While many of us probably wouldn’t consider being an auto mechanic dangerous, there are many hazards that mechanics must deal with at work. If you’re considering becoming an auto mechanic or just starting, ensure you have the protective gear needed to stay safe on the job.
It’s a bit of a cliché to say that mechanics should wear coverall jumpsuits, but there’s a reason the clothing is so common in auto shops. A coverall makes dressing for work easy for mechanics and can handle a few oil and grease stains.
It’s also wise for mechanics to wear flame-resistant coveralls, as they encounter many flammable substances and hot machinery daily. A durable set of coveralls does everything mechanics need a uniform to do—it offers protection and can deal with a few stains.
Footwear is a critical part of the job uniform for many careers. But this is especially true for mechanics, as they’re often on their feet all day and work around many objects that can damage their feet. Whether to stay safe from tools, parts, or heavy equipment falling on the floor, mechanics need footwear they can rely on to protect their toes.
Steel toe and composite toe boots each offer advantages, so it’s up to the individual to decide which is best for them. And since auto shops are full of oils and other liquids, it’s wise to get work boots with slip-resistant soles for better safety.
Pro-Tip: Work boots are protective but can be uncomfortable, so consider investing in arch or heel support orthotics to relieve pain in your feet and back.
Hearing protection is perhaps the most overlooked protective gear that every auto mechanic needs. In an enclosed auto shop where cars and heavy equipment are always running and causing loud noises, hearing loss is a real concern and a common problem for many mechanics.
Even if you think your hearing is fine now, prolonged exposure can gradually damage ears without sufficient protection. You should always wear earmuffs and ear plugs while on the job in an auto shop.
Facial and Eye Protection
Another thing many auto mechanics overlook is eye and facial protection. Mechanics often have to get up close to inspect vehicles carefully, which puts their faces and eyes at risk, especially when they’re grinding, sanding, or riveting.
A quality pair of protective spectacles with side shields is a mandatory part of the work uniform for auto mechanics. Otherwise, all it takes is a stray piece of debris to fly into their eyes and damage them significantly. Investing in clear face shields for complete facial protection at work is also wise.