A guide to charging battery operated equipment.

The following is a guide only; all chargers are different therefore please read the manufacturers handbook for your specific charger.

Safety Precautions

  • Totally familiarise yourself with battery handling, charging and maintenance procedures & precautions established by your company.
  • Read and observe “DANGER”, “CAUTION”, and “WARNING” labels on batteries and chargers in the battery room. Improper safety practices can lead to serious personal injury and property damage.
  • Keep open flames away from batteries. Hydrogen gas given off during charging could ignite, causing an explosion.
  • Use a flashlight to check cells. Do not smoke, create open flames, or cause sparks.
  • Wear goggles or face shield, rubber apron, gloves and boots when cleaning, handling, checking, filling and charging.
  • If eyes or skin are splashed with electrolyte, rinse immediately with large volumes of clean water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention from a doctor.
  • When performing maintenance on a forklift or vehicle, be sure the battery is disconnected to prevent accidental shock, short circuit or arcing.
  • Never lay tools or other conductive metal objects on top of a battery. Sparking, shorts and possible explosion can result.
  • Neutralise acid and electrolyte spills with a solution of one pound baking soda in one gallon of water.
  • Make sure charging plugs and receptacles are properly locked. A loose connection may cause sparking and possible explosion.
  • Do not wear metallic jewellery while handling batteries. It may cause burns or shocks.

Removal and Replacement

1. Be sure mechanical lifting equipment rating is sufficient to handle the load. Cranes and hoists should have non-conductive beams. Caution: Never use chain or cable slings to lift a battery.

2. Park forklift and set brake before attempting to remove or replace battery.

3. On batteries without connector covers, place a rubber mat across the top to prevent accidental shorts during handling. Remove the mat after changing battery.

Placing a Battery On Charge

1. Check battery charger’s electric mains isolator is switched to ‘O’ or ‘off’.

2. Check charger is the correct type for the battery to be charged.

3. Check charger’s battery and electric mains cables are not damaged.

4. Open lift truck’s battery cover.

5. Connect charger’s battery cable to truck’s battery.

6. Switch charger’s on/off switch to ‘on’ where applicable.

7. Switch charger’s electric mains isolator to ‘I’ or ‘on’.

8. Wait a while for the charger to ‘trip’ in.

Taking a Battery Off Charge

1. Switch charger’s electric mains isolator to ‘O’ or ‘off’.

2. Switch battery charger’s on/off switch to ‘O’ or ‘off’ where applicable.

3. Disconnect Charger’s battery cable, coil it up and put in a safe place.

4. Connect battery to lift truck.

5. Close battery cover.


1. Do not add water until after a charge has been completed.

2. Use only distilled or de-ionised water.

3. Add water only; never add acid.

4. Do not overfill cells. High level of fully charged battery should never be higher than ¼ inch below the bottom of the vent well.

Charging Area Requirements

  1. Signs: battery charging area, explosive gases, corrosive substance, First aid for electric shock, COSSH.
  2. Fire extinguisher: dry powder or CO2.
  3. Eye Wash.
  4. Spill Kit.
  5. PPE: goggles or face shield, acid resistant apron and gloves.


If you have any queries or require any further information, please email us or call 01432 277180.



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