Auto Repairs in Winston-Salem, Elsewhere Present High Risk for Injury and Potential Death

Oil changes and routine maintenance checks may be a cost North Carolina motorists are opting to cut by doing the work themselves because money is tight or budgets are spread too thin. Our Winston-Salem personal injury attorneys urge you to be careful if you are an inexperienced mechanic or if you do not have the proper tools and equipment. When it comes to vehicle maintenance, do-it-yourself people mean well, but they can put themselves at risk of injury. Backyard mechanics have been known to cut themselves, get burned, and some even crushed because of a shoddy or improperly positioned car lift.
Fox Carolina reports how some garage accidents can be fatal. A 59-year-old male for instance was killed recently while working on a vehicle. He had lifted the car with a jack and was underneath the vehicle doing repairs when it collapsed on him. The weight of the car pinned and trapped the victim underneath with no chance of escape. According to the coroner’s report, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Even trained professionals in automotive repair are at risk of a car repair-related accident in Statesville or elsewhere. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 950,000 mechanics or automotive service technicians working in the U.S. in 2005. From 2003 to 2005, almost 150 mechanics died at work and another 15,680 were injured while working in a repair shop or garage. The fatality rate in 2005 for auto mechanics was 5.3 per 100,000 employees, which was higher than the fatality rate of all other occupations combined.

Whether you work on cars as a hobby or for your occupational trade, or maybe even a customer visiting a repair shop working on your vehicle, the following garage safety tips should always be followed:

-Prevent burn injuries by working on a cool engine and wearing a welding mask anytime you light a flame.

-Eye protection such as goggles is important to reduce the risk of hazardous chemicals or severe cuts getting in or near your eye. Wearing gloves, overalls and steel-toed shoes are also protective gear that can be worn to help reduce the risk or severity of injuries.

-Always use a jack stand and make sure it is securely locked before getting underneath a vehicle to work.

-Before sliding underneath the vehicle, make sure the parking brake is set and block the tires so the vehicle can’t move or roll while you are underneath.

-Always turn the vehicle off in an enclosed area and make sure the key is out of the ignition if you are replacing electronic components.

-Stay away from grease and oil spots or other slippery substances on the garage floor.

-Never smoke while working on a vehicle, and keep a fire extinguisher close by at all times.

If you have been injured in a repair shop-related accident or have a question about a liability or negligence claim in North Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free consultation with an experienced injury lawyer. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.

Additional Resources:
Coroner: Man killed after car falls on him, by Casey Vaughn, Fox Carolina.

More Blog Entries:
North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Say to Always Report Charlotte Car Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, November 5, 2011.

North Carolina Tire Blowout Causes Family to Mourn Following a Fatal Car Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 26, 2011.

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