40 Shop Safety Tips Part 4: How To Avoid Band Aids…Or Worse
With this segment, we’re wrapping up our series on Shop Safety. We’ve covered a lot of bases, and we’re positive we didn’t cover all them. When it comes to working on cars, it’s pretty easy to invent new ways to hurt yourself! The bottom line is, work carefully and pause to think things through before diving head first into a project. Here’s our wrap on the final ten. Check it out: Click Here to Begin Slideshow
Shop Safety Tip 31
(31) BREAKING BULBS: Swapping light bulbs in a tough to get at tail lamp housing can be difficult. And it gets more difficult if the bulb breaks (or is already broken). To save on stitches take a section of garden hose and slide it over the bulb. It might be necessary to make several cuts on the hose to get it over the bulb, but its an effective way to remove and replace fragile bulbs in tough spots.
Shop Safety Tip 32
(32) KID PROOF: Automotive shops are inherently dangerous places, particularly for children. Never allow a child to play in a car while you’re working on it. Similarly, never allow a child to gain entry into your shop when you’re not there. We always lock the tool box(es) when little peeps are around too. Teach shop safety to children on a constant basis. It works and it keeps the little ones safe.
Shop Safety Tip 33 and 34
(33) JACKING AROUND: When the time comes to lift one corner of your car, always chock the wheel diagonally opposite of the one being jacked. Keep in mind that most, if not all OEM jacks are designed for emergency use only and they’re far from stable. That’s why a good floor jack and axle stands are important.
(34) RAZOR SHARP: Razor blades and box cutters have numerous uses in the shop. Unfortunately, the blades often go missing and when you inadvertently come across them, it often means a trip to the medicine cabinet. To solve the problem, find an old junk magnet (for example, from an old radio speaker) and glue it to your tool box or workbench or shelf. That magnet is obviously the place you can “store” your razor blades.
Shop Safety Tip 35
(35) SHOP RAG SAFETY: Instead of tossing greasy, oily shop rags in a corner of the shop, place them in a metal container – preferably one with a tight fitting steel lid. You never know when a stray spark can ignite a flame and old shop rags are also prime candidtes for spontaneous combustion.
Shop Safety Tip 36
(36) GETTING THE BOOT: Flips flops and tennis shoes don’t really belong in the shop. It’s easy enough to drop something heavy when you’re working on cars. And your toes can just as easily be in the way. For safety’s sake, wear good heavy boots (yet another ask me how I know!) – and even better – something with steel toes
Shop Safety Tip 37
(37) FUEL FOR FIRE: It’s a very good idea to store flammable paints, thinners and other automotive chemicals in approved fire-rated cabinets. Keep the away from ignition sources too. Store fuel tanks separately away from heat and sunlight, in a dry, well-ventilated area. Never drop or position flammables near a source of sparks (for example, a bench grinder).
Shop Safety Tip 38
(38) FUEL SAFE: When disconnecting a fuel line or hose on your car, it’s a good idea to wrap a shop rag around the fitting. This obviously keeps excess fuel from leaking or spraying (on the car, on a wall, on the floor or on you).
Shop Safety Tip 39 and 40
(39) HOT WIRED: You can start a pretty good electrical fire when a "hot wire" (a wire carrying current) touches ground. The wire can and will heat up and in a short time, melt the insulation, and eventually burn. Then, other wires will follow suit. The truth is, you can have an entire harness burning up in seconds. Watch for this when working on the electricals in your car.
(40) JACKING AROUND: Never, ever trust a floor jack or a hydraulic bottle jack -- no matter how expensive, how high the quality or how many times its worked flawlessly in the past. When working under your vehicle, always ensure the jack is back up by axle stands or a set of solid ramps. What’s keeping you safe with a jack alone is a 10-cent hydraulic seal (regularly made offshore).