A career in auto repair can be fun, challenging, and rewarding. But safety is critical. Whether you own your own shop (or hope to someday) or work in one, make sure to take the proper safety precautions. Follow state guidelines to prevent accidental injuries to employees, customers, you, and the cars you service. You will be working with heavy objects, flammable materials, and dangerous chemicals daily. You must keep in mind the following safety tips every repair shop should use:
Safety Gear You Should Wear in an Auto Shop
- Gloves to avoid burns when engines and other auto parts get extremely hot
- Safety goggles to prevent eye injury while working with chemicals, welding, or grinding
- Work overalls or a protective uniform to protect your whole body from extreme temperatures and dangerous chemicals
- Steel toe work boots with non-slip soles to protect your feet and reduce the risk of slipping or falling
- Ear protection when using loud equipment: Common power tools used in auto repair shops, such as disk sanders, impact wrenches, shop vacs, and electric drills, can create enough noise to cause hearing damage over time
- A back brace when lifting heavy parts: Use proper lifting techniques and ask a coworker for help or use hoists if needed
Auto Shop Organization Tips for Safety
- Organize your shop so your equipment and tools are safe and accessible. Securely store tools and auto parts in cabinets to keep the shop free from clutter.
- Auto repair work can be full of fire hazards. Make sure your shop has easily accessible and appropriate fire extinguishers for each type of fire: gas, oil, electrical. Test fire alarms regularly.
- Keep your work area clean and organized, so emergency exits are always clear and easy to evacuate in case of a fire.
Auto Shop Flooring Care
- Spilled oil, transmission fluid, or other liquids can put you at risk for falls. Make sure you clean up spills immediately.
- Floors should be swept and cleaned daily to avoid inhaling residue from dust particles or chemical waste.
Chemical Caution in the Auto Shop
- Never eat or drink on the shop floor to avoid contamination from hazardous chemicals.
- Follow proper state guidelines for disposing of chemical waste, especially flammables such as gasoline or oil.
- Vent your shop adequately to reduce the risk of inhaling harmful fumes.
- Never ever smoke in or near the garage. The shop is full of flammable and combustible fluids that can easily ignite if they come into contact with hot ash or a cigarette butt.
Vehicle Safety in the Auto Shop
- Be sure that the vehicle is stopped, and the brakes are engaged before you start working on it. Never work underneath a car unless it is adequately supported and stable to avoid the risk of falling and causing injury.
- Remove keys from the ignition switch and cut the power supply to all electrical parts before working on them to avoid electrocution. Besides an electrical shock to yourself, electrical spikes may damage electronic components and wiring. Even when the vehicle is off, there is still the potential for current to pass through electrical wiring.
- Never place hands, tools, or other objects near the engine while it is running. The moving parts could cause injury to you or damage to the vehicle.
In addition to the above safety tips, if you are an auto technician in Connecticut or Massachusetts, you’ll need to follow their requirements for repairs, waste disposal, and safety precautions for your auto shop. It is the responsibility of the shop owner to keep employees up to date with specific guidelines and safe at work. If you’re an employee, it’s your job to stay safe and keep others safe too.
Are you looking for a hands-on automotive program that trains you to start a new career as an automotive technician? The Automotive Technology program at Porter and Chester Institute providing Automotive Technician Education and Training will prepare you to become a skilled technician in today’s vehicle service industry and teach you the importance of shop safety. At Porter Chester Institute you’ll receive comprehensive instruction through your courses to help you work safely. If you’re a hands-on learner who is passionate about cars, contact Porter Chester Institute today and get your career on the right path.