Electric and hybrid vehicles have significantly higher voltages than other vehicles, and accidental contact with an energised source from these vehicles can be fatal.
Technicians who will be coming into contact with live circuits when working on EV’s are at risk of electric shock, serious injury, and even death if the correct tools aren’t used.
This is why it’s important to always use insulated tools for EV’s and any other work involving live circuits. However, these tools can also present a danger if they’re not properly used and maintained.
Using the wrong tools
Misusing tools in circumstances where insulated ones should’ve been used can have serious consequences. There have been cases of improper use of tools causing accidents, some as severe as explosions resulting in death.
In 1999, an electrician in Virginia, USA accidently dropped a screwdriver onto two 220-volt lines, which sparked a huge explosion leaving him with severe burns and igniting a fire that destroyed several nearby business landmarks.
In the same year, three employees at the Energy Centre in Kansas, USA were killed after a 26-foot fireball was caused by an electrical explosion. The main cause of this accident was found to be a lack of proper safety precautions, such as the use of protective equipment and insulated hand tools.
Inspecting the right tools
Frequent inspections of insulated tools are essential. Any wear or tear must be addressed straight away, with the tool taken out of use.
Using a damaged tool can remove the protection that it usually offers against electric shocks. There are steps you can take to ensure your tools are safe to use, such as:
Visual inspections – take a look at the tools to check for any cracks or damage to the outer layer. If damage is visible, don’t use the tool until it’s been fixed or replaced.
Using in the correct environment – only use insulted tools in ambient temperatures that the manufacturer has specified. Never use them around sources of heat, as this will cause damage.
Be careful of un-insulated parts – don’t touch any un-insulated parts of the tool, as this could come into contact with an energised source and give you a shock.
Avoid sharp objects – Keep insulated tools away from knives and other sharp tools to prevent accidental damage to the outer layer.
If you’re in need of some insulated tools, you can find a range of tools and kits at our store, along with training courses for working on electric and hybrid vehicles. Get in touch today to find out more.
Feature image credit: Unsplash