Provide a first response to a broken down or damaged electric vehicle

Business Sectors (Suites): Electric and Hybrid Vehicles,Roadside Assistance,Vehicle Recovery
Developed by: IMI
Approved on: 31 Dec 2020


​This standard is designed for those who provide a first response to a broken down or accident damaged electric vehicle, for example, those working for roadside recovery operators and the emergency services; the standard would also be appropriate for those involved in the dismantling and disposal of electric vehicles. It covers the working practices and knowledge needed to carry out a risk assessment and work safely around an electric vehicle that may have damage to its high and/or low voltage systems.

For the purposes of this standard, an electric vehicle is any vehicle that is in part or wholly electrically propelled. This would include:

  • Hybrid (HEV) - to include mild/micro hybrid vehicles where the voltage is considered dangerous.
  • Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
  • Extended Range Electric Vehicle (ER-EV) or Range Extended Electric Vehicle (RE-EV)
  • Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Pure Electric Vehicle (PEV)
  • Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).   

This standard does not deem someone competent to maintain, service or repair an electric vehicle’s high voltage systems and their components.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 Identify the electric vehicle type and collect relevant information about the vehicle and associated electrical hazards
P2 Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and use vehicle protection equipment (VPE) appropriate to the work activities you are carrying out 
P3 Identify the hazards and assess the risks presented by the electric vehicle
P4 Follow the correct procedures to make the vehicle safe prior to starting any work activities, including where necessary, isolating high voltage electrical systems, within your level of authority
P5 Carry out work activities in a way that minimises risks to yourself and other people
P6 Refer any problems with the vehicle that you cannot deal with yourself to a relevant person in your organisation and follow their instructions
P7 Record and report the work activities you have carried out on or near the vehicle to relevant colleagues. 

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

Use of technical information
K1 How to identify an electric vehicle and its type
K2 How to find, interpret and use sources of information applicable to electric vehicles as appropriate to your job role
K3 How to identify high voltage electrical components in an electric vehicle

*Legislative and organisational requirements and procedures *
K4 The health and safety legislation, industry codes of practice or guidelines and workplace procedures relevant to working on, near or with electric vehicles, including the appropriate personal protective equipment and its use, and the safety of the working environment
K5 The hazards associated with high and low voltage systems including batteries and other high voltage electrical vehicle components
K6 The manufacturer’s and your workplace procedures for:

K6.1 assessing and managing the risks associated with damaged and broken-down electric vehicles
K6.2 ensuring that the vehicle has been made safe as appropriate to the work you are carrying out, including isolating high voltage systems when necessary within your level of training
K6.3 referring/reporting problems when working with electric vehicles
K6.4 recording and reporting work carried out on electric vehicles
K7 How to carry out a dynamic risk assessment on damaged and broken down electric vehicles, including components and cabling, battery integrity, shorting and loss of coolant
K8 The implications of electrical conductivity through the human body 
K9 The implications of strong magnetic fields and the effects on medical devices 
K10 Organisational procedures that must be followed in the event of electric shock
K11 The hazards associated with electric vehicles when exposed to extreme temperatures, impact and other adverse conditions
K12 What to do in an emergency, including fires and submersion of the vehicle in water 

High voltage component construction and layout
K13 The fundamental features and principles of high voltage components, including battery modules, electric motors, associated components and auxiliary systems
K14 How to identify the location of high voltage cables and components, for example, by labelling and colour and their associated voltages
K15 The different types of energy storage systems and voltages associated with electric vehicles
K16 The components of alternative fuel sources and systems on electric vehicles, including hydrogen fuel cells
K17 The hazards associated with alternative fuel systems, including hydrogen fuel cells

Vehicle system operation
K18 The main differences between an electric vehicle and a non-electric vehicle and its basic operation, including regeneration 
K19 How to safely operate an electric vehicle
K20 The charging systems associated with electric vehicles and how to use them safely, including the use of plug-in charging equipment 
K21 The specific manufacturer’s guidelines and the precautions necessary when charging, connecting an auxiliary power source to or towing an electric vehicle
K22 How to mobilise an electric vehicle safely 


1. Vehicle - any vehicle that is in part or wholly electrically propelled. This would include:
1.1. Hybrid (HEV) - to include mild/micro hybrid vehicles where the voltage is considered dangerous.
1.2. Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
1.3. Extended Range Electric Vehicle (ER-EV) or Range Extended Electric Vehicle (RE-EV)
1.4. Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Pure Electric Vehicle (PEV)

1.5. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





This section contains examples and explanations of some of the terms used but does not form part of the standard.

Dynamic risk assessment - the practice of mentally observing, assessing and analysing an environment while working, to identify and remove risk. The process allows individuals to identify a hazard on the spot and make quick decisions in regards to their own safety.

Hazards associated with high voltage electrical vehicle components - exist not only during work on high voltage systems, as specified above, but also on all other high-power electrical drive systems and high-pressure storage systems. Vehicle and equipment manufacturers’ guidance should be followed at all times.

High voltage – Regulation No 100 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UNECE) — Uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to specific requirements for the electric power train, states that: ‘High Voltage’ means the classification of an electric component or circuit, if its working voltage is > 60 V and ≤ 1 500 V DC or > 30 V and ≤ 1 000 V AC root mean square (rms). Electricity at Work Regulations (1989), and associated HSE guidance should be followed at all times.

Sources of information applicable to electric vehicles 
Examples include hard copy manuals, data on computer and data obtained from on- board diagnostic displays.

Status of vehicle – broken down, with damage which may present a hazard, end of life.

Work activities – recovering, collecting or dealing with electric vehicles as part of a first response.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Dec 2023





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Firefighters, Police, Roadside Assistance Manager, Roadside Assistance Operator, Roadside Assistance Senior Operator, Supervisory Recovery Technical Operator, Vehicle Recovery Operator, Vehicle Recovery Technical Operator, Vehicle Recycler, Vehicle Dismantler

SOC Code



Electric vehicle: recovery; assistance; breakdown; accident; damage