The HVIA  last week announced it has presented truck maker, Scania with its 2022 Award for Safety Innovation, at a gala dinner in Brisbane.

The HVIA Award recognises  Scania’s vision in preparing for a safe move  to electric  vehicle systems  and in particular cites the foresight it has put in to preparing all levels of its business to deal safely with battery electric vehicle (BEV) systems and components.

Scania’s training involves all staff from cleaning contractors to the executive management team, and is naturally focussed on ensuring there are no incidents involving electrical shocks at its company-owned workshops, and those of its authorised independent dealer network.

“The training we have undertaken and continue to undertake ensures everyone knows how to be safe around batteries and BEVs in general,” said Scania Australia managing director, Manfred Streit.

“We are delighted to accept this significant award and hope that we can lead the way in demonstrating the safest ways to deal with BEVs in workshops. There is no place for complacency with high-voltage electricity,” said Streit..

“Our focus on safety at Scania has always been acute and internally we promote safety as “my first choice”.

“We will use this HVIA Safety Innovation Award to promote to the wider transport industry the vital need for everyone in truck and bus workshops to handle BEVs with care and caution, and to always ensure the correct protective gear is worn and BEV-specific equipment and processes are used,” Manfred said.

“We want to be seen as a leader in creating a zero-injury working environment in the BEV era.”

Scania’s, product support and service introductions manager, Jason Grech based in Scania Campbellfield has led the training roll-out, assisted by Kris Ross-Soden, Scania’s national voltage class B technical specialist.

Jason Grech said that Scania is now ready to deliver, service and maintain BEVs. Already, there are several Scania electric-hybrid buses in operation around the country, and the first full battery-electric bus chassis have arrived. There are three battery-electric trucks in Australia for evaluation as well.

“We established the Scania Australia electrical organisation, mapped local legislation and Worksafe standards and worked with the national parts team to secure supply and recycling of spare parts and propulsion batteries,” Grech said.

“We are installing BEV-specific workshop gantries complete with gates and warning signs and insulated wheels, and have established PPE, tools, tool board, and trollies specifically for use with BEV systems.

“This equipment has been adapted to suit Australian standards, and will be provided as full kits to our workshops when they are certified to work on BEV trucks and buses.  Certification requires process, equipment, and training to align with the national framework, which includes level 1 to 4 electrical training, and Law and Safety for workshop managers. We aim to have all Scania-owned – and selected independent dealer workshops – BEV certified and trained up as soon as possible,” Grech said.

“Due to the acute safety requirements of dealing with high voltages, we’re ensuring electrical competence at national and key retail outlets via our Training Department, so that everyone is aware of the need to exhibit caution around BEV work sites and to recognise and observe the warning signs and systems.

“Everyone must undertake this vital training,” he said.

“Scania’s vehicle onboard safety systems are highly detailed and engineered-in from the start and are designed to avoid voltage leakage, and we will be training rescue services as well to be able to deal with our vehicles at accident scenes out on the roads.

“Within our workshops, the response from our technicians to the BEV technology and safety roll-out has been exceptionally positive. They are very keen to get to grips with the new technology, and be the first to be certified BEV technicians in their workshops.

“Not only are we keenly anticipating the arrival of the first locally bodied Scania battery-electric bus in our workshops, but the contracted services team has already plotted out a long-term Repair and Maintenance Contract for operators of our battery-electric buses. The BEV future has arrived,”  he added.