EV Awareness Training required even if ATFs don't handle electric.
We are all too aware that people working in motor vehicle repair, the recovery industry and end of life vehicle recycling are now more likely to come across electric vehicles. And as a result, these industries are increasingly aware of the additional high voltage hazards associated with working with such vehicles, and the necessity for specialist training, PPE and equipment.
However, those ATFs who are still evaluating to what extent electric impacts their business and when to adapt existing practices to incorporate electric, are still legally required to provide employees with awareness training. Even though operations may not yet include hybrid and full electric vehicles within the dismantling and recycling operation, employees still need to be able to safely identify and manage them, if they accidentally turn up at their treatment facilities. Even those ATFs who already have developed processes for passing on electric and hybrid vehicles to other specialist agencies, there is still a need for basic awareness training.
Furthermore, its not just ELV operatives who require training. Other employees who interact with inbound vehicles such as weighbridge operators, plant operators, FLT drivers, vehicle valuers and other ATF personnel, still require an understanding of the high voltage, chemical and fire risks associated with electric motors, and need to be able to recognise the different types as well as an understanding of the precautions, handling, storage and transporting considerations. The reality is that, at some point, an electric vehicle will mistakenly turn up at your site and one or more of your employees may have to deal with it. For this reason, awareness training is critical.
For EVs & HEVs, dc voltages that run between 60 and 1500 Volts are referred to as 'high voltage', and in dry conditions, accidental contact with parts live voltages above 110 Volts dc, can be fatal. Mild Hybrid Electric vehicles (MHEVs) typically utilise a 48-volt electrical system, powering components that would usually rely on the internal combustion engine. No external charging is required with MHEVs and there is no risk of fatal electrocution, however, there are other hazards to consider. We cannot simply say all mild hybrids are low voltage and therefore safe. Many MHEVs use the relatively stable NiMH battery, however some do use a Li-ion battery, which as battery technology, is chemically less stable, and could present significant chemical and fire hazards. For this reason it is important that regardless of whether the battery is categorised as high voltage or not, that employee have received awareness training on how to recognise these technologies and how to remain safe.