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The most common auto mechanic injuries

Some workplaces are safer than others. Jobs with more hands-on labor tend to open up the opportunity for accidents. In the case of auto mechanics, there certainly are hazards that can be safety issues to employees. Below are the most common auto mechanic injuries and what mechanics can do to stay safe on the job.

1. Eye injuries

Eye injuries account for 7.8 percent of all injuries to mechanics. Parts can fly off machines, including pieces of metal and plastic that are being repaired. Working under cars can pose hazards to unprotected eyes. The best way for an auto technician to protect his or her eyes is to wear safety glasses at all times when working in the shop.

2. Hand and foot injuries

Hand injuries are also very common, ranging from pinching to broken bones and burns. Mechanics routinely work with hot, sharp and chemically-drenched parts. Burns, cuts and eczema are all common skin injuries. While gloves can help, they also limit movement. Health Day reports that more than a quarter of all mechanics have cut their hands at least 20 times in one year.

The toes of auto mechanics are also at risk when cars are lifted on hoists and parts begin to fall. Mechanics should always wear steel-toed boots in the shop to protect themselves against these injuries.

3. Burns and chemical burns

A mechanic can come in contact with very hot materials that could cause burns, including hot cars, oil and parts. They also use many harsh chemicals that could spill and get onto the skin and cause chemical burns. Chemicals can also be dangerous if inhaled; mechanics should exercise caution by wearing masks.

4. Chronic injuries

When a person has been doing a job for several years, he or she can develop chronic injuries from the type of work required of them. This is widely seen in the auto mechanic industry.

Mechanics need to stand for several hours on hard surfaces such as concrete and pavement. They also kneel on these surfaces, causing stress and pressure on knee joints that are not protected by a thick layer of fat and muscle. This can lead to wear and tear on the joints and cause serious pain. Overuse of back muscles is particularly common.

These injuries are preventable

The good news about all of these potential safety concerns is that they are all preventable. With common sense and the right safety gear, auto mechanics can complete their work without much risk to their heath.

To stay safe, mechanics should wear safety equipment such as working boots (with steel toes), gloves, goggles, masks and knee pads when working with automobiles. Shops should educate their employees on the correct ways to lift heavy objects to put the least amount of strain on the body. Stretching and varying the types of motions are also good ways to prevent chronic injuries. Mechanics should never use tools they have not been properly trained on, and all tools should be inspected regularly.

By taking minor precautions and putting safety first, it is possible for shops to reduce the number of injuries to their mechanics.

When injuries occur

If mechanics suffer injuries on the job that prevent them from working, they may be eligible for workers' compensation. Employers are required to carry workers' compensation for their employees. If you are a mechanic and have suffered an on-the-job injury, a workers' compensation attorney can help you understand your options.

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