Repairing your own car can be a real source of personal pride and satisfaction. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional with your own garage or workshop, there are certain safety basics that every mechanic should know. It pays to be prepared, so bear in mind that there is always the possibility of an accident occurring, no matter what your level of skill.
Remember the Basics
Some of the most essential safety requirements when working on an automobile are simply common sense, for instance, you should never smoke while repairing a car. Before starting work, remove all jewellery, tie back long hair and make sure you’re not wearing loose clothing. The parking brake should be on your vehicle when working on it, and the gearstick in the Park or Neutral position.
When working on the engine, make sure it’s completely cold so that you don’t end up with a burn. Coolants and cleaners are toxic chemicals. Savvy mechanics will bear this in mind when using them, and treat them with caution. Chemicals should be kept away from the eyes and mouth, and sorted away from pets and young children. Always wash your hands thoroughly after use. Petrol is both flammable and toxic. Never leave cans or tanks open because gasoline vapour is highly explosive.
Wherever you choose to work, make sure that it is a well-ventilated space. Many guides advise that you should repair your vehicle out in the open, but if you’re working in a garage or a warehouse, make sure that the windows and doors are left open while you’re making repairs. This will go some way towards preventing the inhalation of potentially toxic fumes. A fire extinguisher should always be within reach and it’s advisable that you keep your work space tidy and organised, in case of tripping hazards.
The Right Tools
All electrical work should be done with properly insulated and well-maintained tools. The old saying ‘a workman is only as good as his tools’ applies here because using the correct equipment will reduce the likelihood of mishaps, mistakes and accidents. For those with a bit more experience, it can be worth investing in high quality tools that can be put to use again and again. Look for a retailer that caters for your specific equipment needs, like SGS Engineering Solutions.