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Don’t underestimate the risks of auto repair and maintenance work

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2023 | Workplace Risks

If you’re in the auto repair and maintenance profession, you know that the risk of serious injury is an ever-present part of your industry. Whether you work in a small auto repair shop or dealership or for a large chain of auto care facilities, your employer has a responsibility to ensure that workers are properly trained in and that they follow safety protocols.

Yet, even with the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and well-maintained equipment, however, serious accidents can happen. Sometimes, it just takes one moment of distraction by a co-worker, a malfunctioning tool, a mislabeled container or a single spark to leave someone with injuries that will change their life forever.

Some of the most common serious injuries that occur

Of course, muscle sprains and tears are frequent in this line of work. These are caused largely from working in uncomfortable positions and lifting and carrying heavy equipment. Slips, trips and falls caused by cluttered and slippery floors are also common.

Extremely serious injuries can also occur in an auto repair environment. These include:

  • Chemical burns
  • Eye injuries
  • Amputations

Amputations of fingers most often are caused by power tools like grinders and shears. Even more serious limb loss can result if someone gets trapped under a vehicle.

It is additionally of note that not all burns are chemical burns. For example, last year, comedian and vintage car aficionado Jay Leno suffered burns to his face, neck and hands while he was working on the steam engine of one of his vehicles. While most repair professionals don’t deal with steam engines unless they’re working on an antique car, there are plenty of other things that can catch fire and cause serious injury in a matter of seconds.

Finally, those who work on older vehicles can face unique risks. This includes exposure to asbestos, which once was used in brakes and other parts of cars.

Know your workers’ compensation rights

California has a strong workers’ compensation program. Virtually every employer in the state is required to carry workers’ comp insurance. If you suffer an injury that requires medical care and requires some time off work, it’s critical that you get the benefits to which you’re entitled under the law. These benefits can help to ensure that you get the treatment you need and can help you provide for yourself and your family while you’re unable to work. If you’re having difficulty getting these benefits, it can help to seek sound legal guidance.