DIYers must not forget basic safety

Posted on June 1st, 2018 by Rob Marshall

DIYers must not forget basic safety

Whether you work on your car from home, or your DIY ability is more limited to changing a tyre, the recent death of a 21 year-old mechanic is a timely reminder that cars pose a danger, even when not moving.


Police confirmed that a 21 years-old man of Halisham, East Sussex, was attempting to remove an engine from a BMW car, when the jack failed and the car fell on top of him. Despite being alive at the scene with a suspected broken back, he sadly died after the emergency services arrived. The sad situation echoes a similar incident, approximately a decade ago in my hometown, when a young mechanic was also killed on his driveway, by failing to support his vehicle adequately.


Axle Stands

The lesson remains as relevant today, as it was at the dawn of motoring. Never, ever, venture beneath a vehicle, unless it is standing on level ground, with the handbrake applied, at least one wheel chocked, the gears (or park) selected, and it being supported by at least one axle stand, as pictured. These offer much greater reliability and stability than hydraulic jacks.

Even if your car boasts self-raising air suspension, do not be tempted to go beneath the car, because the system might lower itself on top of you.