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Safe Auto Shops

Safe Shops works with auto shop owners and employees to prevent or reduce exposure to harmful chemicals during their work.

The Safe Shops Program offers free training and technical assistance to auto shop workers. Our staff helps shop owners identify and implement solutions like improved ventilation and proper use of personal protective equipment.

Auto Shop Hazards

Auto shop hazards can affect both workers and the environment. Chemicals in the industry can cause skin and eye irritation, dizziness, nausea, confusion, headaches, and drowsiness. Long term exposure may cause asbestosis, cancer, lung damage, and heart disease. In addition, because auto shops are often located in residential areas, they may cause pollution in the air and water without proper precautions. Workers are usually exposed to chemicals through inhalation (breathing), skin absorption, injection, and consumption.

Auto Repair Shop Hazards:
  • Improper use of personal protective equipment
  • Improper storage of flammable materials
  • Inadequate safety training for workers
  • Cleaning parts in uncovered solvent systems
  • Improper/off label use of organic spray solvents
  • Improper storage of auto batteries, scrap metal, and spare parts
  • Improper labeling, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste
Auto Body Shop Hazards:
  • Improper use of personal protective equipment
  • Improper storage of flammable materials
  • Inadequate safety training for workers
  • Releasing solvent in the air when cleaning paint guns
  • Spray painting outside of enclosed spray booth
  • Heavy metal and vapor exposure from cutting and welding
  • Improper respiratory protection when sanding and doing body work

Toolbox

The Safe Shop Toolbox is an educational kit for workers, managers, and owners in auto businesses. On this page, you may download the complete Safe Shop Toolbox or individual fact sheets in both Spanish and English. The Safe Shop Toolbox is also available in laminated format from the Boston Public Health Commission's Environmental Health Office. To request a copy, contact the Environmental Health Office at 617-534-5965.

   
​Personal Protective Equipment Downloadable training on personal protective equipment for auto workers.
Safety Data Sheets Downloadable training on Safety Data Sheets, which are documents that communicate hazard information on products.
​Making the Switch to Safer Products ​Downloadable training on using alternative products in your shop.
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