Episode 48 – Auto Body Shop Safety


Toolbox Topic: Auto Body Safety


Working in an auto body repair shop can be dangerous. In today’s talk, we will cover ten safety tips to help you avoid potential accidents and injuries while working in the shop.



Auto body shops provide repair and restoration services for vehicles involved in accidents. These services aim to make the car look like it did before the accident and, most importantly, ensure it’s safe to drive.



Early History of Cars

In 1769, Joseph Cugnot invented the first self-powered vehicle. It was powered by steam.


During the Middle Ages, coaching inns became commonplace. These inns were strategically located along major roads and were resting places for travelers and their horses. Coaching inns offered stables, food, and shelter, catering to the needs of both aristocrats and commoners.


In 1876 Nicolaus Otto invented the gas motor engine. He built the first four-stroke internal combustion engine, the “Otto Cycle Engine. He then promptly used it to build a motorcycle.


In 1885, German engineer Karl Benz built the first gasoline-powered automobile, the Benz Motorwagen. It was a three-wheeler, but later he would make a four-wheeled version.


In the same year, Gottlieb Daimler created the world’s first four-wheeled automobile. Daimler took Otto’s internal combustion engine and improved it further. He would build what is now recognized as the modern-day gasoline engine. The engine was small, lightweight, fast, and used a gasoline-injected carburetor. This engine was what revolutionized the design of cars.


The first car manufacturers in the world were French. These manufacturers started out licensing their patents and selling their engines. Later they would develop into full-fledged car manufacturers.


Cars in the 20th Century

The early 20th century saw significant advancements in automobile technology. Manufacturers like Ford introduced assembly lines, making cars affordable and accessible.


Over the years, automobiles evolved from simple, functional vehicles to symbols of freedom and luxury. Innovations in design and engineering would transform the industry, leading to the introduction of numerous models, styles, and options. The automobile became integral to modern society, revolutionizing transportation, commerce, and lifestyles.


The Advent of Auto Body Repair

The concept of auto body repair shops gained traction in the early 20th century. The increasing number of cars on the roads would lead to more collisions and accidents. Auto body shops emerged,


and today, they play a crucial role in the automotive industry, providing essential services to keep vehicles roadworthy and aesthetically pleasing.


Injury and Safety Statistics for Auto Body Repair Shops

Auto body shop workers face some safety challenges due to the nature of their work. Common injuries include cuts, abrasions, sprains, strains, chemical burns, and eye injuries from flying debris or chemicals.


One study found that 57% of injuries occurred during a technician’s first two years at a facility, and 38% happened the first year.


Contributing factors include:

  • Lack of proper training for new employees, regardless of their experience level.
  • Lack of established safety programs -such as not providing a thorough safety orientation, not communicating a commitment to safety, and not distributing PPE on the first day.


Safety Tips for Auto Body Repair Shops

Safety Tip #1 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Always wear appropriate PPE.


Safety Tip #2 Ventilation

Ensure proper ventilation in the workshop to reduce exposure to fumes and harmful chemicals. Also, check that the spray booth has a ventilation system in place and that it functions properly.


Safety Tip #3 Fire Safety / Emergency Action Plan

Know the location of first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits. Maintain clear exit paths in case of emergencies.


Safety Tip #4 Tool Safety

Regularly inspect and maintain all tools and equipment. Follow manufacturer guidelines for safe usage.


Safety Tip #5 ifting Techniques

Use proper lifting techniques to prevent strains and injuries when handling heavy parts or equipment.


Safety Tip #6 Electrical Safety

Inspect electrical cords and equipment regularly. Avoid overloading electrical outlets.


Safety Tip #7 Chemical Handling

Follow proper protocols for handling, storing, and disposing of paints and other chemicals.


Safety Tip #8 Slip and Trip Hazards

Keep work areas clean and clutter-free to prevent slip and fall accidents.


Safety Tip #9 raining and Education

Attend regular safety training so you know how to identify hazards and stay safe


Safety Tip #10 Welding Safety:

Always weld in designated welding areas or have a hot works permit when or if you weld outside of this area. Clear the area of all combustible materials and flammable liquids. Always wear your PPE, including face shield, gloves, apron, and proper footwear.



  1. https://www.osha.gov

  2. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh

  3. https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com

  4. www.thoughtco.com/who-invented-the-car-4059932

  5. https://gmgenvirosafe.com/an-exclusive-study-reveals-how-to-reduce-workplace-injuries/#:~:text=BLS%20reports%20more%20than%2017%2C000

We love feedback! Please send us suggestions for new episodes at info@toolboxtalkshow.com

Let's Not Die Today!