Personal Safety is about providing protection for the technician working on the vehicle — appropriate insulated gloves and face shield should be worn to protect against high voltage leaks and arc flash risk. If working within the high voltage battery and/or circuitry, further specialist protection may be necessary as the technician will now be working within a live high voltage environment.
High Voltage Tools and Equipment — the electrical industry has specific standards for test equipment which is to be used in a high voltage environment. This is known as the CAT standard, a minimum of CAT III 600v, or CAT IV 1000v is required to ensure the test tools are suitable and safe for working on high voltage systems.
Hand tools are required to be fully tested and insulated to IEC 60900:2012 standards, and carry the international symbols for High Voltage Tools. Typical tools required will include socket sets, wrenches, screwdrivers, torque tools and hex and Torx keys — although most vehicle manufacturers will only use a limited selection of sizes of each.
Everything is about ensuring the safety of technicians, employees and customers. Even if correct vehicle manufacturer procedures are followed, there is still risk — remember the vehicle may be in the workshop because of a fault or an accident, therefore nothing can be assumed — safety is paramount.
A wide variety of training programmes from different training providers are available — suitable for the type of work a business may be involved in — from car sales/valeting, vehicle recovery, basic servicing, to in-depth diagnostic work. It is important to select the correct type of training for the business, which may require more than one type of programme. A good training programme will cover not just the operational and component aspects of a high voltage vehicle, but also the safety aspects and advise appropriate tools and equipment.
Laser Tools has approached the subject on the basis of offering a ‘one-stop-shop’ for workshop high voltage vehicle requirements, covering all aspects of workshop safety, vehicle safety, personal safety, and appropriate tools and equipment. In order to make it easier for the workshop owner to decide on basic requirements, Laser Tools has created a number of starter packs: