Workshop safety - hazards

Carpentry, welding, panel beating and paint spraying are just four of the jobs that could be associated with workshops. All too often a lack of good housekeeping and regular cleaning result in accidents such as cuts and pulled muscles. A lack of protection when welding could result in "arc eye" or respiratory problems; oil on a floor could result in slipping; permanent or temporary deafness can result from a lack of hearing when panel beating.

Have a look around your workshops and as a start think about cleaning the place up making sure everything is in the right place.

Legislation

Read more about the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Common hazards

The following are just a few examples of common safety faults found in workshops:

  • guards or screens not on equipment
  • gas cylinders not chained to a wall
  • lack of adequate ventilation
  • no safety signs
  • hidden or missing safety notices
  • machinery left unattended when running
  • obstructed emergency cut out switches
  • cluttered workbenches
  • chemical substances in unmarked containers
  • blocked fire exits
  • loading bays not fenced off
  • trailing wires
  • no barrier cream
  • flickering lights
  • incorrect ambient temperature
  • no electric shock treatment poster
  • missing or inadequate covers over inspection pits
  • improvised tools
  • top heavy shelving
  • missing, damaged, or misused machinery guards

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