In the blog.

Weekly Toolbox Talk: Battery Powered Outerwear Safety


Understanding the Risks

Today, we're here to discuss an important aspect of our safety at work and in our daily lives – battery-powered outerwear. With the advent of technology, battery-powered heated jackets, vests, and other outerwear have become popular, providing warmth and comfort in cold weather. However, it's crucial to be aware of the potential risks associated with these devices.

The Dangers:

  1. Fire Hazard: In recent news, there have been reported incidents of battery-powered outerwear malfunctioning and causing fires. The lithium-ion batteries commonly used in these garments can overheat, leading to serious safety concerns.
  2. Electrical Malfunctions: Improperly designed or damaged electrical components can result in malfunctions, leading to shocks or short circuits.
  3. Battery Explosions: Although rare, there have been cases of lithium-ion batteries exploding due to manufacturing defects or misuse. The consequences of such incidents can be severe, causing injuries and property damage.

Preventive Measures:

  1. Choose Quality Products: When purchasing battery-powered outerwear, choose reputable brands known for their quality and safety standards. Read reviews and consider recommendations from reliable sources.
  2. Regular Inspections: Inspect your heated clothing regularly for any visible signs of damage, wear, or exposed wiring. Any defects should be addressed immediately, and the garment should be taken out of use until repaired or replaced.
  3. Follow Manufacturer Instructions: Adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines for charging, usage, and maintenance. Overcharging batteries or using the garment in a manner not specified by the manufacturer can increase the risk of accidents.
  4. Avoid Counterfeit Products: Be cautious of counterfeit or imitation products that may not adhere to safety standards. Genuine products undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet safety requirements.

Safe Practices at Work and Beyond

Now that we know the potential risks and preventive measures let's discuss some safe practices to adopt at work and in our personal lives.

  1. Charge Responsibly: Charge your battery-powered outerwear only when necessary and avoid leaving it unattended while charging. Use the provided charging accessories and avoid using third-party chargers.
  2. Store Safely: When not used, store your heated clothing in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. This helps prevent the batteries from overheating.
  3. Emergency Procedures: Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures in case of a malfunction. Know how to quickly remove the garment and disconnect the power source if needed.
  4. Training and Awareness: Employers should provide training on the safe use of battery- powered outerwear in the workplace. Employees should be aware of potential risks and the importance of reporting any concerns promptly.

Remember, our safety is a collective responsibility. By staying informed and adopting safe practices, we can enjoy the benefits of technology without compromising our well-being. Stay warm, stay safe!