Lead: Battery Manufacturing eTool
Plate Processing » Handling and Transport
Handling and transporting of materials is an essential part of the battery manufacturing process. Materials are primarily transported through the use of mobile equipment (forklifts). Proper operator training, prudent work practices, and good housekeeping are key in minimizing lead emissions during mobile equipment operation. Conversely, careless equipment operation coupled with inadequate housekeeping can lead to serious lead exposure throughout the plant.
Potential Sources of Exposure
- Lead dust from feed materials can become airborne during handling and transport (Figure 1).
- Lead dust that has settled on surfaces and equipment may become airborne due to vehicle traffic and cross-drafts.
Possible Engineering and Work Practice Controls
- Reduce vehicle speeds to minimize stirring up settled dust.
- Clean the inside and outside of mobile equipment frequently.
- Periodically clean floor surfaces to reduce accumulation of lead dust.
- Pave all roadways to facilitate housekeeping.
- If it is determined that lead dust is coming from mobile equipment or is from adjacent areas, evaluate material handling patterns and practices and area isolation.
- Provide dedicated fork lifts for clean and dirty areas to avoid cross contamination.
- Raise and lower loads gently to prevent jarring.
- Vacuum any skid, pallet, tub, or other conveyance that holds or has held plates before moving.
- Vehicle accidents may occur during the material transport, which may release contaminated material throughout the plant.
- Ensure that each vehicle is equipped with hazard lights and audible horns.
- Ensure that loading and receiving docks are clearly marked and lighted.
- Write schedules for all drivers and operators, to minimize "surprises."