According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 180,000 people in the US are employed in the glass repair and auto body industry. Each day these workers are exposed to various hazards, ranging from the risk of limb or digit amputation with mechanical equipment to contact with toxic chemicals.
Here are some of the common worker injuries occurring in the American auto body shop industry every year.
Professionals in the auto body shop often work with winches, sprayers, compressors, pulling chains, and various other tools and equipment. Every type of equipment includes mechanical components, such as sprockets or gears that can cause severe injuries.
Common mechanical injuries include crushed hands, severed digits, cuts, lacerations, and burns. Auto body workers should make use of PPE (personal protective gear) to shield themselves against mechanical hazards.
The manufacturers should provide appropriate training to workers about the safe use of mechanical equipment in the auto body shop.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries occur when auto body shop workers repeatedly put physical stress on a particular body part. Tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, and trigger finger are some of the common repetitive motion injuries that workers in an auto body shop may sustain.
For example, the repeated action of manual turning of a screwdriver will place continual stress on the worker’s wrist.
Employers should organize job rotation, provide frequent breaks to these kinds of workers who perform repetitive motion jobs and bring in a physical therapist to teach these workers to perform daily stretching exercises, so they remain healthy for the long term.
Slips and Falls
An auto body shop floor may sometimes have paint, grease, or other liquids spilled around. This puts auto body workers at a higher risk of slips and falls. According to OSHA, slips and falls result in 15 percent of all fatalities at the workplace.
Slips and falls can also result in bruises, fractures, broken bones, concussions, and other injuries. Employers should ensure that any spills on the auto body shop floor are immediately cleaned up, wet floor areas are marked with clear caution signs, and walkways are kept free of clutter.
Workers operating on the auto body shop floor should also be provided with special footwear (or wear the appropriate footwear) that has non-slip soles to prevent slip and fall.
Dust Particle and Chemical Exposure
Workers on the auto body shop floor often work with primers, paints, fillers, and polishes. They also operate equipment that produces dust and other fine particles. Over time, these harmful exposures can damage the skin, injure the eyes, and cause respiratory ailments.
Body shop owners should provide auto body shop workers with gloves, paint suits, and respirators as necessary. They should also ensure that the facility is properly ventilated to prevent any buildup of hazardous fumes and particles.
Activities involving heavy lifting can put the auto body workers at a higher risk of developing muscle sprains, strains, and back injury. Employers should ensure that these workers are training in correct lifting techniques to minimize these types of injuries.
Auto body workers should be trained to carry a heavy load close to their body and not away from the body. Employers should ensure that loads that are too heavy to be moved by individual workers should be lifted by multiple workers, or they should provide a dolly, lift, or another device to carry such a load.
Watch YouTube Video: Auto Shop Safety. The video below provides safety rules and hazards for those working in the auto body shop industry.
Machine Accident Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a machine accident lawyer in Sacramento. Auto body shop workers are exposed to various hazards that can cause serious injuries and even death. If you or someone you know has been hurt in the workplace, call me for a free consultation at 916-584-9355.
I’ve helped many Sacramento residents and other Northern Californians since 1982 in receiving the compensation they need in wrongful death and personal injury cases.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates.
Photo by geraldoswald62 on pixabay
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