2008-10-14 Battery Explodes

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Engelwood Forest Operation
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Western Forest Products
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

The Driller was attempting to jumpstart a rubber tire rock drill’s batteries with an excavator. The excavator has a 24 volt system consisting of two 12 volt batteries mounted side by side and connected in series. The rock drill also has a 24 volt system connected in series, however the two 12 volt batteries are mounted in separate locations on the machine.

The Driller connected the jumper cables to the excavator’s 24 volt system first and then connected the other end to one of the 12 volt batteries on the drill, assuming he had connected 24 volt to 24 volt. The 2 different batteries were connected for five minutes when he noticed the 12 volt drill battery starting to gas badly because of the excessive voltage being applied to it from the 24 volt system. The Driller removed one battery cable from the drill battery, which caused a spark and it exploded. Parts of the battery casing flew over 30 feet from the drill. The Driller was splashed in the face and eyes with battery acid and was treated by a co-worker and examined by a First Aid Attendant. He was then transported to Medical Aid.

12 volt battery that exploded on the rock drill because of excessive voltage being applied to it from the 24 volt system of the excavator.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

1. Ensure workers that may jumpstart vehicles and equipment have reviewed and understand the Safe Work Procedures involved and the potential severity of the job.

2. A qualified heavy duty mechanic should initially walk employees through jumpstarting procedures to explain and demonstrate the correct way to jumpstart their vehicle or machine.

3. Workers jumpstarting equipment must always wear applicable PPE, which includes safety glasses.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Western Forest Products - Englewood Division

Vince Devlin – EHS Advisor – 250-956-5318 

File attachments
2008-10-14 Battery Explodes.pdf
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