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Injury involving contact with a vehicle battery

A 12 volt vehicle battery was being disconnected using a crescent wrench, which slipped and grounded out when it came in contact with metal. The person received a burn on his ring finger as his gold ring had come into contact with the wrench. The injury was completely around the ring finger and severe enough to cause concern about the loss of the finger from a lack of adequate circulation.

It has been pointed out that most vehicle batteries have 600-800 cranking amps, compared to 75 amps for stick welding and 300 amps for air arc welding. Severe burn injuries can occur and caution should be exercised when handling such batteries, including removing rings and other jewellery before starting work near or on a battery/connected wires and equipment.

Safety Event

Published: 1 February 2003
Download: IMCA SF 02/03

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