New To Auto Body Repair? Tips To Avoid A Worker's Compensation Claim

If you are new to working in the auto body repair industry, it's essential that you recognize some of the common safety hazards inherent to the job. After all, the auto body repair industry puts you in contact with hazardous chemicals, dangerous equipment and some high-risk tools. Understanding your biggest risks for injury may help you to avoid a serious injury and lengthy workers' compensation case. Here's a look at some of the key safety guidelines you should remember to reduce your risk of workplace injury.

Protecting Your Hearing

Auto body shops are common environments for hearing problems. With multiple pieces of equipment and handheld power tools running on a regular basis, that's a lot of decibels assaulting your ear drums pretty consistently. Work-related hearing loss can be a significant concern.

Make sure that you're wearing hearing protection at all times in the shop. Whether you invest in small earplugs or larger, noise-cancelling headphones, the more proactive you are about protecting your ears, the less risk you'll have of any hearing damage that could lead to a workers' compensation case.

Being Safe With Machinery

Auto body repair specialists can rely on many tools and machines to get the job done. Whether you're working with a winch, sandblaster or grinder, it's important that you're following all of the necessary safety protocols. Careless handling can lead to devastating injuries and long-term workers' comp cases.

Always wear your safety gear any time you're working with the machines in the shop. Protect your eyes, hands and clothing whenever necessary. Additionally, though, you'll want to be selective about what you wear to work. Baggy clothes and long hair are safety hazards in an auto body shop, as can be jewelry. Leave your wedding ring and watch in the top of your tool chest while you're working so that neither gets caught in a machine.

Doing the Heavy Lifting

Whether you're lifting large rim-mounted tires or body panels, you need to be attentive to how you do it. The wrong lifting techniques can put you at risk of muscle strain and back injuries, particularly when you're working in an environment where you lift not only heavy objects, but awkward ones, too. Bumpers and automotive seats can be not only heavy, but cumbersome to lift on your own.

Always make sure you're lifting with your legs, not your back. If you're having trouble with a tire, roll it when possible. For large body panels and bumpers, enlist the help of a co-worker. When you lift, stand with your feet flat and shoulder-width apart. Bend at your knees, and push up with your legs when you stand up with the item.

Working in auto body repair is demanding on your body and it requires expertise to be safe in that high-risk environment. With the tips presented here, you'll be less likely to experience an injury on the job, reducing your risk of a workers' compensation claim.