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Designing a safe forklift battery charging room

Filed under: Batteries

The use of battery electric forklifts continues to rise as company’s become more conscious of their corporate social responsibilities, aiming to have as little negative environmental impact as possible from their operations.

As such battery electric forklifts are seen as a more environmentally friendly alternative to combustion engine forklifts.

Due to environmental and operational factors such as impact of water and lighter lifting capacities, battery electric forklifts are most often used in warehouse applications.

Whether running an individual unit or a fleet of forklifts you will need to have a designated battery charging station to charge batteries when necessary.

This blog post will look at battery charging room design, setting out some key design considerations that will ensure a safe battery charging room.

Proper ventilation

Whilst recharging and for a short period after the charge is complete forklift batteries give off hydrogen gas, which is why proper ventilation is vital to ensure the safety of workers in the immediate vicinity of battery charging equipment.

As hydrogen gas is both colourless and odourless it is hard to detect and is very dangerous. If a hydrogen in air mixture of 4% or greater is present, there is a substantially increased risk of an explosion. To ensure this risk is mitigated it is recommended that a hydrogen concentration of under 2% is kept at all times.

Ventilation can be provided via natural means such as openings at the top of buildings or can be mechanically assisted through the installation of exhaust fans.

battery charging room ventilation pipe

battery room open door ventilation

Acid resistant flooring

Due to the corrosive nature of battery acid, the flooring of a charging room must be resistant to acid damage, which will also lead to an easier clean-up in the event of a spill. Without an acid resistant floor structural damage may occur in the event of a spill.

battery charging room acid resistant floor

Ensure correct safety equipment is readily available

It is essential that the correct safety equipment is readily accessible should an emergency occur. A fire extinguisher that is suitable for use on electrical fires, along with an eye wash and emergency shower to deal with accidental acid splash are essential to employee safety. 

battery charging room safety equipment

Correct charging point installation

When designing a battery charging room it is essential that charging points are installed correctly. Chargers should be wall mounted and fitted with emergency stop breakers to stop the flow of electricity in an emergency.

Wall mounted chargers should be positioned so that when connected any wiring does not exceed 1 metre in length as this is a tripping hazard.

When charging multiple units at once there should also be a minimum of 1 metre gap the whole way round each vehicle for easy access when necessary.

Contact us for your battery charging needs

Adaptalift Hyster stocks a large range of battery electric materials handling units. With our knowledge and design expertise we are also able to provide full turnkey charging station solutions for your fleet.

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Your blog is good and impressive.

July 26, 2016 - 6:21 pm

Hey guys,
Great article, with the power supply, e.g 240V or 415V does it have to be a certain distance away from the batteries?                       

Benjamin Wells
February 10, 2017 - 5:00 pm

      request quotation for crane hoist assembly or jib hoist assembly.             

josephine Sanson
April 05, 2017 - 4:13 pm

        Hi,  would you tell me how much is safe distance between shelves and batteries charger installed in the warehouse/storage area ?

January 30, 2018 - 6:26 pm

Very good information!
I would like to ask you what are the requirements for natural ventilation in case the charging area is a small part of a very large hall.  Are openings in walls required?

Thank you in advance          

April 22, 2018 - 10:23 am

Is there a specific temperature requirement for charging rooms necessary for efficient battery charging operations?                       

Adam E Green
August 08, 2018 - 12:25 am

we are setting up a cold store in kenya and with four electrical forklifts and planning to set up a charging station.
Would it be advisable to make the charging station inside the cold store or outside                  

Dominic Gasperaj
August 27, 2018 - 3:06 am


We would like to setting up a battery charging station at large dry warehouse with space of 103K sqft (estimate of 10 charging points) for my forklift and reach truck.

Appreciate if you could share some basic requirement i,e HSE and , layout

Mohd Shahrom
October 31, 2018 - 6:23 pm

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