Mechanics carry out dangerous jobs every day, meaning injuries are unfortunately quite common. Luckily, there are plenty of health and safety measures businesses can implement to keep their mechanics safe. If you’re thinking of starting your own mechanics business, take a look at the tips below on the best ways to minimise risks and reduce injuries:
The first thing you need to consider when running a business like this is insurance. Insurance can help cover costs in the event of an accident and can also cover you against theft and damage. A broker can compare quotes for you, helping you to find the best insurance for your business. The type of insurance you need depends on the size of your business, the number of staff you employ and the number of vehicles you’re in control of. These factors can get confusing, so it’s best to get quotes to find a policy that works for you.
It’s easy to underestimate the weight of something, and this can often lead to back injuries when trying to lift something alone. Whilst the weight your mechanics can lift partly depends on their strength and body size, there is a lifting technique that everyone should stick to if they want to avoid injury. Legs should always be bent, and the back should be straight. This is incredibly important when lifting repetitively every day as it can help to avoid a repetitive strain injury. To achieve the proper technique, it’s a good idea to send your mechanics on a health and safety course, which will help even the smallest member of your team to lift effectively.
Mechanics are often exposed to dangerous chemicals such as fuel, anti-freeze, and engine oil. The biggest risk is a burn to the skin, an eye injury from drips or respiratory problems from fumes, but there are some simple ways to protect against these. Long sleeves protects the skin, goggles protect the eyes, even if something drips or sprays directly onto the face, whilst face masks and good ventilation reduces exposure to harmful VOCs. Repeated and continual skin exposure to chemicals can also be harmful, so gloves should be used often.
There are plenty of heavy objects that could cause a crushing injury to a mechanic. Common heavy items that get dropped on feet include tyres, batteries and tools, whilst arms and fingers can get crushed in vices. In serious cases, vehicles may be left without their handbrake on, causing them to roll and pin people against walls or against the floor. This can result in internal organs becoming crushed and bones being broken. To avoid crushing injuries to the hands and feet, steel toe caps should be worn, along with thick gloves. Brakes should also always be checked to ensure they are on to ensure vehicles don’t roll whilst nobody is looking.
Modern cars are full of electrical components that only a qualified expert should be working on. Older cars used to only have electrical headlights, but now there are electric windows, radios, stereo systems, internal lights, air conditioning and a whole myriad of sensors and screens. All of this works off the car battery, which often needs inspecting during a typical MOT. To reduce the risk of electrocution, a mechanic should always turn off the engine and disconnect the battery before inspecting any electrical components. Moisture should also be avoided, so don’t work on electrical components in the rain.
Overall, it’s important to remember that insurance is the main thing you need to cover you in the event of an accident. Without it, you could be liable for injury and loss of livelihood. There are also plenty of practical ways to mitigate the risks of being a mechanic, so make sure you and your colleagues are aware of them.