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Health & Safety

Health & Safety Published: 26th Apr 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Health & Safety
Health & Safety
Health & Safety
Health & Safety
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No classic car is worth injuring yourself over! protecting yourself at home is just as essential as when you are at work so kit yourself out now

It’s only when an accident occurs that you really appreciate the value of safety equipment. Depending on the type of jobs that you will be undertaking, the level of protection varies. At the very least, it’s worthwhile investing in something to protect your hands. Barrier cream and hand cleaners have been popular methods of protection for many decades, but more recently, the price of disposable gloves has dropped, so many people opt for these instead. Some people struggle to work with any type of glove, so resorting to barrier cream and a hand cleaner may be the better solution in some cases.

The same goes for goggles. Whether it’s drilling a hole through a metal panel or cutting through a wheel arch with an angle grinder; protecting your eyes is important. Safety goggles cost from a few quid a pair, so they’re a cheap investment for potentially saving your eyesight. Some jobs require more than a simple pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes. Grinding with a wire wheel can see bits of metal flying in all directions, so a full-face visor provides better protection. When welding, a suitable welding mask that can filter out the harmful light that is emitted should be worn.

Breathing masks are not used as much as they should be. Jobs such as sanding down, grinding through rust or cutting through aluminium all generate dust in the air that can be harmful if inhaled. Disposable breathing masks can cost a few pence, if bought in bulk. A longer-lasting more comprehensive mask with removable filters will be pricier, but provide better protection

One area of safety that isn’t so clear concerns footwear. Steel-toe-capped boots help to protect your toes should you drop a hammer on them, for instance. However, it could be argued that if a heavy object lands on the steel front and crushes it, your toes could either be crushed inside the shoe or worst still severed. Whatever the opinion, it’s a painful outcome, but in the long term could be the difference between having toes or not!

One aspect of safety that’s definitely easier to decide upon is a pair of working overalls, inexpensive at around £20 or so. Much better and more professional than old cloths (which can snag on some items), and they usually include useful pockets. Plus, many are made from a thick material to help withstand grinding and welding sparks plus keep you warmer.

Disposable overalls aren’t for everyday use but ideal for clean jobs, or tasks that involve dangerous substances where contamination needs to be kept to a minimum. There are some specific jobs that require a greater level of safety. Welding is one example, where mask and gloves are essential. However, full body protection from hot welding sparks is also a must. The sparks can jump through the smallest opening in your clothing, then drop down and burn your skin, so being covered from top to toe is important, especially if you are grinding and welding underneath a vehicle.

Some forms of protection may seem like overkill, such as wearing a hard hat when working underneath a vehicle. Is it a case of health and safety gone mad? It’s not the easiest thing to wear when crawling underneath a vehicle, but possibly a sensible option if you are in an inspection pit.

Put your safety first

When working down pit

If you have an inspection pit, devise an exit strategy should you need to get out quickly. It’s tempting but don’t use it as a new handy storage area and clear up any mess or spills promptly. Let someone know you’re working down pit if possible

Just don’t overdo it…

Chances are that you have a day job to keep you occupied and will be doing this in your leisure time. Just bear in mind that some days you will be tired and that’s when mistakes – even worse – accidents occur. So take five and don’t push it

Don’t play with fire

Cars are combustible (fuel, sound proofing etc). A small handheld fire extinguisher is the minimum but better still invest in a fire blanket and a second extinguisher; also adds peace of mind when welding and grinding, as the sparks start to fly

Five top tips

Have ’em handy

The issue of working safely in your garage is easy to ignore, especially if you have a long list of jobs lined up for an afternoon or evening in your garage and realise it may take another five or ten minutes to find your grinding goggles and gloves. Make time…

Be alarmed

Alarms, such as a smoke detector can be of help, especially when welding or grinding on your own, although they may activate due to the amount of smoke generated. Similarly, a carbon monoxide alarm is a useful warning system if you are running your classic car’s engine

First aid kit

Some potential accidents simply require equipment and procedures to be thoroughly catered for. A first aid kit with wipes, bandages and plasters will hopefully save the day should you start painting the floor with your blood. A bottle or two of eyewash will help should you accidentally spray something into your eyes

Think safety

It’s important to consider the type of accidents that can occur and how you should deal with them. What happens if a raised car falls off its axle stands or jack and lands on you and you’re on your own? Carrying your mobile phone in the top pocket of your overalls may ensure you can at alert someone

Dressed to kill

The term ‘Health & Safety’ has come in for ribbing of late as being a bit of a killjoy but essentially it’s a good thing, raising work safety standards. So why not adopt them when in your garage? Proper overalls, sturdy shoes or boots must be the bare minimum to wear…

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