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Key health and safety tips for automotive and smash repairer

These health and safety tips provide general information on ways to manage the most common hazards and risks in your industry. By following this guidance you will be going a long way to effectively managing health and safety in your workplace. However, every workplace is different and you must not take this information as being all that you need to do.

Hazardous substances, dangerous goods, flammable liquids, dust and spray painting
Machinery and equipment
Manual tasks
Slips, trips and falls

Activities/instructions More information

  • Make your work and workplace safe by:
    • finding what is unsafe or unhealthy in your workplace
    • deciding what is highest risk and needs to be fixed first, and how to go about fixing it
    • taking action to fix the unsafe or unhealthy workplace problems
    • checking the problems are fixed and won’t happen again
    • having a site-specific health and safety induction
    • having specific training to do work safely
    • using safety gear.

    Remember, everyone is responsible for workplace health and safety.

Activities/instructions More information

  • Use licensed electricians for electrical work.
  • Keep electrical equipment away from water.
  • Secure extension leads and protect them from damage.
  • Make sure all socket outlets are protected by a safety switch.
  • Use portable safety switches if the equipment is not protected by a fixed safety switch.
  • Make sure testing and tagging is current
  • Use only explosion-protected electrical equipment in places where paints or chemicals are used or stored.
Hazardous substances, dangerous goods, flammable liquids, dust and spray painting
Activities/instructions More information

  • Make sure Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are available for substances classified as hazardous (e.g. thinners).
  • Read the label and MSDS and follow all instructions.
  • Safely and securely store substances when they are not being used.
  • Store flammable and combustible liquids away from ignition sources.
  • Train workers in safe handling of hazardous substances (e.g. protecting respiratory system, eyes and skin when using 2-pack paint systems containing isocyanates).
  • Do spray painting in a spray booth.
  • Use exhaust ventilation in paint mixing rooms.
  • Make sure all substances have clear labels (including safety and risk phrases).
  • Do not store substances in food and/or drink containers (e.g. thinners not stored in drink bottles).
  • Control dust through using wet processes, extraction, general ventilation and appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
Machinery and equipment
Activities/instructions More information

  • Fit guards to machinery and equipment with moving parts.
  • Use machinery and equipment in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Train workers in safe use of equipment where provided.
  • Display safe working loads, operating instructions and safety information near machinery and equipment.
  • Make sure machinery and equipment is in good working condition. Label and do not use faulty machinery and equipment.
  • Set up safety barriers around equipment such as frame straighteners.
Manual tasks
Activities/instructions More information

  • Make sure everyone has received clear instructions and has been trained to perform the task.
  • For work involving hard physical effort:
    • organise work to reduce physical force needed
    • use mechanical and assistive equipment
    • train workers in safe use of equipment/devices, where provided
    • buy small, light cartons of stock.
  • For work involving awkward working positions:
    • work in a position that minimises the need to twist, slouch, or bend with arms in close to the body
    • adjust work spaces to allow for different working heights for different sized workers.
  • For work that is highly repetitive and/or involves tasks of long duration, change work tasks or get equipment to stop repetitive actions or long tasks
Activities/instructions More information

  • Set up air compressors outside the work area, or use a sound enclosure.
  • Separate noisy areas with a sound barrier.
  • Minimise hammering by using bending techniques or magnets instead.
  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), for example, ear muffs or ear plugs.
Slips, trips and falls
Activities/instructions More information

  • Repair leaking equipment and catch leaking engine oil in an oil tray.
  • Clean the floor frequently using products that remove oil and grease.
  • Clean up dust and moisture build-up on floor.
  • Cover slippery surfaces with non-slip material, or use non-slip mats.
  • Wear non-slip footwear suitable for the task.
  • Keep work areas and walkways free of clutter.
  • Replace steps with ramps.
  • Install good lighting.
  • Design the delivery area so unloading is done under shelter or as close as possible to the storage area.
Activities/instructions More information

  • Make sure there is plenty of ventilation and light.
  • Do not use welding equipment near where flammable substances are stored or used.
  • Use welding screens to stop people being exposed to high intensity flashes.

Last updated 18 October 2011