Thousands of auto mechanics nationwide, including Minnesota, risk occupational injuries and illnesses each day. If you are one of them, caustic chemicals and heavy equipment will threaten you whenever you are at work. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers in all industries must provide safe work environments free of known hazards.
However, many employers prioritize profits instead of employee safety. Therefore, it would be a good idea for you to become familiar with your industry’s typical hazards.
The nature of your job and the workshop environment makes slip-and-fall hazards the primary hazard in your chosen occupation. Wherever vehicle maintenance and repairs are done, grease, engine oil, chemicals and water will coat walking surfaces, making them slippery. Furthermore, auto parts and tools on the floor pose trip-and-fall hazards. Being alert and wearing shoes with non-slip soles could mitigate these dangers.
Working with electric wiring, components, batteries and power tools might have caused mild shocks. However, carelessness might expose you to electrocution hazards.
Some of the chemicals used in auto workshops are flammable. Many solvents can cause skin burns, and chemical fumes’ inhalation could lead to internal burns and poisoning. Dangerous chemicals can contaminate food, and it is crucial to eat and drink in an area free of chemicals.
Many of your tasks in the auto workshop will require lifting heavy objects. To prevent back injuries, sprains and strains, learning proper lifting techniques is essential. Working with vehicle lifts also pose injury risks.
Power tool hazards
Some of your tasks may involve working with dangerous power tools. They include angle grinders, metal cutters, impact wrenches, ratchets, drills and welding machines. Using power tools without the necessary care could cause amputation injuries. Wearing the required personal protective equipment such as industrial gloves and eye protection is crucial.
Along with all these mechanical dangers, you will also face some general hazards. They include continuous hammering and friction noise, smoke, heat, dust, and more. The environment in which you work can harm your sight, hearing, brain, respiratory system and throat. The constant exposure to safety hazards could ultimately cause mental stress.
Despite your efforts to avoid occupational injuries and illness, you might be involved in a workplace accident. The Minnesota workers’ compensation system will cover your medical expenses and lost wages if your injury causes temporary disability. An attorney with experience in this field of the law can assist with the benefits claim’s administrative and legal proceedings.