Two subcontractors were to perform maintenance on PNNL's fleet of electric vehicles. When the documentation for the hazard assessment was prepared prior to work being performed, the contracts staff member assumed the electric vehicles were low voltage (less than 50V), therefore not subject to the controls of higher voltage equipment. When the subcontractors began maintenance work on some of the vehicles, a Worker Safety & Health Representative raised questions regarding the voltage of the vehicles' batteries. Following a consultation with an Electrical Safety SME (Subject Matter Expert), it was determined that the electrical system was greater than 50V and that the required work controls had not been implemented. Work with the subcontractors was subsequently suspended until hazards were properly assessed, the subcontractors were trained as required, and applicable hazardous energy controls were implemented. Lessons Learned: Contracts staff have a shared responsibility with SMEs to assure subcontractors perform work in a safe and compliant manner. Partnership with SMEs is crucial for adherence to requirements and the safety of subcontractors who perform work on the Lab's behalf. Engage SMEs early in the contracting process for assistance with defining the scope of work, the associated hazards, required training, and necessary controls well before subcontractors arrive to perform work.
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