Lithium battery fires are fast becoming a defining feature of modern life around the world.
A vast majority of lithium batteries are never involved in emergency incidents
like the ones that seem to make headlines every week. In fact, these batteries can save lives when they power medical devices, and they make life a little bit easier for billions of us every day.
Still, the risks these batteries pose cannot and should not be ignored. As energy storage technology improves, so will the ferocity with which these batteries ignite or “explode.” For safety professionals, this means that training on safe lithium battery handling procedures
may be a smart addition to any workplace safety program—and may even be required under OSHA’s General Duty Clause.
Lithium battery incidents on the nightly news may follow the old programming mantra of “if it bleeds, it leads,” but they also provide valuable insight into battery safety in general.
23 Motorbikes Burn in Spain
A lithium battery fire is thought to the be the cause of a massive fire in Spain that destroyed 23 electronic bikes before a big race. Fortunately, no one was injured by the fire, which was caused by a prototype charging station used to charge the batteries powering the bikes.
HP Expands Notebook Computer Recall
On March 12, electronics manufacturer HP expanded its voluntary safety recall of lithium-ion batteries that power its commercial notebook computers and mobile workstations. In January 2018, HP recalled about 50,000 of these batteries. After receiving eight new reports of lithium batteries overheating, melting, or charring this year, the recall has been expanded to cover 78,500 more.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains a list of affected HP products on its recall page.
Vape Shop Sued After Man Badly Burned by Battery
A man in Kansas is suing a local “vape shop” after the spare battery he purchased there allegedly exploded in his pocket on the trip home. According to AP News
, the man put the battery in his pocket with his car keys and coins. When a loose lithium battery touches metal objects, it can cause a short circuit, which in turn can overheat the battery.
“It was like a flame thrower. It just ignited and was a big ball of fire,” the man’s attorney said, AP reports. Preventing contact with metal objects is one of the tips we offer in our Lithium Battery Safety Tips video below.
Shipping Lithium Batteries—Online or Live in North Jersey!
Full hazmat training to ship lithium batteries by ground, air, or vessel is now available as both an online course and an exclusive classroom workshop at Lion’s New Jersey Training Center
. Meet US DOT, IATA DGR
, and IMDG Code
DG training r
equirements and build the knowledge and skills to keep your shipments in compliance.
Train online anytime and benefit from exercises and interactive learning tools that help you retain what you learn. Build in-depth expertise on how to class, package, mark, label, loading, unload, and document lithium battery ground, air, and vessel shipments. Plus, get free lithium battery safety training at Lion.com when you enroll now