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Shop and Technician Safety ~ Podcast Episode 57

Shop and Technician Safety ~ Podcast Episode 57Today on the automotive podcast, we are talking about shop safety. This is a topic that is often overlooked. Well, maybe not completely overlooked, but definitely not focused on as much as it should be. This really comes about because of something that happened at my dealer last week. We are very lucky that no one got hurt. Be safe out there kids

Join me on the road as we chat about:

  • Shop safety
  • Being aware of your surroundings
  • STOP wearing headphones
  • Pumping the brakes
  • Cars hitting a tool box
  • Tool box damage
  • Keep your head up
  • and more

Trouble viewing” Watch “Shop and Technician Safety ~ Podcast Episode 57” on YouTube.

Don’t forget to follow me at:Shop and Technician Safety ~ Podcast Episode 57

Humble Mechanic Logo

Humble Mechanic LogoI want to talk about something today that we have never really touched on before. That is some of the negatives of being a mechanic. I made a commitment when I started this site. I was not going to use it as a platform to whine about work. I would not just complain about hours, getting paid, crazy customers, and all the rest. I try and focus on showing everyone the good side of this industry. How they can save money on their car, and avoid the bad things in the auto industry.

That does not mean that this job does not have a down side. A comment came in on a post I did a while back. The post was about how Being a mechanic is awesome. This is what Kevy said

Agree with some points on this, but i have been a mechanic with Land Rover now for 8 years. Yeah its great being on your feet all day and it certainly keeps you fit and keeps weight off you. But you will go home really tired every night, probably have to work a 6 day week, be hounded by people who aren’t mechanics about how long you are taking to do a job. You are belittled if you cant fix something within 1 or 2 hours, you will cut/injure yourself almost daily and the pay isnt great either. Stay in school kids

Kevy does bring up some good points. The one I want to focus on today is injuries. It will come as no surprise that mechanics get cuts and scrapes all the time. Burns tend to be a little less common, but are usually more serious. Then there is also the eyeball full of chemicals. Today, mine was engine oil mixed with brake cleaner. All the sting of brake clean, and none of the evaporation of oil.

Those type of injuries can be very serious and painful, but are generally more of an acute type of thing. The happen, and then heal. You might have a scar or two, but all in all life goes on. The worst type of injuries are the ones that cause chronic problems. Back issues are among the most common. Think about how many strange ways a mechanic contorts their body. Laying across the engine to reach that bolt way in the back. Twisting so you can reach that connector behind the dash board. This job can really take a toll on a mechanic’s body.

In the last year we have lost the 2 best mechanics in the shop due to injuries. One guy hurt his arm, went in for surgery, and is still not right. The other guy had to retire due to severe issues with his hands. The sad part is these guys where both played a huge part in my career. They were 2 of the 3 mentors that I had when I started. The third was more of a “don’t do what he does” type guy.

We have not even touched dealing with things that mechanics breathe. There are still some nasty chemicals in car parts. Brakes and clutches can still contain asbestos. The harsh cleaners that evaporate can have an acute or chronic effect on your body. And then you get the stuff that is just gross. Imagine a customer spilled milk in their car and didn’t clean it up. Or a car had a water leak and is full of mold.

Based on all that, you might wonder why anyone would want to be a mechanic. The truth is, being an auto mechanic is just like every job. Some parts are awesome, and some are not so great. It really depends on what you make of it.

What about your job? Is there things in other jobs that people don’t know? Feel free to share your story in the comment section below. One quick thing about the comment section. When you post a comment, please check the “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”. That way you can see other people’s comments too.

After a conversation on twitter, I wanted to talk a little about safety. Let’s face it, the environment mechanics work in, is not the safest place in the world. In fact we have to attend an annual safety meeting to be sure that we know NOT to put gasoline in a Gatorade bottle, because you will forget, and then drink it. 😉

There are very standard hazards like, slipping and falling, getting cut, and dropping things. A lot of times these hazards can be avoided, or the effects mitigated by wearing proper attire, and not being stupid! We had a guy at the shop stab a wire tool through his hand. He was holding the connector in the palm of his hand, and slipped or something, the result was him being out for several months. It is just like cutting something INTO your hand, instead of away from it. ~DON’T TO THAT~

We also deal in some pretty gross chemicals. Gas, coolant, brake cleaner, brake fluid (and more) can be bad news. Most are under pressure while in a car. Hot coolant will melt skin on contact. Most of the chemicals in a car are are very toxic. I use gloves almost all the time to try and keep my hands from getting jacked up. Well, that and I don’t really like getting dirty.(is that weird?) Safety when it comes to chemicals is so important. I can’t even begin to tell you what an eye full of gasoline feels like.

One of my lease favorite things about this job is dealing with cars that have water damage. Going beyond the smell, and dealing with interiors that are wet, they can have mold build up. I have worked on so many cars with water damage it is not even funny. I remember one Passat that I worked on, you could see the line on the door panel where the water had been. At one time there must have been 10 inches of water standing in the car. Turns out it was from New Orleans and was flooded by hurricane Katrina.

Inhaling badness is also something we deal with. The conversation on twitter was about a how one of the techs in the shop was being dumb and not paying attention to what he was doing. He had a car running while filling it with coolant. The coolant spilled over and hit the cars exhaust. That caused the coolant to become steam and “smoke” up the shop. The smell of burning coolant smells like burning syrup, and not in a good way. I also remember one time where an oil seal went bad on a turbo. This pumped about 2qts of oil into the exhaust. After replacing the turbo, I had to burn all the oil out. It looked the the shop was on fire. Let me tell you how breathing that stuff is awful, and then you stink like burning oil the rest of the day.

Working in a shop is not the most dangerous job in the world, but its does have some concerns. Most of the hazards can be avoided by not being stupid, and using proper equipment. Working smart and clean will help to mitigate lots of injuries! Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and sore backs are not avoidable, but safety needs to be taken seriously!

One more thing, don’t forget to check out the Automotive Forum. It is not just for mechanics. I actually have a section just for customers to post questions, comments and brag about their mechanics! Just remember, I am trying to keep all the spam out. You will need to be approved, and that might take a few hours. If you sign up and don’t get an approval, just contact me with your email and let me know. I get about 50 spams a day on the forum.

Podcast

Shop and Technician Safety ~ Podcast Episode 57

Today on the automotive podcast, we are talking about shop safety. This is a topic that is often overlooked. Well, maybe not completely overlooked, but definitely not focused on as much as it should be. This really comes about because of something that happened at my dealer last week. We are very lucky that no one got hurt. Safety is something we all need to be more involved with. We should be first and foremost looking at our own safety, then being aware of others in the shop, and finally the property around us, someones car for example. It can be up to a shop to meet some safety requirements, but in the end, we need to look out for each other! Be safe out there kids

 

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Help Support The Show
Many of you have asked about supporting the show. For that I thank you. For now, the best things you can do are SHARE THE SHOW, and shop with my links on Amazon. You will not spend any more money that you would normally. Here is the Amazon link ~ Humble Mechanic on Amazon or you can check out some recommended tools I have listed below.

Important links:

Join me today as I take your questions on:

  • Shop safety
  • Being aware of your surroundings
  • STOP wearing headphones
  • Pumping the brakes
  • Cars hitting a tool box
  • Tool box damage
  • Keep your head up
  • and more

Thanks for tuning in to the automotive podcast. I am really excited about the response. If you have an idea for a show, contact me via email, or use the contact me form! Humble Mechanic automotive Podcast Don’t forget to follow me at: