Mechanics Workshop Safety
Whether you tinker in classic car restoration or own a full auto shop, safety in the workshop is always of the utmost importance. Keeping yourself, your friends, your assistants, your customers and any number of other people safe amongst the many dangers of motor vehicle repair is the most important principle in any workshop. So, to help you and yours stay safe, let’s review some shop safety tips.
Wear Proper Clothing
With the many moving parts that exist in every automobile, it is extremely important to wear clothing that fits properly. Clothing that is too loose can get caught in the car’s mechanics, while clothing that is too tight can restrict your movements and responses in dangerous situations. Instead, it is advisable to wear fitted clothing.
In addition, jewelry should never be worn when working with mechanical equipment of any kind, including when working with automobiles. Necklaces, chains, bracelets and earrings can all easily be caught in a moving part, and in some situations, the injuries caused by jewelry incidents may call for amputation or may cause death.
Dangling jewelry of all kinds should therefore be banned from the shop. Also, even simple wedding bands can be caught in machinery (although this is not as likely as with dangling jewelry), so a ban on all jewelry may be considered.
Wear Protective Gear
Drips, spills and splatters are common in auto shops, so protective gear is often the best way to ensure safety. Protective eye gear should be worn anytime a substance could injure a person’s eyes, and gloves should be worn when working with sharp materials, like newly cut or rusty steel.
Other protective gear that may come in handy include masks. Painter’s masks can help decrease the chance of inhalation injury during auto body painting, and a welder’s mask must be worn when welding, to protect the welder’s eyes from arc injuries. Additionally, simple inhalation masks may be suggested during some sanding and cleaning tasks.
Use the Proper Lifts
One of the very most important rules in any shop is to properly lift your vehicle. With literally tons of steel hovering above a worker, supporting a car during a suspension-based task can mean the difference between life and death.
Professional shops may wish to purchase heavy-duty lifts or create a below-ground mechanic’s room to better protect employees. Small shops and hobby restorers, though, may not be able to afford the best in safety gear, so ensuring that a simple jack and jack stand combo is of good quality and used properly is the next best thing.
Always follow the instructions on whatever lift you use, and if using a jack, remember to secure the wheels and put the car in park. Also, if working beneath the car, always use the jack stands to support the vehicle; never rely on the jack as support.
Automobile restoration and repair is one of the most pleasurable jobs and hobbies for countless men and women. If you are in that number, remember to stay safe, watch your clothing/protective gear and lift properly.