Up to One-Fifth of Battery Handlers/Sorters May Be Untrained, Putting Workers at Risk

Survey respondents had little to no training in sorting battery
types

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–One-fifth of battery handlers and sorters surveyed did not receive or
provide battery sorting training for new employees, placing their
ability to properly sort and manage spent batteries in question and
potentially putting lead battery recyclers’ employees at risk. Battery
Council International
(BCI) released a lithium battery training
toolkit to aid lead battery sorters and handlers in identifying lithium
batteries. This toolkit of electronic resources is available to the
public free-of-charge and includes three primary pieces:

  • Lithium battery training video
  • Lithium battery training poster
  • Lithium battery training flyer

The lead battery recycling process was uniquely designed for lead
batteries; it is one of the core drivers of lead batteries’ over 99
percent recycling rate. However, when lithium batteries enter the lead
battery recycling stream, they pose a serious threat to lead battery
recyclers’ employees and equipment. This is because lithium batteries
can explode when they are crushed during the lead battery recycling
process.

The lithium battery training toolkit project began in January 2018 when
BCI surveyed 123 battery sorters and handlers and found that 21% of
respondents did not provide or receive battery sorting training for new
employees. The organization also learned that 5% of respondents did not
know the difference between a lead and a lithium battery. BCI’s
Marketing Committee created a Lithium Training Subcommittee comprised of
19 industry professionals; the goal is to decrease and ultimately
eliminate lithium batteries from entering the lead battery recycling
stream.

The toolkit is an easily accessible set of materials that allows people
to learn about the differences between lead and lithium batteries,” says
Bruce Murray, chair of BCI’s Lithium Training Subcommittee and vice
president of sales for RSR Corporation. “The lead battery sorters and
handlers are the first line of defense, and if we can ensure they have
the tools they need for success, then I believe it will help safeguard
other members of the industry.”

The video is designed to be incorporated into companies’ onboarding
programs and learning management systems (LMS). There are also
complementary electronic flyer and poster files available on BCI’s
website. The graphics reinforce the three main differences between lead
and lithium batteries – weight, terminals and labels. Users are
encouraged to take the files to their local printer and showcase them in
their facilities for employee reference. BCI members have worked
diligently to produce materials that promote safety throughout the
industry, and use of these visual aids in conjunction with the video
provide a thoughtful, holistic approach to employee training.

Monday, February 18 is National Battery Day, and BCI is encouraging
industry members to share the video link on their company’s social media
page using #LithiumTraining. “We want to spread the word about this
important resource with as many people as possible. We’re very proud of
what we’ve achieved over the past year,” say Kevin Moran, BCI’s
executive vice president.

To access the lithium battery training toolkit and learn more about BCI,
visit www.batterycouncil.org/lithiumsafety.

About Battery Council International

Battery Council International is the North American trade association
representing the lead based battery manufacturing, supply, recycling and
distribution companies – a total of approximately 149 companies. For
more information on the association, visit www.batterycouncil.org.

Contacts

Claire Sereiko
+1.312.673.4984
csereiko@batterycouncil.org

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