Health and safety tips for mechanics

vehicle mechanic with tools

Posted on 30th Jun, 2016 | By Lorretta Tatham

Mechanics face a number of risks in their day-to –day work. In fact, the HSE say that there have been over 7000 injuries and 33 deaths in the motor vehicle repair industry in the last five years alone. Whether it’s from lifting materials that are too heavy or through injury from sharp tools, if you don’t follow the proper health and safety procedures your job becomes a lot more dangerous. With this in mind, we’re sharing the day-to-day dangers faced by mechanics and advising on the best ways to minimise their risks.

Mechanics minimise risk with these top safety tips

Manual handling

While lifting may just seem like a necessity in your job, it’s important to remember that lifting does carry risk. Mechanics are at risk of developing back problems and other injuries if they fail to lift things properly.

Safety tip: If you’re not aware of proper manual handling techniques, it’s a good idea to book on to our Manual Handling Training Course. Here, we’ll share techniques to avoid injury and strain and show you how to lift and carry safely.

car mechanic removing wheel from vehicle

Working at heights

Falls from a height are the most common cause of death and injury at work. And while you might not typically associate height work with your job as a mechanic, falls from a height actually account for nearly 10% of injuries in the industry. These falls typically occur when working from tall vehicles like HGVs and buses.

Safety tip: Always use a fixed or appropriately secured staircase for access and make sure users of access equipment have received the proper training. If they haven’t, why not book on to our Work at Height Safety Training course?

aluminium ladders

Working with dangerous liquids and materials

As a mechanic, you’ll find yourself working with all sorts of solvents and materials like metal and fibreglass.

Safety tip: While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to limit exposure to these, you can protect yourself by wearing the appropriate PPE. Safety glasses are essential for preventing injury to the eyes while steel-toe shoes or boots help prevent foot injuries.

mechanic pouring oil into car engine

Working with electrics

Mechanics work with electrical components of a vehicle every single day. Of course, the main risk of this is electrocution. However, it’s not just a vehicle that carries risk – the electric tools used to repair cars carry risk too.

Safety tip: Ensure all workers are properly trained in how to prevent electrocution. It’s also essential that all workers cut off the power supply to any electrical component when it’s being repaired.

car mechanic removing rear light on a car

As with any industry, we also recommend our One Day Emergency First Aid at Work Course to mechanics. Although not compulsory, the Health and Safety Executive recommends the course for anyone appointed to take charge of first aid in the company. Covering topics including wounds and bleeding, burns and scolds, fractures, and CPR, it’s a key addition to your organisation’s training to ensure a safe working environment.

Are you a mechanic? If so, what’s your top tip for staying safe on the job? Share your advice in the comments below or tweet us @BrownsLadders

Join our mailing list...