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Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 1
FACILITY SAFETY GUIDELINES
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Safety Guide for Lithium Ion Battery_Final_12-29-2015

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Safety Guide for Lithium Ion Battery_Final_12-29-2015

  1. 1. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 1 FACILITY SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF LITHIUM ION BATTERY POWER BANKS Improve the Life of the everyday worker Reduce Risks to the environment, local communities and people Enhance the industry on a global scale
  2. 2. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 1 1 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com INTRODUCTION The purpose of this guideline is to identify safety hazards associated with the manufacture of lithium ion battery power banks. The guideline contains recommendations for the elimination and control of hazards associated with the production of lithium ion power banks and also identifies general work practices that, if implemented, can reduce occupational health and safety risks and protect workers. This guideline must not be substituted for local regulations or government requirements with respect to the manufacturing of lithium ion batteries or general production safety, but can be used as a tool to supplement local requirements and implement additional safety controls to protect employees and organizations. Recommendations are divided into: Basic Requirements: Considered by Sumerra to be basic requirements for the protection of worker health and safety and are likely either required by local law or international standards of practice. Best Practices: Above and beyond the basic requirements and although not likely to be legally required, represent a higher level of protection of worker health & safety and are recommended to be applied. The storage handling and use of lithium ion battery cells presents specific risks that can result in a fire or explosion if precautions are not taken. Fire or explosions can be the result of: • A short-circuit; • over charge/discharge; • excessive heat; or • physical damage (crushing or punctures) The following guideline provides a summary of specific work tasks/processes and their associated hazards however, due to the nature of facility operations and environmental conditions, some hazards may be present throughout the entire facility or parts thereof. Each facility should conduct a formal risk assessment of its operations to identify and evaluate site-specific risks to ensure appropriate safety controls and emergency response procedures are in place to protect the health and safety of all employees. Each facility should also have an appropriate training program for all employees that provides information on the specific hazards associated with lithium ion battery cells, the facility’s safety controls and emergency response procedures.
  3. 3. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 2 2 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com RECEIVING & STORAGE SUMMARY OF HAZARDS The most common hazards associated with the receiving and storage of battery cells are physical damage and inadvertent short circuiting. Cells may be damaged from dropping, over or improper stacking, exposure to high temperatures and accidental contact with conductive surfaces (i.e. metal storage racks, employee jewelry) or other battery cells. Receiving and storage areas may not be regularly occupied and have the potential to contain large amounts of combustible materials including wood pallets and packing material (paper, cardboard) that can contribute to the spread of fire in emergency situations. BASIC REQUIREMENTS The following are the most basic requirements that should be followed by manufacturers with regard to receiving and storage:  Prior to use in the production process, store cells in their original containers or similar packaging. Once cells are needed for production, it is recommended to use non-combustible containers (such as plastic bins, etc.) with dividers for each battery cell for transporting or storing cells. Cells Stored Outside of Original Container  Store cells in a dry, well ventilated area  Do not store cells with other combustible or flammable materials  Isolate new cells from damaged or defective cells  Properly stack boxes of battery cells to prevent crushing of cells in lower boxes  Require removal of any jewelry or conductive materials from workers that handle cells Single station smoke alarms, often required in residential occupancies, are not meant for protection of property or protecting unoccupied areas (such as storage areas) as the smoke alarm will likely only be heard by those in the immediate area. For example, if no one is in the room, it is unlikely to be heard, especially if the area is closed off or people are away on breaks. Smoke detectors that are interconnected to the alarm system are recommended in these areas. Storage Area with Single Station Smoke Alarm NOTE ON SMOKE ALARMS Cells Properly Stored in Original Containers
  4. 4. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 3 3 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com  Move cells in trays with insulated padding or using insulated pushcarts to reduce the chance of dropping or short circuit  Cover all conductive or metal surfaces such as storage racking with insulating material to prevent accidental short circuits BEST PRACTICES Beyond the above requirements it is recommended that manufacturers implement the following best practices:  Only purchase grade A battery cells from suppliers that have appropriate testing programs and test records to demonstrate compliance with recommended safety testing. An example would be UN/DOT 38.3 Transportation Testing Required for Lithium Battery Safety During Shipping.  Work with battery cell suppliers and customers to implement purchasing and shipment procedures that minimize the amount of battery cells stored onsite.  Where possible, store cells in a temperature controlled environment at 25°C or below PRODUCTION & ASSEMBLY SUMMARY OF HAZARDS During the production and assembly process batteries may be subject to physical damage, inadvertent short circuiting or over charge/discharge. Cells may be damaged from dropping, being forced into improperly sized casings, exposure to high temperatures or ignition sources such as soldering guns. Connecting printed circuit boards (PCB) and batteries, battery testing such as function tests (i.e. impedance, output voltage), aging tests, short-circuit and over discharge protection tests may cause inadvertent short circuits or overheating. BASIC REQUIREMENTS The following are the most basic requirements that should be followed by manufacturers with regard to production and assembly:  Cover all conductive (metal) work surfaces with insulating material  Ensure work areas are generally free of sharp objects that could puncture or damage cells Metal rack covered with insulating materialsCells transferred in cart with insulated padding
  5. 5. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 4 4 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com  Require removal of any jewelry or conductive material for workers handling cells.  Require workers on assembly lines to be connected to a grounding system/wire to dissipate any built up electric charges. The grounding wire should be continuous in length and be appropriately connected to ground. Wired Grounding System  Move cells in trays (or their original containers) using insulated pushcarts to reduce the chance of dropping or short circuit  Ensure all inspection tools are non-conductive, or covered with a non-conductive material  When tinning (soldering) leads, only tin one at a time to prevent short circuiting  If connection leads or tabs need to be cut, cut only one at a time to avoid shorting the circuit  Do not force cells into housings as this can damage the cells protective casing and/or deform the cell  Continuously inspect cells for signs of physical damage during the production/assembly process Tongs without Insulation Wireless anti-static wrist strap systems are currently available on the market and may be considered by some manufactures. These are widely regarded as ineffective and testing supports that they do not work as advertised. Wireless grounding systems should not be used as they do not have the capability to effectively dissipate built up electrical charges. NOTE ON WIRELESS GROUNDING SYSTEMS Insulated Tongs
  6. 6. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 5 5 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com BEST PRACTICES Beyond the above requirements it is recommended that manufacturers implement the following best practices: • Written work instructions and specific training should be provided for each production/assembly step. Training and instructions should include procedures for identifying and responding to emergency situations. BATTERY TESTING & INSPECTION SUMMARY OF HAZARDS During the production process, batteries are subjected to a variety of tests to ensure proper operation and safeguards are in place. During this the tests the batteries are vulnerable to overcharging, forced discharges, simulated short circuits that can result in battery failure leading to fire, venting or rupture (explosion) BASIC REQUIREMENTS The following are the most basic requirements that should be followed by manufacturers with regard to battery testing and inspection:  When loading cells and/or packs during short duration electrical tests (e.g. voltage checks, impedance testing), use caution not to exceed the current rating  When loading cells during long duration performance tests (e.g. burn-in, aging, etc.), use caution not to exceed the maximum continuous current rating of the cells  Continuously monitor testing areas for any signs of cell failure while testing is in progress  Use testing racks constructed of non-combustible material and cover/coat with non-conductive insulating material.  Use individual battery slots whenever possible to separate individual cells and avoid accidental contact Appropriate Racking System Constructed of Non-Combustible Materials Combustible Material (wood) Used for Aging Test Rack Combustible Material (cardboard) Used for Padding on Test Rack
  7. 7. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 6 6 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com BEST PRACTICES Beyond the above requirements it is recommended that manufacturers implement the following practices:  Consider using an infrared thermometer for safety checks or for quality control. Infrared thermometers can be used for periodic checking of individual cells for hot spots or overheating.  Consider using a thermographic cameras (aka Infrared camera, thermal imaging camera) to monitor cells for potential overheating. Cameras can be handheld for periodic checking or permanently installed for continuous monitoring of racking or storage areas. Thermal Image Smoke detectors should not be installed on ends of rack systems as they are unlikely to quickly sense smoke from areas not immediately adjacent (Smoke, heat and other combustion products with rise to the ceiling and spread horizontally). Smoke Detector Improperly Installed on Rack In general, smoke detectors: • Should be located on the ceiling not less than 100 mm from a sidewall to the near edge; or, • if on a sidewall, between 100 mm and 300 mm down from the ceiling to the top of the detector. Smoke detectors should be installed in compliance with local codes or NFPA standards. NOTE OF PLACEMENT OF SMOKE DETECTORS Example Thermographic ImageHandheld thermographic camera Handheld infrared thermometers used for periodic checking of surface temperature
  8. 8. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 7 7 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE SUMMARY OF HAZARDS In the event of a fire, venting, explosion or other emergency there is a significant risk of damage and injury to personnel and facility equipment. Appropriate emergency response procedures must be in place. As each facility environment (design and layout) will vary, manufactures must establish site/area-specific emergency response procedures to handle all potential emergency situations. It is important that only trained and equipped personnel respond to emergency situations. The main priority in any emergency situation should be the personal safety of all employees. BASIC REQUIREMENTS The following are the most basic requirements that should be followed by manufacturers with regard to emergency preparedness and response: • All means of egress must be kept clear at all times and all exits must remain unlocked when the facility is occupied. • Conduct regular detailed inspection/testing of the emergency (fire) alarm system • Establish procedures for handling hot cells/short circuits. Potential hot cells should never be handled directly by hand, insulated tongs or other means should be used to pick up/move the cell. Personal protective equipment including impact resistance safety glasses and face shield, hand, arm and body protection must also be worn when handling and monitoring suspected hot cells. Face Shield Heat/Flame Resistant Apron Heat/Flame Resistant Gloves Insulated Tongs Closed Toed Shoes NOTE ON HANDLING HOT CELLS Recommended Procedure When a Short Circuit or Hot Cell is Detected or Suspected: 1. If possible, cut the cell leads/connections (one at a time) 2. People should be evacuated from the immediate area 3. If safe to do so, isolate the cell by moving it to a secure area (free of combustible materials) and placed in a non-flammable non-conductive container that contains a neutralizing material (i.e. sand) 4. Monitor the temperature of the cell should be from a safe distance using a non-contact means of temperature monitoring (i.e. Infrared thermometer or imager) If the cell cools, continue to monitor until it reaches ambient temperature 5. Preparations for firefighting or forced water cooling should be on standby alert 6. If the cell continues heating, it should be isolated as best as possible and be allowed to burn-out. Ensure no people or combustible materials are nearby that could be impacted by the burning cell. 7. Once cooled, the cell should be disposed of in accordance with local waste management regulations (lithium ion batteries should not be disposed of with regular non-hazardous wastes). Connecting terminals should be protected to prevent any further short circuiting
  9. 9. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 8 8 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com  In areas where water flooding may be used to suppress fires establish procedures to first de-energize (shut down) all electrical systems in the affected area. BEST PRACTICES Beyond the above requirements it is recommended that manufacturers implement the following practices:  Even when not required by local fire or building code, equip storage areas, test areas, and other high risk areas with a smoke/heat detection system. The detection system should be interconnected with the alarm system (detection results in general evacuation signal) and/or monitored in a manned central location (e.g. security station) FIRE SAFETY EQUIPMENT & RESPONSE SUMMARY OF HAZARDS In the event of a fire or explosion, the primary concern is personal safety and an evacuation should be performed immediately and all staff should be accounted for. The secondary concern in a fire event should be the cooling of the cell(s) and surrounding material to prevent the spread of fire. ABC-type dry chemical extinguishers are typically preferred for most types of small fires, and some studies have shown that the dry chemical extinguishers may work in some cases of small fires involving lithium ion batteries. However, this may not fully extinguish burning lithium ion batteries, does not cool the cells, and may insulate the batteries preventing additional cooling and therefore these type of extinguishers will not provide the highest level of protection in case of a fire in these areas. Flooding the area with a large amount of water will be most effective in cooling the cells. BASIC REQUIREMENTS The following are the most basic requirements that should be followed by manufacturers with regard to fire safety equipment and response:  All areas of the building must have the appropriate fire rated construction as required by local codes/laws. Additionally, all openings (doors and windows) must be protected with fire rated assemblies (aka fire doors, fire windows) as required.  Place portable fire extinguishers in conspicuous locations along the regular path or escape paths in all work areas. The maximum travel distance to a portable fire extinguisher should not exceed 75 feet (23 meters) Each facility should have clearly communicated training and procedures that describe when to and when not to fight a fire. For example, if the fire involves a limited number of batteries (less than a few cells) and is in a contained environment with no significant risk of spreading to other batteries or materials, fighting the fire may be safe and effective; however if the fire has already spread or is spreading to other areas /battery cells or poses a risk to human life, a full evacuation should be performed and the local fire authority should be notified. It is recommended that procedures for fire response include instructions to: 1. Raise the alarm 2. Clear the area of people 3. Turn off any electrical power systems. 4. Use a fire extinguisher (Halon or Water) and sand to smother the fire. 5. If necessary, cool the cells by flooding the area with water. Each role and responsibility should be clear and practiced through regular drills. NOTE ON FIREFIGHTING
  10. 10. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 9 9 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com  In addition ABC-type dry chemical extinguishers, make Halon or Halon replacement (e.g. Halotron®, HFC-227ea) fire extinguishers available in areas where lithium ion battery cells are stored or handled (e.g. production, testing and storage areas)  Ensure extra reserves of water (i.e. standpipe and hose reel installations, secured water buckets) are available to aid in suppressing fires and the spread of heat in testing and storage areas  Post detailed instructions on fire response in all lithium ion battery storage and testing areas.  Maintain all firefighting equipment and installations in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications, local law requirements and internationally recognized standards. BEST PRACTICES Beyond the above requirements it is recommended that manufacturers implement the following practices:  Even when not required by local fire or building code, equip storage areas, test areas, and other high risk areas with automated sprinkler/fire suppression systems  Even when not required by local fire or building code, equip storage areas, test areas, and other high risk areas openings (doors and windows) with fire rated assemblies (aka fire doors, fire windows).  Even when not required by local fire or building code, equip storage areas, test areas, and other high risk areas with emergency smoke/heat ventilation systems to vent hazardous smoke and vapors in the event of a fire or cell venting/rupture ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Publication Date: October 14, 2015 The primary authors of the report are: Lead Author: Joe Dakin, Sumerra Reviewer and Editor: Michael S. Andrew, MS, CIH, CSP, LEED AP, Sumerra About Sumerra Sumerra was created to meet the needs of Brands, Factories, Licensees, and other Associations who are striving to improve working conditions and reduce risks throughout the world. Sumerra’s foundation is the belief that every worker in a factory should be treated fairly while working in safe conditions. In addition, the surrounding environment and communities should be kept clean and healthy. We strongly believe that this can, and should be accomplished, while increasing profitability and production. It is Sumerra’s goal to increase the management systems and programs that promote the fair treatment of workers, worker health & safety and environmental stewardship through education, accountability and collaboration. Visit www.sumerra.com to learn more about Sumerra’s services and experience. © Copyright 2015 HFC-227ea Fire Extinguishers
  11. 11. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 10 10 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com APPENDIX A: GLOSSARY OF TERMS Halon Fire Extinguisher: This is a fire extinguisher that contains Halon. Halon is a liquefied, compressed gas that stops the spread of fire by chemically disrupting combustion. Halon is identified by Halon 1211 (a liquid streaming agent) and Halon 1301 (a gaseous flooding agent). Halon Replacement Fire Extinguisher: This is a fire extinguisher that contains a chemical with similar extinguishing characteristics as Halon and is used as a replacement for Halon. Halon is detrimental to the environment and its use is restricted or banned in many areas, and therefore, several replacements have been established in the market. Common halon alternatives include: • HCFC-123 (Trade Names: FE-232) • [HCFC Blend] B (Trade Names: Halotron 1) • HFC-227ea (Trade Names: FM-200, MH-227) • HFC-236fa (Trade Names: FE-36) Smoke Alarm: A stand-alone device with a built-in audible sounder, a control component such as a power supply (typically battery or electric with battery backup), and a sensor Smoke Detector: A detector typically has only a built-in sensor and is interconnected as part of a system. A detector requires an external sounding audible device (such as a horn/strobe unit) and a control component such as a power source, typically found at the fire alarm panel. Thermographic Camera: A thermographic camera (also called an infrared camera or thermal imaging camera) is a device that forms an image using infrared radiation. This can be used to identify areas of high surface temperature which may be indicative of an overheating issue.
  12. 12. Facility Safety Guidelines for the Manufacture of Lithium Ion Battery Power Banks Page 11 11 Global Experience. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. © Sumerra. www.sumerra.com APPENDIX B: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES [1] NFPA 203, Standard for the Fire Protection of storage, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). [2] NFPA 13, Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). [3] NFPA 80, Standard for Fire Doors and other Openings Protectives, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). [4] NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and signaling Code, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) . [5] NFPA 101, Life Safety Code - Chapter 7: Means of Egress, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). [6] NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). [7] NFPA 14, Standard for Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). [8] NFPA 204, Standard for Smoke and Heat Venting, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). [9] B. Ditch and J. de Vries, "Flammability Characterization of Lithium-ion Batteries in Bulk Storage," FM Global, Norwood, MA, 2013. [10] R. T. Long Jr., J. A. Sutula and M. J. Kahn, "Li-ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment Phase IIB: Flammability Characterization of Li-ion Batteries for Storage Protection," Exponent, Inc. (Prepared for Fire Protection Research Foundation), Bowie, MD, 2013. [11] C. Mikolajczak, M. Kahn, K. White and R. T. Long, "Lithium-Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment," Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Inc. (Prepared for Fire Protection Research Foundation), Menlo Park, CA, 2011.

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