UL announces release of a series of online courses on lithium battery safety. As demand for and use of batteries increase, organizations and individuals are encountering various types of batteries in more and more products every day. The evolving technologies in chemical compositions and battery sizing provide manufacturers with greater flexibility to power their consumer products in today’s mobile environment.  This increased use across many diverse products requires different considerations and guidance for the safe use of this power source.


As with any power source, there are some hazards associated with the use of lithium batteries.  To address the safe handling, charging, use, storage, transportation, and disposal of batteries, UL has developed an interactive curriculum that leverages UL’s safety science expertise. The courses cover many types of batteries, with a focus on the lithium ion battery technology. Everyone from front-line workers, shipping and receiving staff and warehouse staff to engineers, manufacturers and consumers can gain valuable insight from these courses.


“With more than 30 years of developing world-class standards in battery safety, we are delighted to add this curriculum to UL’s portfolio of training offerings,” said Ibrahim Jilani, Global Business Manager of Energy Storage at UL. “At UL, we are committed to helping improve the safe working and living environments of people everywhere, and these courses are intended to help individuals better understand lithium battery safety issues and how to address them.”


UL’s Lithium Ion Battery Safety in the Workplace course is divided into 6 independent mini modules that cover the topics of lithium ion battery introduction, handling, transportation, disposal, incident preparedness and response planning. Each module is interactive and engaging to encourage learning. Students who complete the modules will gain a better understanding of how to safely use lithium ion batteries.


UL partnered with Transportation Development Group, LLC to provide training and expert guidance on shipping requirements for batteries. All types of small and large lithium ion and lithium metal/alloy batteries are heavily regulated in transportation and are considered dangerous goods and hazardous materials. Shipping lithium batteries has become extremely complicated and restrictive. There are well over 50 different ways to ship lithium batteries, depending on the type of battery, the configuration of the packaging and the mode of transport. In 2015, there are new regulations going into effect that significantly reduce and eliminate certain exceptions for shipping lithium batteries by ground. Businesses will be required to review their current shipping processes to ensure compliance with the new regulations. Penalties for undeclared lithium battery shipments start at $20,000 for ground shipping. The DOT and FAA can apply penalties up to $75,000 per violation, and most investigative cases result in multiple violations.


The UL battery safety curriculum also includes a course on button cell batteries. This course introduces the requirements of the UL 4200A Products Incorporating Button or Coin Cell Batteries of Lithium Technologies standard. It is relevant to any manufacturer producing products that include a button or coin cell battery. The course provides information about the new standard that was derived from the safety community’s evolving understanding of ingestion hazards associated with button/coin cell batteries. It presents an overview of the UL4200A standard, including construction requirements testing, ratings, markings and product instructions.


You can register for these courses at: www.ul.com/batterysafety