As a student studying for an automotive career, you will probably be spending much of your time in an auto shop, if you don’t already. Although auto shops are generally a safe place to work, it is necessary to take the proper precautions to minimize risk. The better you are aware of general safety tips, the less likely it is that you may injure yourself while on the job.
Common Injuries that Can Be Prevented
Certain injuries are more common than others and understanding these types of injuries and how to prevent them are the first steps towards a safe workplace. Apprenticeship students or newly hired employees tend to be the most inexperienced and lacking in proper training. If you are studying the trades in BC then you should be aware that there are organizations that are specifically devoted to workplace safety, such as Work Safe BC. One group of common injuries are slips, trips and falls, which may account for up to a third of all workplace injuries. However, with proper training, a large majority of workplace injuries can be prevented.
Workplace Safety Checklist
With that in mind, here’s a checklist of workplace safety tips that you should be aware of when going on interviews if you are currently a student, or to encourage your employer to follow if you are currently working in the automotive industry:
- Select an employer that keeps employee workloads at reasonable levels and rotates jobs between mechanics at the same grade level. Ensure that you will be working for an employer that follows this guideline during your job hunt by interviewing your potential employer as much as they are interviewing you.
- Once you have completed a task, store any tools or materials that have been used, as slip and falls are one of the most common workplace injuries.
- Ask how to perform a task if you are unsure of how it should be done, as well as the safety requirements to follow. Serious or even fatal injuries commonly result from using incorrect procedures, such as using a vehicle lift with imprecise positioning, completing a task with poorly maintained equipment or even lifting more than you can comfortable carry.
- Wear all safety gear that is provided for the task, such as safety clothing, footwear and equipment. If you are unsure of what safety gear should be worn, then ask before starting the assignment at hand.
Although there are many additional safety rules to be aware of, these are some of the most important ones to keep in mind once you are working in an auto shop, which may not be as regulated as some that you’ve encountered during your trades training. The more you are aware of potential workplace hazards and injuries, the less likely it is that they will happen.