Skip to main content

Control measure
Make the correct tool choice for vehicle construction

Control measure knowledge

Due to the wide range of materials used by manufacturers in the construction of vehicles, the choice of tool has become increasingly important.

The fundamental goal for using tooling is to achieve the required task while minimising the hazards associated with tackling the vehicle materials. To achieve this, the tool operator should identify the material being tackled as far as possible.

The tool operator should have a thorough knowledge of the tools and their configurations. This is important to ensure that vehicle materials are tackled with awareness of the dust and fibres that may be created, in addition to the energies that can be introduced to the vehicle structure, and potentially to any casualties.

Where the tools required to achieve objectives are likely to introduce additional energy, alternative tools should be considered. Where this is not appropriate, the vehicle should be further stabilised and detailed communications made.

  • Identify vehicle materials before cutting/repositioning, to aid appropriate tool choice.
  • Closely monitor the tool when vehicle materials cannot initially be identified
  • Reconsider the choice of rescue tools and operational methodologies, if the rescue tools in use do not perform as expected; unknown materials may be present
  • Consider alternative rescue tools or introducing additional control measures, like water mist to minimise airborne dust particles, where the activity is producing additional material hazards
  • Consider identifying operational plans that involve lower risk materials

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide information and training to crews on the identification of vehicle construction and techniques for performing rescues
  • Provide suitable tools and procedures to enable personnel to work safely, effectively and efficiently

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Select rescue tools and techniques based on the materials and vehicle construction identified