Working in an auto body shop puts you at risk of a variety of injuries from the metal fabrication, welding, painting and sanding equipment. Additionally, auto body repair requires the use of a variety of hazardous chemicals. Understanding the things that put you at the biggest risk of injury when you're at work can help you to not only avoid that injury, but also the potential for a worker's compensation claim. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your own safety if you're new to an auto body repair environment.
Hearing Protection is Important
Auto body repair requires a lot of power tools, metal work and welding. All of these things generate noise. That constant assault on your ear drums can lead to hearing loss over time, which is a serious concern. You should always wear hearing protection when you're in the shop, especially if you're working with the welder, laser cutter, grinding wheels or other power tools. You can opt for small earplugs or even noise-cancelling headphones, depending on the work you're doing, but make sure you wear something that will stay in place and won't get in the way of your work.
Caution is Essential Around the Machines
Whether you're working with CNC machines, metal benders or sand blasters, it is important that you're cautious about your operation. Make sure you follow all of the necessary safety procedures when you're using any of the equipment in the shop. Auto body work often involves heavy-duty metal panels and steel bars, both of which require heavy-duty equipment.
One of the best things you can do is to always wear the required safety gear any time you're working on the machines. Gloves, eye wear and bands to secure your clothes are all important. You may also want to skip the baggy clothes, long hair and wedding bands when you're working on metalwork, because these things can get caught in the machines.
Know Your Lifting Limits
Auto body shops see everything from complete body panels to over-sized rim-mounted tires, much of which is heavy. Additionally, many of the things you may be required to lift in the shop can be cumbersome, such as bumpers and interior seats. Lifting these things improperly will increase your risk of back injuries, muscle strain and other hazards. Not only should you be sure that you're lifting with your legs instead of your back, but you should also know your limits and when to ask a co-worker for help. For example, if you need to position a bumper, it's best to have someone on the other side to help you balance and support it.
Auto body repair is physically demanding, but it doesn't have to be a minefield of injuries. With the information here, you'll be able to safely navigate your work day without an increased risk of worker's compensation claims. For more information about filing a workers' compensation claim, contact a business such as McMullen & Ochs PLLC.