Your Guide to HEV Protective Equipment
May 29, 2020—If you're repairing hybrid electric vehicles, your shop has to cater marketing tactics towards the specialization like getting your name to other businesses in the community. Repairing these vehicles also comes with unique safety challenges.
If a technician is not equipped with the correct protective equipment, he or she could be electrocuted or even go into cardiac arrest. Check out this guide to safely repair hybrid electric vehicles.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence hosted a free webinar on Friday, offering education on hybrid electric vehicle safety. One are covered in the webinar was the high voltage personal protective equipment (HVPPE) that technicians should be wearing.
Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR) safety author and ASE master technician Bob McGinn shares the types of PPE to use to mitigate exposure and risk.
The technician needs the right HVPPE before working on any of these cars, McGinn says in the webinar. Let's break down his advice.
Shoes qualify if they are rated for ASTM 2413-11 EH for electrical hazard. These boots must be dry and insulate the wearer from 18,000v at 60hz a/cfor 1 minute or continuous protection for up to 750v.
For rubber goods like gloves, HVPPE will have a voltage range and an expiration date. Do not use HVPPE that has expired certifications.
Gloves will need to be tested for surface defects. Air test or roll up test gloves prior to and immediately after use. Do not use shop air to test gloves. The most accurate test uses a glove pump. If it holds air, it is good to go.
Also, use approved outer leather gloves over the glove to prevent damage.
Clothing and Face Shields:
These are often rated for arc thermal protection value. These are used for thermal isolation. These are flame-resistant.
However, if an article of clothing is labeled as flame resistant and not arc resistant, it does not mean that it is flame proof.
One example of a face shield that isn't attached to a hard hat is the Sellstrom 31200. It has an ATPV rating of 9.9 calories/cm2. The onset of second degree burns may occur at 1.2 calories/cm2/s (stoll curve).
This type of equipment should be IEC CAT III 600 volt or better.
To reduce risks further, adopt rules like the "one-hand" rule for circuit probing high voltage systems. No more than one hand should be in contact with the vehicle or testing a lead at any time.