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Safety Tips

Safe work with engines

June 1, 2011

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Working with vehicle engines can present a number of potential hazards, including contact with moving parts, electric shock, burns and carbon monoxide poisoning. Canada-based WorkSafeBC offers these tips to stay safe when working with engines:

  • Remove rings, metal watches, bracelets and any loose clothing before beginning work.
  • Tie back long hair.
  • Keep hands clear of all moving parts.
  • Use extreme caution around engine fans, as these may strike you, fling objects, start unexpectedly, or catch dangling leads or strings.
  • Avoid touching hot engine parts.
  • Do not run engines indoors or in enclosed spaces. Always guard against CO poisoning.
  • Avoid electric shock from battery or ignition systems.
  • Allow the engine to cool for at least one hour before opening the radiator cap. Even then, use extreme caution. Place a rag over the cap and loosen it slowly to the first detent or stop to allow residual pressure and steam to be released. Wait until all pressure has escaped before fully removing the cap. 

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