Club cars can present hazards during charging. Follow these steps to ensure safe maintenance of electric carts and utility vehicles.
Departmental electric golf carts, club cars and utility vehicles can be incredibly useful to travel and transport items across campus. However, that convenience requires a certain level of awareness and vigilance when it comes to charging the large battery banks used to power them.
Charging can produce hazardous and flammable gases that can build up in enclosed areas. Lead-acid batteries may require periodic addition of water to the corrosive electrolyte solution. Follow these steps to ensure safe maintenance of electric carts and utility vehicles:
- Only charge in well-ventilated areas. Hazardous gases can buildup during charging, such as hydrogen, oxygen and carbon monoxide
- No smoking near charging stations
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions for charging recommendations
- Don safety glasses or goggles, chemical resistant gloves and a chemical resistant apron.
- Wear long pants and close-toed shoes
- Unplug batteries before adding distilled or de-ionized water
- Do not overfill electrolyte
- Use non-metallic filling devices
- Clean up any spills immediately
- Average car batteries weigh about 39 lbs. Use proper material handling equipment if batteries are to be removed
- Never lift or carry batteries by their terminals
- Lead acid batteries can be recycled. Contact EHS if there are plans to dispose of batteries.