative plates. A negative plate is contained at each end of the cell to
maintain proper electrical balance. The battery's voltage is determined by the number of cells.
- Separator: Separators are located between the plates for insulation.
- Battery tray: The cells are in a steel container called the battery tray.
- Electrolyte: The cell elements are fully submerged in a sulfuric acid solution called the
- Element: A positive and negative terminal is visible at the top of each
cell. This assembly is known as the element. It is placed in the jar, the
acid-proof, high-impact resistant container. A high-impact cover seals to the jar.
- Positive terminal. All the positive plates are connected to the positive terminal.
- Negative terminal. All the negative plates are connected to the negative terminal.
Requirements and Recommended Practices:
- Electrical shock.
For more information, see
Battery Charging and Changing Procedures.
- Never accidentally create an electrical current by connecting the positive
to the negative terminal through any part of your body or through any other
- Never wear metal jewelry which will conduct electricity when working around batteries.
- Never put metal articles or tools on top of the batteries or place conductive articles across the battery posts.
- Always shut the charger off when connecting or disconnecting the battery. An arc or spark could cause an explosion.
- Use only non-sparking, non-conductive tools.
- Keep the vent plugs in place at all times except when adding water to the cells or taking hydrometer readings.
- Check the battery cables and cable connectors regularly. If the insulation is worn or connector contacts are pitted, the
truck should be removed from service and repairs made immediately.
- Follow proper lockout/tagout procedures [29
CFR 1910.147] when working on a battery in a forklift.