Battery Assembly » Formation

Batteries being charged in the wet formation process
Batteries being charged in the wet formation process

In the dry charge (plate) formation process, the first step, called tacking consists of plates being placed in a tank and lead bars being welded, or "tacked" on. Battery plates are then formed (or charged) in tanks. The major source of lead exposure in the formation process comes from lead fumes. Wet (case) formation does not include any associated lead exposures during formation because batteries are assembled and filled with acid prior to charging.

Potential Sources of Exposure

  • Lead fumes are emitted from using a torch to weld lead.

  • High exposure to lead may occur from moving plates in and out of acid tanks, drying ovens, and racks.

  • Exposure to acid splash or mist may occur when placing the plates in the acid tanks.

  • Lead dust may become airborne during the cleaning of panel lugs using brushes.

Figure 1. Formation area

Possible Engineering Controls

Possible Work Practice Controls

  • Ensure ventilation is working properly.

  • Wet down plates before they are put into the system.

  • Use fork lifts to move groups in and out of drying ovens.

  • Use instruments to move plates in and out of tanks.

  • Vacuum racks and ovens before moving plates.

  • Keep floors around ovens, racks, and storage areas clean.

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