Injury Surveillance and Safety Considerations for Large-Format Lead-Acid Batteries Used in Mining Applications

Miguel Angel Reyes, Thomas Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Large lead-acid batteries are predominantly used throughout the mining industry to power haulage, utility, and personnel-carrier vehicles. Without proper operation and maintenance, the use of these batteries can introduce mechanical and electrical hazards, particularly in the confined, and potentially dangerous, environment of an underground coal mine. A review of the Mine Safety and Health Administration accident/illness/injury database reveals that a significant number of injuries occur during the maintenance and repair of lead-acid batteries. These injuries include burns from electrical arcing and acid exposure, as well as strained muscles and crushed hands. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health investigated the design and implementation of these batteries to identify safety interventions that can mitigate these inherent hazards. This paper promotes practical design modifications, such as reducing the size and weight of battery assembly lids in conjunction with lift assists, as well as using five-pole cable connectors to improve safety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7308042
Pages (from-to)1925-1930
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Coal mining
  • lead-acid battery safety
  • mining industry
  • occupational health
  • occupational safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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