Working in the realm of auto body repair can be extremely rewarding. From achieving technical excellence to exceeding customer expectations, the benefits of working in this industry are many and varied.
But the auto body repair shop environment also presents some hazards. Alongside repetitive motion disorder, noise exposure and the risk of slips, falls and mechanical injury, body shops can also pose a threat to a worker’s respiratory system, too.
For those who carry out auto shop body repair, using paints, primers, polishes and fillers is a necessity. But these substances, alongside dust and other particles produced by machinery, can irritate the respiratory tract, and can damage eyes and skin.
Thankfully, there are a number of steps that can be taken to minimise or eradicate these threats. Workers should have access to painting suits, respirators and gloves as and when necessary. In addition, managers of body shops should ensure repair locations are well ventilated to prevent the accumulation of hazardous fumes and other particles.
Asbestos, too, may pose a threat to some workers, since it is used in some brake and clutch systems. Asbestos is a hazardous substance that can cause lung cancer.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has published requirements for assembling, inspecting, disassembling and repairing brakes and clutches, partly with a view to eliminate exposure to asbestos.
The guidelines have been created to “reduce employees’ asbestos exposure below the permissible exposure level” and describe a number of techniques to carry out these tasks safely.
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