Three recent aircraft fires have raised concerns for regulators and workers alike on the safety of lithium batteries. These incidents underscore the prevalence of lithium battery malfunctions as aviation regulators continue debating how to prevent further harm to customers, airline employees, and cargo.
In a recent letter of interpretation, PHMSA answers the question: "Does the 49 CFR exception for materials of trade apply to lithium batteries?"
Two weeks after a boat fire that killed 34 people and sank the vessel, questions are circulating about whether a phone charging station below deck may have been the source of the blaze.
As energy storage technology improves, so will the ferocity with which lithium batteries can potentially 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 events are actually very unlikely. When calculated out, there are usually only around two or three battery-related events per one million batteries. However, when an event does occur, it is extremely dangerous.
Add “exploding lithium batteries” to the list of occupational hazards that law enforcement officers face every day.
To record or not to record? That is the question when an employee gets sick or injured at work. In most cases, injuries that occur at work are work-related and must be recorded to maintain compliance with OSHA regulation. That said, OSHA provides nine specific exceptions to this general rule.