Skip to content

Battery operated ride-on equipment

June Blog photo - Battery operated ride on equipment

With the advent of affordable small, yet powerful electric batteries, small electric means of transport are becoming more popular in everyday life. Whether it’s toy cars, an electric motor boost to a traditional bicycle, or even powering skateboards and small stand-up scooters; they are becoming increasingly present not only in daily life but also in school environments. With this power and portability also comes risk:

  • Safety Concerns: Riders may be more vulnerable to collision injuries due to the vehicles’ smaller size and lower visibility compared to larger vehicles.
  • Battery Hazards: Lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in these vehicles, can overheat or catch fire if damaged or improperly charged.
  • Inexperienced Riders: Many users may lack experience or coordination operating these vehicles safely, leading to accidents, especially in high-traffic areas, or collisions with fixed objects.
  • Regulatory Concerns: Regulations around these vehicles can vary widely, leading to confusion for both riders and law enforcement.
  • Limited Range: They have a limited battery capacity, which may leave the rider stranded if the battery runs out of power, forcing the rider to manually push/carry the item to the destination.
  • Vulnerability to Theft: Small and lightweight, these vehicles are easier targets for theft compared to larger vehicles.

If you are going to allow small electric vehicles to be operated as part of a school curriculum, the following controls should be in place before use:

  • Safety Gear: Always wear a helmet and consider additional protective gear like gloves, elbow  and knee pads for added safety.
  • Administrative Controls: Make sure the manufacturer’s recommended age range correlates to the age range of users. Obtain written permission from parent/guardian prior to use, and provide training on the operation in a controlled environment.
  • Regular Maintenance: Follow manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure all components are in working condition prior to each use. This includes storage of battery-operated equipment per the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.
  • Safe Riding: Set strict course parameters in an open space or well-marked path that is easily supervised away from fixed objects the rider could collide with. Additional parameters include one-way traffic to avoid head-on collisions and use of a warning device (i.e., horn, red flag) to alert operators to stop immediately if an unsafe condition occurs. If operating in an open parking lot, a barrier system to prevent vehicles from entering the designated riding area should be in place. Operation of this equipment in interior spaces such as hallways should be prohibited.
  • Battery Care: Follow manufacturer recommendations for charging and storing your battery. Avoid overcharging and extreme temperatures to prolong battery life and reduce the risk of fire and potential property damage. Prior to purchase and use, a plan should be implemented for the proper storage and prompt disposal of spent batteries; improperly disposed of batteries pose high risk of fire.
  • Aggressive Operation: Prohibit the practice of using vehicles to “bump or ram.” Set strict guidelines that must be followed.
  • Applicability: Prior to purchasing, verify the equipment is designed and suitable for use in a commercial environment. Equipment designed for personal use may increase risks of injury or property damage from use of the equipment in a manner not intended by the manufacturer. Do not operate in environments the manufacturer recommends against, such as when it is raining, snowing or in extreme temperatures.

Following the manufacturer’s recommendations and these risk reduction practices may reduce the potential of injury while operating ride-on equipment.  For more risk control tips, check out these resources.

CM Regent Solutions

CM Regent Solutions provides a variety of employee benefit products and third-party claims administration services. Our consultative approach ensures our services fit our customers' needs, including: Group Life Insurance, Disability, Dental, Vision and COBRA.

Back To Top