Driving is becoming safer and safer. Over the years, numerous inventions – from the safety belt, to the air bag and modern driver assistance systems based on artificial intelligence – have played an important role in reducing the number of major accidents.

But what about safety in the field of automotive production? Fortunately, the number of accidents is declining in this area too. On the one hand, this is due to optimised production processes and on the other, to consistent use of high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE). However, vehicle production is becoming increasingly complex as a result of technical innovations – particularly since the advent of electromobility. This also means that dangers that have occurred less frequently up to now may occur more frequently from now on. As a result, requirements for occupational safety in the automotive sector are increasing and thereby the requirements for the properties that PPE must now offer.

Electromobility: particular dangers

What the fuel tank is to a combustion engine is what a battery – a powerful lithium-ion battery in most cases – is to an electric vehicle. Particular caution is required when handling electric vehicles for two reasons; firstly, the batteries contain hazardous substances that are toxic and highly flammable. And secondly, the electric cables in an electric vehicle carry high-voltage electricity of up to 650 volts.

In the field of electric vehicle production, two main steps are central in this context: cell and battery production and assembly of the entire vehicle. Furthermore, vehicle mechatronics technicians in workshops that maintain and service electric vehicles also need to be equipped with appropriate protective equipment. The same applies to rescue teams that are called out to recover a vehicle with an electric drive that has crashed.


Despite all the precautionary measures taken, it is unfortunately not possible to eliminate certain residual risks in the production workflow in the automotive industry. The primary sources of danger when working on and with electrically operated vehicles are the formation of short circuit electric arcs and electrostatic discharges. The same applies to producing the centrepiece for electromobility: the battery.

Protection against chemicals in battery cell production

When it comes to selecting appropriate PPE, it is important first to identify the exact area of application. When manufacturing individual battery cells for the electromobility sector, the main risk is coming into contact with the chemicals required, which damage the skin. Therefore, people who work with these products need chemical protection gloves, among other protective equipment. Disposable uvex u-fit safety gloves offer varied protection: they keep hands from coming into contact with acids, alkalis, solids or aqueous saline solutions. They also exhibit a good level of mechanical resistance, yet are flexible and suitable for precision assembly tasks, such as those involved in cell production.

uvex rubiflex ESD NB35A gloves also offer protection against chemicals and are electrostatically conductive as well. This is particularly important for work carried out in explosion hazard areas. The glove’s grip in humid conditions is also impressive. The lightest assembly gloves in their class – the uvex phynomic airLite A ESD – are ideally suited to the precision assembly of fine components: they protect the skin against cuts and protect the workpiece against electrostatic charging. The ergonomically shaped gloves are guaranteed to feel comfortable on the skin even when worn for extended periods of time thanks to proDERM® technology. This is particularly important in terms of employees accepting PPE. Only when personal protective equipment is worn can it serve its purpose. The fact that workers can even operate touchscreens while wearing the gloves plays a part in this. After all, nothing is quite so annoying during the work process as constantly having to put on and take off gloves.


To protect the face against splashes from battery liquids, some of which are caustic, it is advisable to wear a visor. Designs such as the uvex pheos faceguard are already pre-assembled and are therefore ready to be used straight away. The polycarbonate face protection is not only chemical-resistant but anti-fog and scratch-resistant too, ensuring clear vision at all times. Featuring variable locking positions and a central head position with a wide neck support, the visor is very comfortable and its streamlined design allows maximum freedom of movement. After all, PPE is primarily designed to protect and not restrict.

Part of the process of manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles takes place in a clean room. This presents another challenge for PPE. Clean rooms require users to wear protective clothing that does not enable any particles or liquids to come into contact with the body and that is lint-free and anti-static so that it does not damage the materials being processed. The uvex 5/6 comfort chemical protection suit in lightweight polypropylene spunbond with polyethylene film is a disposable protection suit that is suitable for use in clean rooms in accordance with class 8 of ISO 14644-1. It is free of silicone, breathable, fits perfectly thanks to the elastic at the waist and features middle finger loops to prevent the sleeves from sliding up the arms.

Protection against electric arcs and electrostatic discharge during battery assembly

Short circuit electric arcs occur in a number of situations, including when electrically charged components short circuit. This can happen when components are not adequately insulated or have accidentally come into contact with one another. If the respective components operate with low voltage, then the cables are likely to be damaged. In the case of high-voltage components, such as batteries for electric vehicles, there is even a risk to life and limb. This is why it is essential for people who assemble such batteries to wear protective clothing while they work, such as clothing that meets the requirements of various standards, visors for short circuit electric arcs and gloves for high-voltage applications.

When assembling batteries for electric vehicles, the hands are another central point of contact with potential sources of danger. For work on high-voltage systems, it is therefore advisable to wear uvex power protect V1000 electrician’s gloves in natural latex for exceptional insulation properties. The material is resistant to mineral oil and is flexible even at cold temperatures. uvex arc protect g1 safety gloves, which offer special protection against short circuit electric arcs and thermal discharge, are compatible with this material. The gloves are made of a flame-resistant material blend and are extremely comfortable to wear thanks to their cotton content. Together, the two types of gloves offer excellent wearer comfort and an exceptional tactile feel.


The idea that you’re not fully protected unless you’re protected from head to toe applies here. This is why particular attention must be paid to these parts of the body in the case of workers involved in battery assembly. In addition to visors for protecting the face, suitable headgear is essential. The uvex pheos E-WR safety helmet offers comfortable protection for electrical work. It is lightweight, ventilated and can be combined with other PPE such as safety spectacles, ear defenders or even winter hats. The helmet is ideal for electrical work thanks to its fully enclosed helmet shell. Wherever a safety helmet is not mandatory, bump caps such as the uvex u-cap sport protect the head.

It is precisely in cell and battery production that particularly high respiratory protection is required for certain production steps. uvex offers a variety of preformed and flat-fold masks in classes FFP1 to FFP3 for this purpose. The uvex silv-Air e 7233 particle-filtering FFP2 mask impresses in this regard with low breathing resistance and an optimum breathing climate thanks to exhalation and inhalation valves. All respirators from uvex are particularly comfortable to wear even over longer periods of time as they can easily be adjusted to different facial shapes. This is true of the uvex silv-Air e 7317 reusable FFP3 respiratory protection preformed mask with four-point headband attachment and an extra-wide headband.

Comfort is also extremely important when it comes to footwear as it is essentially the basis for ergonomic work. For this reason, uvex safety shoes not only fulfil safety requirements but are also designed for maximum comfort. What is more, uvex 1 sport safety shoes, for example, feature a stylish design that has nothing in common with conventionally bulky safety shoes. Lightweight and made from materials free of chrome, silicone and plasticisers, these safety shoes are the perfect companion for day-to-day work. They are particularly suitable for electric car production because they meet the ESD specification with a leakage resistance of less than 35 megaohms. For even greater wearer comfort, uvex safety shoes can be supplemented with uvex tune-up Medium insoles. Employees who are on their feet for extended periods of time will particularly benefit from the arch of their feet being supported in this way. This type of support enables the effective prevention of foot pain.


Exceptional protection that alleviates strain on the body while working with electric vehicles

The loads and hazards involved in the production of electric vehicles are similar to those of vehicles with internal combustion engines. These include, for example, noise, flying sparks, sharp-edged metal parts, etc. There are also workplaces that require constant work while standing, kneeling or overhead. In the production of e-cars, there is also the risk of high-voltage components, especially when installing the vehicle electrics.

It is therefore particularly important to protect your hands from electrostatic discharge – uvex ESD gloves offer optimal protection in an electrifying environment. They not only protect the wearer from life-threatening electric shocks, but also prevent electrical discharges from damaging components in electric cars. The uvex rubiflex ESD chemical protection gloves consist of a conductive NBR special coating with a contact resistance of less than 108 ohms. In addition to innovative protection in ESD areas in accordance with DIN EN 16350: 2014, the uvex phynomic airLite A ESD is suitable for precise work on the smallest of components. With its touchscreen suitability and perfect grip, the ESD glove is ideally suited for use in the production of electric cars.

For all these reasons, the PPE for employees in vehicle assembly must be able to meet a wide range of requirements. The focus is on protective clothing and equipment being used without interruption. In order to do this, it not only has to meet the applicable safety standards, but must in no way represent an additional burden for its wearers.

Protective clothing for every application

When it comes to protecting workers in clean rooms, occupational protective clothing from the uvex suXXeed range is the ideal choice. The name stands for the highest safety standards along with uncompromising comfort. Multi-functional, flame-retardant, hard-wearing and yet soft and comfortable on the skin – these qualities make the uvex suXXeed collection indispensable for applications in industry and trade. And the fact that many people also choose to wear the range in their free time shows that the suXXeed concept is true to its name. An added bonus is that suXXeed clothing can be ordered with company branding. This enables a workforce to present a consistent company image when dealing with customers, such as when an electric vehicle needs to be inspected in a workshop.

With knee reinforcement and inner kneepad pockets, uvex suXXeed dungarees are particularly practical for the field of automotive production. Stretch inserts mean that the dungarees move with you for a great fit. Side and bib pockets provide space for a folding ruler, pens, a mobile phone and other tools that always need to be in reach. The corresponding uvex suXXeed ESD T-shirt is electrostatically conductive and certified in accordance with IEC 61340. In a seamless design with moisture-wicking TENCEL®, the T-shirt is also very comfortable to wear.

In a durable mixed fabric, Realworker jackets for men and women show that details make a big difference: the jackets remain in place even when the arms are raised. This is a decisive advantage when employees repeat a movement frequently, such as when working at a production line.

Hearing protection and greater occupational safety

And last but not least, work in automotive production involves a high noise level. However, continuous noise is a major health hazard. Not only does the ear itself suffer under extreme stress, but the rest of the body too, as noise can negatively impact on the cardiovascular system. Therefore, good hearing protection for employees in the automotive sector is essential. But the crux of the matter is that employees still need to be able to hear instructions or warning signals in order to avoid hazardous situations. For this reason, well-thought-out hearing protection not only protects the ear drum, but plays a role in general occupational safety as well.

uvex whisper+ reusable earplugs are easy to clean, making them ideal for work environments with lots of dust and dirt. This is a given in vehicle production as well as in repair workshops. The earplugs reduce the sound level by up to 27 decibels and fulfil standard EN 352-2 as well as additional requirements for signal hearing. Featuring extra-soft ear padding, uvex pheos K2P magnet helmet earmuffs are compatible with the uvex pheos helmet system.

Furthermore, uvex offers individually adjustable otoplastic hearing protection specially for continuous noise or impulse noise up to 112 decibels to ensure optimal directional and ambient hearing. This protection can also be combined with hearing aids and is the ideal solution for hearing protection in industrial workplaces that require a lot of communication.

uvex Otoplastik

With its ranges of personal protective equipment designed especially for the electric vehicle sector, uvex aims to minimise the risks to which workers are exposed. So that PPE can protect the hands, head and body in the best way possible, the individual elements must be designed so that they are compatible with one another. This is why uvex offers expert advice tailored to individual requirements in the electromobility sector.

Find out more about uvex occupational safety equipment for the electromobility sector.

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