In auto repair shops, maintenance pits are necessary for servicing vehicles; however, the risks involved need to be understood by employees. Understanding how to stay safe around open pits can protect employees and prevent accidents. Never get complacent during work tasks, especially around open pits, and always be aware of your surroundings.
Employees in a service pit need to follow basic safety precautions, which include:
- Employees must keep at least 6 feet clear of uncovered pits.
- The pit edges will have highly visible contrasting lines installed 6 feet away.
- Install warning signs and ensure employees follow them.
- Fuel tanks should not be drained from pits.
- When working under a vehicle, wear safety goggles or glasses.
- Each pit and trapdoor floor opening must be protected by a floor opening cover when not in use.
- The pit opening must be continuously tended or protected on all exposed sides by standard removable rails until a cover is in place.
- Clean work areas near and in pits to ensure they are free of debris, tools, and parts .
- Keep pits free of oil and grease .
- Only use explosion-proof wiring, lighting, and power tools when working in a service pit.
- Always keep an ABC type of dry chemical extinguisher in each service pit.
- Before entering the pit, turn on the ventilation equipment for a few minutes.
- Do not enter a pit in an area when a vehicle engine is running and is not properly ventilated.