What protection do you need when working on cars?

If you are a novice car enthusiast or a professional car mechanic, chances are you have been subjected to unsafe situations. This could have been something as simple as a falling tool or an oil spill. The potential for injury is greatly increased with the extended time spent on a vehicle project.

In this article we will be explaining the types of hazards common in a garage. In addition to this, we will take a look at potential injuries that can be acquired and also the types of items used to protect you.

Hazards in the garage

A cluttered and dirty garage will be subjected to a range of trip hazards. Fallen tools, spilt oil or spare parts can obstruct working paths and cause trips or slips.

A good way to reduce these hazards is to store away items in shelving units to reduce clutter. Additionally, any oil spills should be correctly cleaned up using an oil spill kit.

When working with vehicles you may find yourself carrying heavy objects such as car parts. Sometimes these items get dropped narrowly missing your feet, other times you may not be so lucky.

In the ideal situation, you would not be carrying the heavy object on your own. Whether you have help from a colleague, friend or lifting device, spreading the load can help decrease the chance of dropping the item. In the event that a heavy object is dropped, you should take measures to minimize impact damage. This is why it is important you stay protected by wearing steel toe cap boots.

Steel toe cap boots are designed with a hard protective layer. This is to prevent injury through the crushing of the toes. When choosing safety footwear it would be advisable to also have a slip resistant sole, energy absorbent heel and some type of waterproofing.

Fire hazards in a garage can be common. Usually, it is in the form of chemical, petrol, paints and other flammable liquids that cause these hazards. In all legal work environments, you will find fire extinguishers. If you are a DIY hobbyist you may find yourself in need for one quickly. That is why it’s important you purchase the appropriate extinguisher(s) in advanced.

Additionally, it is important to monitor Carbon Monoxide levels. Power tools that use petrol as a fuel can produce fumes, which are dangerous when left unvented.  Power tools are not the only thing to take into consideration, running a vehicle indoors can cause the same build up of fumes.

Protective Clothing

Work trousers

An easy way to protect against lacerations and scuffs on your legs would be with the use of work trousers. They come in a variety of styles each with their own feature both protective and cosmetic.

Kneepad trousers are common for those who need to kneel a lot. This could be the case if you are an enthusiast and do not have the correct jacks and lifts. Holster pockets are a great cosmetic feature, providing you with extra storage for tools.

PPE

PPE is a wide category which includes a range of safety products designed to protect you from multiple hazards.

  • Work gloves are a great choice for multiple hazards, from cold weather to lacerations.
  • Eye protection such as glasses and goggles to prevent injury from shrapnel and/or chemical fumes.
  • Ear protection can help to protect from fumes and particles.
  • Knee pads are a great addition to protect against injuries when kneeling.

Items like welding jackets and trousers may be needed if you are carrying out structural repairs on a vehicle.

Risk Assessment

In all circumstances, you will need to carry out your own risk assessment. This will outline potential hazards and allow you to find the appropriate products for protection. Remember whether you are a professional or an enthusiast to stay safe whilst working on cars.


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