UK Material Handling Association, UKMHA, is launching its latest Guidance Note at IMHX. The new GN70 ‘Working On High Voltage MHE’, promotes safe working practices for the inspection, maintenance and repair of high voltage systems on MHE.
UKMHA Technical Director, David Goss, explains the importance of issuing this new guidance, “Working with high voltage equipment is potentially extremely hazardous if carried out without the correct procedures and training. Safety is at the core of UKMHA and with the continuing trend towards higher voltages, we have published this Guidance Note to highlight the risks associated with working with this type of MHE and detail risk reduction.”
The advancing state-of-the-art in electric trucks increases the voltages that may be encountered when compared with traditional lead acid battery technology of the past. For example, regenerative braking, lithium-ion technology and developments in electric drives all provide opportunities for working at higher voltages.
Technicians working on Materials Handling Equipment (MHE), and those employing and supervising their work activities, need to be aware of the hazards associated with this equipment and the mitigations that need to be implemented. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that work on, or near to, an electrical system be carried out so as not to give rise to danger, and the GN explains the practical steps required to achieve this.
This latest Guidance Note explains employer’s obligations and work procedures. It also details the hazards applicable to high voltage equipment and identifies appropriate PPE and tools to carry out maintenance.
David Goss adds, “GN70 highlights the need for risk assessments, method statements, safe systems of work and training for those working with higher voltages. We have explained what constitutes a safe system of work, which should address topics such as ‘Who is authorised to carry out which activities’, ‘What constitutes a safe working area’ and ‘Is there adequate access control’?”
This document provides advice to ensure the technician’s safety at each work stage, and includes helpful links to legislation, Standards, HSE documents and other relevant UKMHA Guidance Notes.
GN70 is available for free to UKMHA members. It is also available to purchase from the UKMHA web store.