A garage is potentially a highly dangerous working environment. To keep yourself and your colleagues protected, it’s worth taking a range of precautions. But exactly which precautions are the most effective? Let’s take a look.
Working as a mechanic requires the use of a whole range of potentially hazardous tools and materials. Oil, fuel, paint, and solvents can all cause harm if used or stored improperly. This makes proper storage an indispensable part of any career spent in the garage.
Keep the dangerous stuff under lock and key, preferably in a cabinet that’s beyond the reach of unauthorised people. Power tools might fall into this category, too. These should be completely disconnected from the mains supply when they aren’t in use, and any batteries should be left to charge.
Of course, investing in the storage facilities themselves isn’t enough; you’ll also need to develop the habit of clearing things away when you aren’t using them. If you’re working alongside others, this might actually be easier – as you’ll be able to remind one another of your responsibilities. If you’re the boss, then setting up the rules when it comes to tidiness is your responsibility. Make sure that you had out appropriate incentives, too – including, where necessary, punishments for noncompliance.
When you’re working in a garage, you’ll want to make sure that you’re adequately protected against all of the hazards we’ve mentioned. This means wearing appropriate PPE, which might include gloves, hearing protection, eye protection, and full-body workwear.
Your PPE should be robust enough to protect you against harm, while still being flexible enough to allow you to work unencumbered. If you don’t have access to quality PPE, then you might find you’re tempted to cut corners or avoid wearing it altogether. As such, the investment is usually a wise one. Develop good relations with your PPE suppliers, and keep your stock replenished.
By providing yourself and your staff with the right training, you’ll be able to easily avoid many of the more common causes of accidents. Ideally, you should provide new recruits with the appropriate training as part of an exhaustive induction process. However, it never hurts to be reminded of what’s important, and as such regular refresher courses should also be offered (or mandated).
One of the more important duties to insist upon is the recording of accidents. This will allow you to see where you’re going wrong in the long term when you come to perform a risk assessment. Make sure that everyone knows where the accident book is kept.
You’ll want everyone in the workspace to be aware of where the hazards are. Signage provides a quick and effective way of doing this. The advantage of signage is that it’s instantaneous, and it’s effective in protecting not only your workers but any visitors to the garage, too.