According to the Health and Safety Executive there have been over 7000 injuries and 33 deaths in the motor vehicle repair industry over the last 5 years alone.
But many of these injuries and deaths have come about because people haven’t followed simple safety instructions or are using the wrong equipment.
A broken ankle or lost finger needn’t be a badge of honour for a motor mechanic, so follow these six simple steps and stay safe in your workshop.
Ventilate your workspace
Exhaust fumes are toxic and inhaling them all day can lead to serious illness and in the worst case scenario death. So if you’re working in a garage or workshop all day with cars that are ticking-over you need to ensure your working are is properly ventilated; and this doesn’t mean just opening a back window. So if you are in any doubt, when working on a car with the engine running – do it outside.
Always wear a mask
Fumes from substances such as spray paint, brake fluid and filler can be just as dangerous as those from engine exhausts. So if you are working within close proximity of any chemicals you should ALWAYS wear a mask. And this doesn’t just mean a scarf over your face; it should be a properly fitted mechanics mask which displays the British Standard kite mark
Grab your goggles
Whether you’re welding, soldering or even carrying out a simple brake test, you should always wear safety goggles. Workshops and garages will always have the potential for flying fragments that can cause serious damage to your sight and even the loss of an eye. So get into the habit of wearing goggles all the time; in that way they will become second nature and you won’t even realise you are wearing them.
Don’t forget gloves
A strong pair of gloves will go some way to protecting your digits from sharp objects and dangerous machinery; but working with chemicals and dangerous fluids day-in-day-out can cause long-term damage to skin such as dermatitis. So even for the slightest task it’s advised that you wear a thin pair of latex gloves to prevent future skin complaints and complications.
Lifting gearboxes, tyres or engine parts all day will certainly take their toll on your knees, back and shoulders; possibly causing problems like arthritis in later life, if not worse. Lifting heavy objects the correct way will greatly reduce the risk of injury and soreness. So learn to consistently use the proper technique when lifting in the workshop to keep yourself safe, each and every time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s often the case that some jo
bs are just too big for one person to undertake. Trying to cut corners or do things that might stretch you to your limits could ultimately cause serious injury. It may not seem like the most macho thing to do, but if a job is simply too big to tackle yourself – ask a friend or colleague for help.