Occupational hazards are common with any business type, and different businesses have different problems they face. These problems may overlap with those faced by other companies, but many specific causes will be unique to specific business types and will require unique solutions.

Auto mechanic shops are one example of a business type that has a significant amount of occupational hazards associated with them. Mechanics, technicians, and even customers may be at risk of bodily injury, theft, automotive damage, fire damage, and road damage, to name a few.

Let’s take a closer look at each hazard type to understand better their dangers and how they may be avoided.

Bodily Injury

Bodily injury is one of the most common occupational hazards of working in an auto mechanic shop. The most common bodily injuries employees or even some customers may face include strains and sprains, eye injuries, chemical burns, loss of limb or digit, slips and falls, and noise damage.

Strains and Sprains

Of all possible bodily injuries an individual may sustain in an auto mechanic shop, strains and sprains are the most statistically common. Mechanics and technicians have to perform many different kinds of repetitive motions in the course of their work. This can include lifting and lowering machinery, using heavy tools, and even some lighter tools that are used excessively.

Eye Injuries

If your mechanics aren’t wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like safety goggles, there is a good chance they may sustain an eye injury. These injuries can occur when equipment or tools hit the eye, when debris flies into the eye, or when chemicals splash into the eye.

Chemical Burns

Mechanics and other auto technicians regularly interact with degreasers, cleaners, solvents, and other chemical-based solutions that can cause chemical burns. These liquids can be used safely if proper precautions are taken, but if they come into contact with skin, chemical burns may result.

Loss of Limb or Digit

Unfortunately, there is always the risk of losing a limb or digit when working in an auto mechanic shop. Power tools can cause great harm if an individual’s fingers or arm are in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Slips and Falls

The most common risk factor for both customers and employees comes in the form of slips and falls. Auto shops use many different kinds of greases, oils, lubricants, and other solutions that may spill onto the shop floor and cause accidents. Additionally, some equipment and tool types may be left lying on the floor and cause individuals to trip over them.

Noise Hazards

Environments, where excessive loud noise is repeated, can cause hearing damage and deterioration over time. Auto mechanic shops can be incredibly loud, depending on the kind of work being done. This is especially true if multiple power tools or noise-making machines are used simultaneously. 

Theft or Robbery

Auto mechanic shops use many different equipment and material types in their work. And because they have to keep it all on hand, theft and robbery are all too likely to happen. 

Larger equipment may be left alone as it is difficult to move, but smaller power tools, cash, and other valuables may be stolen.

Automotive Damage

Cars, trucks, and other vehicles are costly. Any damage they sustain while in your shop can result in hefty expenses depending on the extent of the damage. 

Small scratches or dents may be easily repaired, but damage to electrical components or the motor can mean a longer repair delay for the vehicle’s owners. This delay may cause owners to file a lawsuit against you, which can significantly hurt your shop’s finances if you don’t have the right insurance policies.

Fire Damage

The risk of fire damage is always present, thanks to the numerous flammable liquids, solvents, and substances in every mechanic shop. Additionally, there is a lot of equipment on-site that can easily ignite these liquids, including steel cutting tools and welding equipment that spark when used. 

Electrical fires are also possible anywhere electrical components are used because of the risk of short circuits and other hazards.

Road Dangers

Mechanics or technicians may want to test-drive vehicles they’re working on to ensure their work has effectively repaired the car. But if they don’t have enough room at the shop to drive the car around, they may need to take it on the main road. If this happens, there is an increased risk of traffic collisions or other vehicular accidents.

If your mechanics test-drive vehicles off-site, you need to make sure that you have solid insurance options in place, as you may be liable for any accidents that occur and any damage the vehicle you’re working on sustains.

Do You Have Good Auto Mechanic Insurance Coverage?

Auto mechanic shops face many hazards. These hazards can impact many people, from you, the shop owner, to your mechanics, technicians, and even customers, in the wrong circumstances. 

From bodily injury to theft, automotive damage, fire damage, and road damage, you must ensure you’re protected on a wide range of fronts. Suitable insurance options can cover you from a wide range of potential liabilities.

If you want to improve your current insurance coverage options or explore the many policy options we offer that may be especially relevant to you, reach out to our all-star team at John Hill Insurance today!