Lithium Batteries – An Accident Waiting To Happen?
Lithium battery safety has been the hot topic again this week, following a heavy debate at a World Cargo Event in Dublin, with concerns being shared about the safety of their travel on passenger aircraft.
One prominent speaker, from a major airline, suggested that it could take hundreds of deaths before proper regulations are introduced in regard to screening.
He went on to cite three examples of major incidents, caused by poorly packed lithium batteries, that happened on the airline’s aircraft, but thankfully did not result in a crash. On one occasion the batteries were only separated by an A4 piece of paper and all incidents were fraudulently declared.
While Lithium batteries are considered safe to users, when installed in electronic devices such as mobile phones and power tools, they can actually be punctured and can ignite or even explode. When handled or stored together, this can can lead to fires, which is why they are considered dangerous goods.
IATA has launched a certification programme in a bid to boost safety in the carriage of lithium batteries, although criminalising false declarations is the next step.
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