The use of automotive lifts to raise and lower large vehicles presents many hazards to a shop and its technicians. Dealing with heavy machinery requires the proper training, equipment and safety precautions to prevent potentially fatal accidents from occurring.
Before using a lift, make sure that you understand exactly how the lift works and the possible accidents that can occur, and know the appropriate steps to take should something go wrong. Stay constantly aware of your surroundings as you operate the machinery and work with the vehicle. Below are just a few automotive lift safety tips to keep in mind when lifting a vehicle, whether working with a roadster or a bus.
When working with vehicle lifts that keep heavy machinery elevated for long periods of time, it’s important to keep your body protected. Safety glasses or goggles can protect your eyes from debris, dirt or dust that falls from the vehicle. Wear a hard hat to protect your head from heavy objects that might fall while working under the vehicle.
Before you lift a vehicle off the ground, be sure to understand the vehicle’s position on the lift. Determining the vehicle’s correct balance keeps it from tipping or sliding off the lift. When positioning a vehicle on the lift, make sure its center of gravity is located within the correct area that ensures it is properly supported. Make sure that anything inside of the vehicle that may affect its balance has been removed. Test the support system and balance by raising the vehicle just a small distance above the ground to verify its stability before bringing it to full working position.
Lowering the Vehicle:
Before lowering the vehicle to the ground, check the entire area for any loose items, tools or equipment that may catch on the vehicle and cause it to fall. Also clear the area of any people who may be standing in the space where the vehicle is being lowered. It’s always a good idea to keep anyone unqualified to use a lift out of the lifting area at all times, especially customers. These people may not be aware of the potential dangers or know the proper way to react should something unexpected occur. Understanding the direction in which the lift lowers is also important – some lifts may move slightly forward or backward when being lowered.
Automotive Lift Repair:
If a car lift is not working properly, be sure to obtain the correct parts necessary for fixing it and having a professional repair the lift. Trying to fix the lift yourself may cause further damage or danger. Inform the supervisor and other workers of the lift’s problems, and call a trained professional to examine the machine.