In automotive shops there are dozens of potential hazards, so personal protective equipment (PPE) precautions need to be taken seriously. A piece of PPE that is too big or too small may not protect from dangers and may even create new hazards. Wearing improper PPE can lead to injury and even death. There is not one piece of PPE that will protect someone from every workplace hazard. Completing a job safety analysis (JSA) will help identify the proper PPE for the job task.
The following pieces of PPE will help guard against safety hazards:
- Proper eye and face protection is based on the task at hand:
- Safety spectacles that have side shields are important when grinding, machining, sanding, and riveting
- A face shield is required when working with molten metal because it is likely to splash
- Wear goggles when you are sanding or doing other dusty work
- Helmets that have a lift-front window are ideal for welding jobs to protect against molten metal splashes and burns
- One of the most overlooked PPE items is hearing protection. Workers at an auto shop may be exposed to extremely loud noises daily, which can likely result in hearing issues.
- It is strongly recommended that earmuffs or ear plugs be provided if noise levels are over 85 decibel.
- Whenever possible, installing anti-vibration machine mounts, if possible, to help prevent hearing loss.
- Auto shop workers are exposed to a variety of harsh environments that require all-overprotective gear. Employers are required to provide proper PPE for the job employees are performing in the workplace such as:
- Aprons, coveralls, coats, pants, hats, hoods, sleeves, gloves, and totally encapsulating chemical protective suits
- When working in an auto shop workers should wear appropriate footwear
- Workers should always have closed toed shoes or boots on at all times
- Work boots or shoes should have a steel toe and be slip resistant