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Industrial Health and Safety: Batteries

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 37595, tabled on 21 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Health and Safety Executive have taken to assess the risk of fire and explosion associated with large scale lithium-ion battery storage.

Answered on

6 September 2021

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been closely studying battery safety for several years, using its bespoke battery testing facility to help customers and research partners understand how best to manage the fire and explosion risks during battery manufacture, storage, transport, and use. HSE’s scientists and engineers are at the forefront of the Energy Storage Health and Safety Governance Group and have been involved with the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Code of Practice for Electrical Energy Storage Systems and the Energy Institute’s Guidance Note on battery energy storage system fire planning and response.

The fundamental principle of health and safety law is that those who create risks are best placed to control them so far as is reasonably practicable. Designers, installers, and operators all have a duty to ensure this is the case. HSE regulate Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), within a robust regulatory framework, expecting the duty holder to assess the specific situation and implement necessary control measures.