Dealing with vehicles can be quite an exciting and rewarding career. One should have a good understanding of workplace safety procedures.
It is necessary for anyone working in an automotive workplace because the work usually takes place near heavy vehicles which contain harmful chemicals that can pose serious harms like electric shocks, burns by caustic chemicals, back injuries and many other types of accidents.
Therefore, repair shop owners and their staff should consider proper safety precautions to avoid the risk of any injury.
You might never be able to make your workplace completely danger-free, but by following proper safety guidelines, the risk of accidents can be reduced significantly. Listed below are some points that guide to workplace safety for auto mechanics.
1. Personal Care
Employee attire should consist of full clothes to avoid cuts and scrapes on the arms and legs. Employees should never wear loose or torn clothes that could get caught in a machine.
They must always avoid wearing dangling jewelry and tie back long hair. Most workers and auto body technicians wear coveralls or fitted attire on the job.
To prevent the customers from wearing unsuitable clothing, it is recommended to obtain proper uniforms for the mechanics while working.
2. Use of Protective Equipment
Protective equipment is used to protect the employees from any physical harm that may occur at the workplace. Mechanics must worry about their exposure to harmful chemicals, in addition, when dealing with hot engines, it is very important to use Gloves.
Other equipments like Goggles are useful for eye-protection to prevent particulates or any other chemicals from entering the eye.
Equipment like safety glasses, goggles, chemical-resistant gloves, ear protection, and kneepads so that they may use the equipment when doing certain types of repairs, must be available to the employees by shop owners.
3. Clean Work Areas
Certain repairs, oil changes, the transmission of fluids involve the use of slippery fluids. Spilling of these fluids may coat the floor surface, which may increase the risk of accidents. These fluids and chemicals on the floor must never be left unattended.
They can increase the chance of slip-and-fall accidents. That’s why auto shop workers use nonslip shoes to prevent slipping.
Moreover, when the chemicals are left on the floor, there may be a risk of chemical inhalation due to which respiratory problems can be caused. This indicates that the work areas should be clean and organized. The tools must be placed in cabinets to avoid clutter in the walkways.
4. Electrical Safety
When doing an electric repair in a vehicle, there is a risk of getting an electric shock or further damaging the electric system of the vehicle. When doing electric work, these tips must be remembered:
- Avoid using any electrical equipment with damaged cords.
- Make sure to cut off the power supply to any electrical equipment being repaired.
- To avoid electric shock, keep your work area dry and away from water.
- Disconnect the battery to verify the absence of the voltage in the vehicle.
- It is advisable to have a bright flashlight for the mechanic as it helps in better observation.
5. Chemical Safety
Vehicle fluids, paints, and chemicals can cause poisoning if they are ingested or they remain in contact with the skin for a longer time.
Due to this reason, all eating and drinking must be done away from the work area because these chemicals can contaminate the food and drinks. All the chemicals must be labeled properly so that every worker is sure what each container holds.
The employees should be educated about the effects of hazardous chemicals. Safety data sheets for all chemicals should be present.
Eye-contact with these chemicals should be avoided, and if contact occurs, there should be an eye-wash area in the case of an emergency.
6. Lifting of Heavy Equipment
Mechanics work with vehicle lifts daily and lift heavy machinery. Mechanics must never work under a vehicle unless it has not been properly supported.
One must always verify whether the vehicle is stable when raising it off the ground to access the underside. Mechanics must never go under an improperly supported vehicle since there is a chance of the vehicle to fall on the mechanic.
Mechanics must be taught proper lifting techniques. When lifting some load, use the power of legs to pick it up. Never bend over for lifting some equipment as it can cause muscle strains and injuries.
Therefore, caution must always be used when working with vehicle lifts, as any mistake would cause back injury or even death.
7. Mechanical Training
One of the best ways to avoid accidents is the proper training of the employees.
Every workplace must have a formal safety training program in which the employees should be given information regarding the use of protective equipment, preventing electric hazards, dealing with harmful chemicals, and managing emergencies.
Employers should make workplace safety committees for regular inspection of work areas and identify any problem. After knowing, these problems must be solved immediately.