Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Safety

Expert Insights

Environmental awareness has risen significantly over the years, this and the cost of running and electric/hybrid vehicle sees drivers opting for the eco-friendly route. The UK government have also taken steps towards promoting electric vehicles with the low-emission vehicle plug in grant established in 2009, in which you can get a up to £3,500 off the cost of a brand new low-emission vehicle.

Figures show that approximately 214,000 plug-in cars and 8,500 plug-in vans were registered in May 2019. With figures also showing that roughly another 120 plug-in vehicle models will become available and the UK will feature 23,452 charge points nationally. Globally, the figures stand much higher with reports of over 3 million electric vehicles worldwide in 2017. In 2017 the UK was ranked fourth worldwide in the electric vehicle market share with electric/hybrid vehicles representing 1.7% of all new car and van sales.

However these more eco-friendly vehicles do not come without their safety concerns. In the motoring industry a standard fuelled vehicle uses 12/24V, however in an electric/hybrid vehicle the standard wattage is 300-650V. Therefore, when maintenance is required, any accidental contact with live parts above 60V is classed as a ‘high-risk’ and anything from 110V above can prove to be fatal for workers. With this rapidly rising industry there needs to be measures in place to protect the workers who manufacture and repair this ever-growing demand of electric and hybrid vehicles.

At Reece Safety we have a wide variety of high voltage safety equipment that we supply to the electric vehicle sector including a full kit that has proven to be popular with our customers.

electric vehicle intervention kit is a shadow board panel contains the essential items needed for any motor workshop involved in servicing modern Electric and Hybrid vehicles. The kit includes basic equipment needed for an emergency intervention to prevent serious injury through accidents. The kit also includes a simple acid spill kit to deal with spillage from the Lithium Ion power packs.

If workers require safety PPE offer head and hand protection with our electricians face shield, insulating gloves, cotton undergloves and leather overgloves. If any testing is required on the vehicles we have a range of voltage tester and proving unit kits. Whilst working on the vehicle to ensure absolute safety of the worker, they may require lockout equipment, at Reece have seen our standard TT38 padlock and our cable lockout devices have proven popular in this sector.

For any workshops or garages alike we stock a variety of insulating matting and shrouding covering work stations and their surrounds. For further safety measures Reece manufacture in house our own range of safety signs including a magnetic high visibility sign to mount onto the door panel of the vehicle during maintenance and a high visibility sign that attaches to the steering wheel with a cable lockout to prevent accidental starting of the vehicle whilst under maintenance. It is now good practice to cordon off the workspace where the car is being serviced and we provide the varieties of cones and chains to segregate the area safely.

Finally there always needs to be equipment located nearby in the event of an incident to prevent injury to the rescuer so we have a range of rescue hooks and wall mounted storage stations.

For any further information regarding our product range visit Reece Safety at www.reecesafety.co.uk, or call 01422 229088.