One-fifth of battery handlers and sorters did not receive or provide battery sorting training for new employees, placing their ability to manage spent batteries in question. This potentially puts lead battery recyclers’ employees at risk.
Battery Council International says the lead battery recycling process was uniquely designed for lead batteries. Lead batteries have almost a 100% 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 if they are crushed during the lead battery recycling process.
BCI has 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 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 video is designed to be incorporated into companies’ learning management systems. 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 use them in their facilities for employee reference.