Most people in Iowa know the importance of workplace safety because occupational hazards exist in all industries. Auto body shops are examples of dangerous workplaces. If you earn your income in this industry, you will face multiple safety hazards
Although most employers prioritize employee safety, this is not always the case. If safety protocols are not up to standard in your workplace, it might be sensible to gain some knowledge of potential risks that you will deal with every day.
Typical auto body shop hazards
The following are some of the hazards you can look out for to avoid illness or injury:
- Musculoskeletal hazards: Lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying of heavy objects can cause muscle sprains and strains, torn ligaments, and back injuries. You can prevent injuries by learning proper lifting techniques and use the help of co-workers or mechanical devices to assist with moving heavy objects.
- Repetitive motion disorders: The repeated turning of a manual screwdriver and other repetitive motions can cause excessive stress on your wrist or other body parts. Repetitive stress disorders that you can develop include tendonitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger.
- Noise exposure: Your job in an auto body shop will expose you to excessive noise that could cause hearing loss. Wear ear protection when you use noisy tools and machinery, which is an exacerbated risk if exposure exceeds two hours per day.
- Particle and chemical exposure: Your work with polishes, primers, paints and fillers pose respiratory, skin and eye damage risks along with machines that expose you to dust and other particles. Be aware that clutches and brakes could contain asbestos, which poses lung cancer risks.
- Mechanical hazards: Mechanical equipment that poses injury risks include winches, sprayers, compressors, pulling chains, and other equipment with sprockets and gears. If you do not wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, you can suffer burns, crushed fingers or hands, severed digits, and cuts.
- Slips-and-fall accidents: Liquids like grease, automotive oil and paint are par for the course on the floors of auto body workshops, which increases your risks of slipping. Random objects can cause trips, and any of these falls can cause life-changing injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal column injuries and fractured bones.
These are only some of the hazards your work environment might pose. Although you can likely mitigate them most of the time, workplace accidents happen when you least expect it. A moment of distraction or the slightest loss of focus can have devastating consequences.
Fortunately, the Iowa workers’ compensation insurance program will have your back. While you focus on recovering and getting back to work, an attorney with experience in helping injured workers obtain the compensation they deserve can navigate the claims process on your behalf.