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Old 11-18-2012, 08:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Shop safety tips

I would like the administrators to consider making this a "stickie".

We all know there are many newbies and lurkers who come to VMF looking for repair advice.
Although most of us grew up working on cars, there are many who haven't.
I would like this list to grow to include pertinent information about the most important thing in auto repair/restoration work, SAFETY.

Having been through some close calls myself, and seen some first hand
on others; I would like to remind those reading this to:

1) Take the time to use safety gear BEFORE you start.
2) USE dust masks, safety glasses, and ear plugs diligently.

Scratched corneas, tinitus, burns, etc. are nothing to laugh at.
You don't want to go through sinus infection, or worse sinus cancer.

3) BEFORE lighting the Acetelene torches, move your extinguisher
closer to you, or at least look to see where it is.
4) Put on some clothes for God's sake...even if it's hot out, one drop
of molten metal onto your skin, or into your shoe and you're
getting treated for burns.

One of the most common injuries when working on a car is cuts that require stitches.
5) Use Liquid Wrench, PB Blaster, WD40 & the like on rusty nuts and
bolts.

This will help to require less effort...which means less of a chance of broken tools and fingers/skin getting cut when you're pushing a tool to its limit and haven't thought about what your appendage will hit when one or the other gives.

6) Use jack stands.

This should be self explanitory...many have gotten hurt or even killed when their project has fallen on them.
Trust your gut...if you find yourself thinking "hmm...I guess it should be OK"
DON'T GO UNDER THERE...make sure your raised project is safe.
If there's a doubt, push and shake the car before sliding under it.

I know there's so much more (air/heating/fumes) and I'm looking forward to reading what others add.
Working on an old car is enjoyable, being safe helps keep it that way.
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Last edited by mjb1032; 11-19-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Learned my lesson well when my dad's 61 Galaxie 390 BROKE a cement block I used as a jack stand. Got smart real quick after that.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would like to add a couple more safety tips if I could.

Shop cleanliness is important for a safe and efficient environment. It takes only a few minutes to clean up after yourself.

Keep tools in good working condition and store them properly.

Love your mention of fire extinguishers. As a fire fighter, I cannot stress enough the importance of fire extinguishers. I have been to several shop/garage fires that have been started by preventable welding related accidents. Not only does it put your life in danger, but also the well being of your neighbours and first responders. You haven't lived until you've had acetelene cylinders blow/vent 20 feet from you. An exhilarating experience to say the least. Always have an ABC dry chemical type extinguisher within reach.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cheater bars should be part of everyone's shop...
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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* Buy a good quality respirator and always keep handy so you'll actually use it. I like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/3M-Respirator-Facepiece-Filters-Protection/dp/B0006ORFH6/ref=sr_1_36?ie=UTF8&qid=1353367949&sr=8-36&keywords=3m+respirator
This respirator has a "down spout" exhaust which allows you to wear a face shield without fogging it up.

* Wear good quality, long welding gloves not just when welding, but also when using a cutting wheel, wire wheel or a portable grinder. (Gloves should not be worn when using a bench grinder. The wheel can grab the glove and pull your hand in.)

* Always have lots of safety glasses around so you won't be tempted to work without them because you can't quickly find them. Look for the multi-packs you can sometimes find at Costco. And insist any visitors to your shop also wear eye protection.

* Whenever practical, wear a face shield in addition to safety glasses. This offers extra protection for your eyes and protection for the rest of your face. (Face shields are cheap at home centers. When they get scratched, buy another one.)

* Store solvents and paint in a steel locker. Of course, a approved fire-proof locker is best. But if you can't afford one, at least use a steel office locker. You can sometimes find them at thrift stores.

* Wear nitrile gloves when working with sovent, paint or glue/adhesive.

* Keep your shop ventilated when welding, grinding, painting or using solvents.

* Be extremely careful with space heaters. Flammable materials can easily ignite if they come in contact with a space heater. Don't use paint or any flammable liquids with a space heater.

* Give yourself adequate light. If your shop doesn't have good, built-in lighting, buy a portable work light at a hardware or home center. They're inexpensive and make work safer and easier when you can see well. Here's an example:

Shop Utilitech 1000-Watt Halogen Stand Work Light at Lowes.com=


Of course, also be extra careful with anything coming in contact with a work light. Those things get hot!

* Always use good quality, heavy-duty extension cords. Never plug a power tool or work light into a light duty "Christmas Tree" extension cord. And make sure whatever circuit you're using has adequate amps for your power tools. Never, ever bypass a circuit breaker or fuse.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One I've always liked is "After welding, head back down to the shop a 1/2 hour or so later to check something isn't smoldering."

Also, research jacking points. After years of jacking Chevy's from under the front A-arms I soon learned this was a dangerously unstable location to jack a Mustang.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just use some good ole fashioned COMMON SENSE
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I always use jack stands when working under the car. Also, when it does not interfere, I stack tires/wheels under the rockers, so if the stands collapse, there is an extra measure of safety.

I always use eye protection and ear protection (also a dust mask when needed) when using power tools. Sometimes I am fully decked out with a face shield, earphones, and a dust mask. I know it looks ridiculous but so does going to the emergency room because you thought you were too cool to wear protection.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Seems obvious but ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. Not paying attention got me a two piece ear.



Many stiches later and I am good as new. You know what caused it?



The aluminum hook used to hold the monoxovent tube onto a vehicle (the black tubes hanging from the ceiling). I even won doofus of the year that year, a VERY distinguished honor .

It's the things that you don't think about that can jump up and bite you.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Secure the shelves, metal or otherwise, to the wall studs.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I got a pair of the fancy safety glasses that look like oakleys from lowes. I actually where them doing anything on the car now. I have about 3 fire extinguishers I can get to, one mounted and others to move close to me. Always remember to pull on those tough to break loose bolts, not push. Pushing is harder to stop if you slip.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Disconnect the battery when it does not inhibit troubleshooting. I never put my hands near the fan when the battery is hooked up. I like my fingers very much.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDude View Post
Disconnect the battery when it does not inhibit troubleshooting. I never put my hands near the fan when the battery is hooked up. I like my fingers very much.
I learned that lesson in the RC plane club, luckily for me it was some other poor fella doin the "teaching".
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Good info!!
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