Repairing auto body damage requires sanding, grinding, and sometimes welding to repair the vehicle before it can be refinished. Get training in collision repair. Know the techniques and tools to complete bodywork. Review the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for the chemicals you use to identify the personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear and how to mix and use materials properly.
Eye injuries are common in auto body shops.
Always wear eye protection when you are grinding, sanding, welding, and painting. Safety eyeglasses, goggles, and/or shields can protect your eyes from flying particles, sparks, and splashes.
Grinding and sanding the paint off sheet metal may expose you to dusts that contain chemical particles and toxic metals such as lead, cadmium, or chromium. Work in well-ventilated areas. Use vacuum-equipped grinders and sanders to keep the dusts away from your face. Wear a dust mask or respirator to protect your lungs.
Safe work practices while welding reduce burns and fire hazard.
Wear protective gear including a hood, face shield, apron, and gloves. Work in shielded/designated welding areas to avoid exposing others to the arc. Keep the area clear of flammable liquids, paper, and rags.
When you apply surface preparation cleaners and mix fillers and putties, follow the manufacturer’s directions for correct mix ratios and concentrations. Mix and apply materials in well-ventilated areas. Wear gloves and long sleeves to avoid skin contact with the chemicals.
Cuts from knives and blades are common in collision repair. Wear gloves to protect you from glass, sheet metal, and blades. Keep your cutting tools sharp. Cut away from your body. Discard sharp blades in a rigid plastic container.
Avoid ergonomic injuries. Do not apply excessive force, twist, or overreach. Keep your work close to you for the most power and comfort. Rotate tasks throughout the day and take frequent microbreaks to relieve fatigue.