If you work at an auto dealership, it’s important to stay safe on the job. You need to take care of keep yourself safe when you’re working around cars, particularly if you’re doing repair work in the service center or shop. Auto shops present a lot of risks and hazards that need to be addressed and watched out for. Safety is extremely important for everyone, and it never hurts to have a quick refresher. Here are a few tips for working at the auto repair shop of a car dealership.
Safety for workers at car dealerships.
1. Wear the appropriate clothing and PPE.
It’s a good idea to wear the proper clothing and personal protective equipment. Apart from the dress code, the clothes you wear can help you avoid injury. Don’t forget the following considerations when you’re choosing what to wear.
- Don’t wear loose clothing or bulky gloves, or jewelry. That’s so that you don’t get your clothes caught in anything.
- Tie back your hair if you have long hair so that it doesn’t get tangled in anything.
- Use eye protection. You can prevent dirt, debris, metal chips, and chemicals from getting into your eyes.
- Use hearing protection. This can help you avoid hearing damage from repeated exposure to loud noises.
- Use breathing protection. An NIOSH-approved mask can help if you’re working around chemicals. (Also, wear a dust mask if you’re doing any grinding, sanding, or sandblasting.)
2. Be careful while working with the vehicles.
It’s also important to be cautious while working with the vehicles themselves. Working on cars and repairing vehicles comes with risks, and you need to minimize that risk as much as possible. Here are a few tips for being around the shop:
- Don’t crawl under a vehicle that is not properly supported.
- If you’re doing electrical repairs, disconnect one of the battery cables or remove power fuses. (That way you can prevent shorts that could cause fire or damage to the wiring.)
- When working on a steering column or beneath the instrument panel, disconnect the battery, then wait 15 minutes before conducting wiring tests. Wires that are crossed, jumped, or shorted could cause the airbag to go off, which could hurt you.
- If the engine is running, don’t disconnect or unplug the electrical connectors.
- Be extremely careful if you’re opening fuel lines on a fuel-injected car.
- Don’t smoke around anything having to do with fuel.
3. Know your limitations.
If you have any physical limitations that you feel impact your ability to perform any task safely, don’t keep it to yourself. Let a supervisor know. (Or, if you are the supervisor, let your employees know they can tell you about these things.) Safety isn’t something to take chances with. It’s okay to say you don’t feel safe doing a certain task because of your health.
4. Know the tools.
It’s also important to know the tools required for the job. What is the tool designed to do? What is it NOT designed to do? Know what the tool is capable of and what it is not capable of. And make sure you know how to use the tools safely.
5. Be careful of sparks.
Sparks are not great. Be sure to be very careful not to get any sparks near the car batteries. Those can contain hydrogen gas, which is explosive. Sparks plus explosive gas…as you can imagine, not a good combination. You get what we’re trying to say here.
6. Be cautious of moving parts.
Cars also have a lot of moving parts. Be very careful of these things. Drive belts, pulleys, fans, other pieces…Be alert and aware of these things so you don’t accidentally get hurt. That would not be good.
7. Watch the radiator cap.
If the engine is still hot, leave the radiator cap alone. Don’t touch it. It won’t end well. Instead, let everything cool for at least an hour. Don’t take any chances with that.
8. Keep your work station neat.
Another safety measure is to have good housekeeping. Keep your work area clear of trip hazards and make sure everything is tidy and ship-shape. It might not sound like that big a deal, but by keeping your work station neat you can avoid injury. Clutter is easy to accumulate, but don’t let it overtake your workstation. That isn’t helpful.
So, those are some tips for auto shop safety. Auto dealerships, naturally, involve working with cars, and that comes with a lot of inherent risks. Take steps to keep yourself safe if you’re working in the shop. Don’t take chances.
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