Battery Assembly » Intercell Welding and Post Burning

Manual post burning station
Manual post burning station

After workers place all the groups in the battery case, the straps are fused together using a torch or high electrical power source. This process can also be done Through The Partition (TTP), using a case that has been punched. The connections are then welded. The units are tested and the posts are attached. The major source of lead exposure in the intercell welding process comes from lead fumes.

Figure 1. Ventilated torch

Potential Sources of Exposure

  • Lead fumes are emitted during the manual burn welding process. This is a minimal source of exposure for Through The Partition (TTP) welding.

  • Exposure to lead may occur from manual handling of burning jigs or contaminated dams.

  • High lead exposure may occur when repairing batteries.

  • Contaminated air from other areas may be exhausted into the work station as a result of exhausting too much air from other workstations.

  • Lead particles may become airborne if the pressure of the torch flame is too high.

Possible Engineering and Work Practice Controls

  • Use local exhaust ventilation around the torch or provide a portable welder exhaust hood on a monorail or other configuration connected to a suitable exhaust collection system (Figure 1).
  • Use a plastic or glass see-through guard between the breathing zone and the conveyer carrying the battery.

  • Use canopy or slot hoods if lead pots are used.

  • Use a down draft or slot hood ventilated workstation when performing battery assembly (Figure 1).

  • Install a laminar flow (supplied-air) island above workstation.

  • Keep torch hose lengths to a minimum to prevent employee from working outside the ventilated area.

  • Keep burning temperatures low by substituting air-propane or air-MAP gas for oxy-acetylene flames.

  • Provide adequate PPE, a change of clothes, and shower rooms (see OSHA Lead Requirements for PPE, Housekeeping, and Hygiene Facilities).

Possible Engineering and Work Practice Controls

  • Ensure that local exhaust ventilation is working properly.

  • Perform battery repair at a ventilated workstation.

  • Vacuum oxide spills immediately with a central vacuum system or HEPA vacuum.

  • Avoid pointing torch flame into battery containers whenever possible.