What do mechanics do?
Mechanics work in many different industries including aviation, automotive, commercial, industrial or residential settings. Some of their main duties are to:
- Install, repair and maintain mechanical systems.
- Prepare cost estimates and documentation for clients.
- Use, clean and maintain various equipment and machines.
- Supervise apprentices or other workers.
What are some health and safety issues for mechanics?
Mechanics work in a variety of settings and may be exposed to several hazards, including:
- Exposure to chemicals, solvents, solder, and other products.
- Exposure to gasoline or diesel exhaust.
- Risk of electrical shock or burns.
- Fire risk from fuels and other products.
- Burns from battery acid, hot surfaces, exhaust, etc.
- Potentially working in confined spaces.
- Welding hazards, including UV radiation.
- Working with compressed air.
- Working near rotating parts (being caught in or between).
- Working with explosive items, such as air bags.
- Bursting of tires while repairing or installing.
- Extreme temperatures.
- Risk of pain or injury from awkward positions, repetitive manual tasks, or lifting heavy objects.
- Risk of falling objects (including the vehicle) when working under vehicles, or with jacks, hoists, or hydraulic lifts.
- Possibility of working at heights.
- Risk of eye injury from flying particles.
- Risk of hand injuries.
- Slips, trips and falls.
- Working with various hand tools, power tools and equipment.
- Shift work or extended work days.
- Working alone.
- Possible exposure to asbestos.
- Exposure to noise.
- Dealing with hostile customers.
What are some preventive measures for mechanics?
- Keep tools and equipment in good working order.
- Work safely with chemicals and related products.
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment for the task, including footwear.
- Keep work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
- Avoid awkward positions, and repetitive tasks, or take frequent breaks.
- Learn safe lifting techniques.
- Follow a recommended shift work pattern, and know the associated hazards.
- Inspect work area before work starts to identify potential hazards and their controls.
- Follow workplace policies and procedures relating to preventing workplace violence and harassment
Please also see the series of OSH Answers fact sheets on how to work safely in a garage which includes autobody repair, batteries, fuel safety, hydraulic lifts, inflating tires, servicing vehicles and other topics.
What are some good general safe work practices?
- Follow correct procedures for:
- Use, maintain and store personal protective equipment according to manufacturer's recommendations.
- Learn about chemical hazards, WHMIS and SDSs.
- Know how to report a hazard.
- Follow good housekeeping procedures.
- Follow company safety rules.
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Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.