Unlike professional workshops, home garages aren’t subject to the work health and safety regulations. Because of this, most people don’t put too much effort in making their garages safe and accident-free. In this article, I’ll explain some of the garage accident prevention basics and list all necessary safety equipment that you need to acquire, in order to turn your garage into a safe work environment.
Types of Accidents
There are several types of potential accidents that can happen in your garage. These include:
- Slips – Garage floor is often slippery due to ice melts from your car in the winter months or spilled engine grease.
- Fires – People often use garages for storing various flammable materials, including: paint, engine oil and gasoline. These substances can cause severe burns if they get ignited.
- Cuts, bruises and bumps – People who don’t remove excess clutter from their garages, often trip over various objects and hurt themselves.
- Garage door accidents – Automatic garage door can trap a finger or your whole body between door panels.
- Poisoning – Garages are often used to store various poisonous substances, like pesticides or car fluids. Their spillage can cause poisoning that can lead to major health problems, and potential death.
Garage floor should be clean and well maintained in order to prevent slips and tripping. All electrical wiring cords should be unplugged and placed in their compartments right after the appliance use. If you don’t unplug electrical appliances from the sockets, they can cause electric shocks, power wastage or fire ignition. You can also trip on the electrical cords that are lying on the garage floor.
All garage trash and debris needs to be cleared, after the work is done. You can trip over an extensive junk or cut your leg on metal or wood debris. For garage floor cleaning you can use brooms and vacuum cleaners. In addition to all this, you garage needs to be well lit and regularly ventilated.
Full garage safety can’t be achieved without proper safety equipment. These are some of the safety equipment categories, you should focus on:
- Personal protection equipment – that protects you from work-related accidents. You should purchase: safety glasses or goggles, noise protection, foot protection and hand protection gloves.
- Emergency related items – can save your life when something goes wrong. Every garage should have: a first aid kit and proper firefighting units.
Storing tools and dangerous materials in the safe way is essential for preventing garage accidents. Tools should be stored in tool boxes or closets. They need to be well arranged in order to prevent shelve overload. You need to put frequently used tools up front, because digging them out from the bottom of the box or shelve can cause cuts and bruises. Sharp tools should be wrapped in protective covering, and placed with sharp edges facing downward.
Inflammable and poisonous substances require special disposal. They should be placed in special heavy-duty construction containers, with spring-loaded and self-closing handles. These containers should be far from any type of ignition source, including welders and plasma cutters. If you store inflammable substances in your garage, you shouldn’t smoke inside the premises. Poisonous substances also require special heavy duty containers, and they need to be placed below the eye level. Also don’t forget to lock closets with inflammable and poisonous substances, so your children can’t get a hold of them.
Garage Door Safety
If you have an automatic garage door, you should inspect it from time to time and ensure that it’s working properly. Never try to slip in (our out) through a half-opened garage door. Always have in mind that even a garage door with additional safety features can malfunction and it’s very important for you to teach your children and other family members to use them in the safest way possible.
Perfect order in your garage is the most important criteria for successful DIY craftsmanship. Your garage is your safe haven. It’s a place where you come to relax from daily duties and work-related stress. You will be able to fully enjoy your magic little workshop, only if you strictly follow necessary safety procedures.