Laboratory Safety

In a laboratory setting it is important to think safety. Moving engine parts, explosive fuels, and hot components can make working on vehicles dangerous. The following is a list of safety precautions for the general vehicle lab. If you are in an educational institution, your instructor may personalize this list to fit your specific situation. If you are working in your own garage, modify the personal protection, shop/lab procedures, and equipment safety precautions as you see fit. Always follow the safety instructions that accompany any tool or piece of equipment.

Personal Protection 
Safety glasses are not optional. Wear them at all times when working on a vehicle. Warning: Ordinary prescription glasses are not safety glasses. You can purchase approved prescription safety glasses with side shields.
Do not have bare feet or wear open-toed sandals. Wear shoes that protect your feet.
Loud noises can damage your hearing, so wear ear protection (e.g., earplugs).
Keep your tools and hands free of grease and oil. Wearing mechanic gloves is smart, but do not wear gloves when moving parts are present. Keep your hands away from moving parts. Never use your hands to stop components that are moving.
Remove your rings, watch, and other jewelry.
If you have long hair, tie it back. It could get caught in moving parts.
Do not wear loose or baggy clothing that could get caught in moving parts.
Do not work on a hot engine.
Do not touch spark plug wires while the engine is running. Tens of thousands of volts are present.
Never put your hands on or near the cooling fan. Many fans are electric and can start at anytime, even if the ignition is off.
Never open a hot radiator cap.
Use proper lifting procedures to avoid injury. Use your legs, not your back.
Shop/Lab Procedures 
Know the location and operational procedures of fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, eyewash stations, and a telephone. Dial 911 for emergencies.
Someone must be sitting in the driver’s seat whenever a car is started and/or running.
The exhaust system of a running engine must be connected to a ventilation system if the vehicle is in an enclosed location such as a garage. Warning: Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas. Proper ventilation is required. 
Always engage the parking brake to prevent the vehicle from moving.
Put oily rags in an approved can for combustible materials.
Always clean up spilled oil and grease off the floor. Sawdust, kitty litter, and oil dry work well for this.
Never pour chemicals, solvents, antifreeze, or oil down the sanitary drain. Put them in their proper containers to be recycled.
Use an approved safety cabinet for flammable materials.
Equipment Safety 
Stand creepers up when not in use.
Place floor jack handles in the up position when not being used.
If a car is off the ground (except when on an automotive lift) it must be supported by jack stands.
Use the proper tool for each job.
Do not put tools on top of a vehicle’s battery. Accidentally touching both terminals will cause a spark, which could lead to an explosion.