Common Workplace Injuries Suffered by Mechanics (& Tips to Prevent Them)

Your mechanics have a physically demanding job. They work with heavy machinery and toxic chemicals every day. The nature of this job leaves them more prone to injuries. 

For this reason, it’s important to review potential injuries and learn some prevention strategies! We’re here to discuss the most common mechanic injuries and how your shop can avoid them. 

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Five common mechanic injuries (and prevention tips)

1. Muscle sprains & strains

Being a mechanic can hurt your body because you work with heavy objects most of the time. Lifting heavy objects might overstretch a muscle or tendon. In worst case scenarios, it can even tear them. 

This happens due to overuse, fatigue, or improper lifting technique. Your team also works at odd angles for long periods, such as under the car hood, which can lead to chronic back pain. The back, shoulders, and arms are some of the most affected areas for an auto shop mechanic. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Use proper lifting techniques and a mechanical lift when necessary

  • Urge your mechanics to take regular breaks and stretch their muscles

  • Encourage the use of ergonomic tools and workstations. This can help reduce strains

  • Establish a stretching routine and get a massage to aid in your recovery

2. Eye damage

Auto mechanics spend time welding and grinding as part of the repair process. That can leave them exposed to flying debris, sparks, and some toxic chemicals. 

This exposure can put a mechanic’s eyes at risk. Common eye injuries include scratches, redness, and irritation. For severe accidents, blindness can occur.  

A study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health shows that almost 2000 workers suffer eye injuries daily. And you know what the sad part is? Those workers can avoid almost 90% of the injuries with proper care. 

Prevention tips: Your auto mechanics should always wear safety goggles while working. The selected eyewear must fit each mechanic’s  face. For grinding and welding, they should also wear a face shield. 

3. Chemical burns

Auto mechanics can have exposure to hazardous chemicals such as oils, lubricants, and cleaning agents. These shop essentials can cause burns, rashes, and irritations if they contact skin. Moreover, exposure to these chemicals can lead to long-term respiratory problems. 

Prevention tips: 

  • Wear protective gloves, aprons, and goggles when using heavy-duty chemicals

  • Store chemicals in a proper space away from heat, food, drinks, and potential ignition points

  • Install ventilation throughout the shop

4. Limb injuries

Damage to legs, hands and feet are some of the more serious injuries a mechanic can suffer. Heavy machinery can put mechanics at risk of these limb injuries if not careful. 

This type of injury can occur when a body part gets stuck in machinery or a tool malfunctions. They can severely impact a mechanic’s ability to work and even prove fatal. 

Prevention tips:

  • Wear proper shop attire 

  • Remove personal jewelry 

  • Put on steel-toe boots

  • Keep the shop floors clear (when not in use)

5. Slips and falls

Slipping over wet or oily surfaces is another common mechanic injury in an auto repair shop. A hard fall can lead to bruises and broken bones. It can also put you at risk of landing on sharp tools or equipment, causing lacerations. 

Prevention tips: 

Clean up any spills and keep the floor clear. You must stow away unused tools or equipment in their designated area. Auto mechanics also need proper slip-resistant footwear. You should also use rubber mats for improved stability and better grips. 

What should you do if an auto mechanic is injured?

Your auto mechanics will need immediate medical attention if injured in the shop. Depending on the severity, they might need an emergency room visit. 

Never assume that the injury is minor. Get it assessed by a medical professional and receive the proper treatment. 

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Closing thoughts

As a shop owner, you must develop an action plan to help your team avoid mechanic injuries. Encourage safety protocols and train on these practices every month. 

These tips can help you build a safe workspace in your shop

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