Top 5 Ways to Die in a Garage…
Yesterday, I was at work when something occurred to me: There is a lot of grizzly ways to die in a garage! Anything can go wrong at any minuet. Whether it be you making an innocent mistake OR a co-worker of lesser intelligence, the list was endless. So I pulled out the pen and paper and tried limiting myself to five. It was hard, but I’m pretty sure that these are the worst ways to go. I’ll start with the lesser ones first:
5) Accidental Engine Start: Have you looked in your engine lately? There are a lot of places to get your hands caught in. Those same places would end pretty gruesome if someone started the car with your hand in it! Here is the scenario: Your finishing up an oil change. You’ve jut added the oil and your going to close the oil cap. Your co-worker gets in the car and gets ready to start (because he’s trying to be nice). Accidently, you know the oil cap into the engine. You see it lying in the fan casing for the radiator. When you bend down to get it, not only is your arm against the fan, BUT your shoulder and lower neck is leaning down on the alternator fan. (just to add to the gore, lets say your hand is wrapped in the serpentine belt!) You say to your self, “Damn it!” Your co-worker misunderstands you, and starts the car!!
Result: Upon starting the radiator fan spins and starts cutting up your forearm. This is of course the least of your worries because the serpentine belt has pulled your arm down. It’s pulled your arm closer to the alternator fan. The alternator fan ends you because it mowing through your neck, mutilating you jugular vein!
Chances it will happen: Unless your co-workers are the dumbest in the world (or really high!) This mistake is avoidable. Let’s face it, most people wouldn’t start the car until they saw you clear of it anyway…right? Even if they did, unless you’re a real Nimrod, hopefully, you know to keep hands clear of those parts.
4) Guiding a Car in: When someone pulls a vehicle in, they must have someone help them. The person helping acts as a spotter, and makes sure it comes in straight. Now, the real danger here (or at least at my garage) is what the car is getting. If you are pulling in a car for tire work, you actually have enough room you could probably overt disaster. pulling in an oil change though, is another monster all together. You have bars on either side keeping you in and bars right behind you. Here’s the example: Your co-worker is pulling in a car for oil change. You go to guide him in. Instead of standing outside of the bars you step in. He pulls the car in , but as he’s driving, The cars brakes fail!!
Result: The car flies into the bay at about 12mph. You can’t get out-of-the-way in time so the car slams you into the bars behind you. So bad that it bends the bars out. The jolt brakes you back and smashes your pelvis.
Chances it will Happen: Well I won’t say it impossible, but you know it’s not too likely. Most people creep into the bay, they don’t crash in there. Soo really if this one happens, it will be because the brakes have gone out. I would hope you could figure out whether or not the brakes work within the first few seconds of driving! On another note, can easily be avoided if you stand behind the bars
3) Flying Valve Core: When you but a new tire on a rim you have to remove the valve core. So two times you are dealing with this tiny little bugger. Once when you let the air out and once when you finish setting the bead on the tire. Either time you mess with it, there is a lot of air pressure behind that thing. About 35 to 40 lbs of pressure depending on the size. More if it’s a diesel. Lets say you are putting the new core in once you bead the tire. You start to tighten it down, but your hand slips on the core remover. Since the valve core hasn’t threaded all the way it rockets out of stem at high velocity speed.
Result: Depending on what part of the body it hits is whether or not it’s lethal. However, they aren’t exactly blunt, the sharp edges would be enough to cause some damage. It hits you in the neck you are looking at some severe bleeding if it strikes an artery. Hits you anywhere else it may be a ouchy. Unless it were to get you in the eye…in that case my vote is death!
Chances it will Happen: The vale core getting away from you is HIGHLY likely! However it being so small, the chances of it hitting a vital area aren’t that good. The only real places I see it being bad is the eye or the jugular. Since you usually are wearing safety glasses, I don’t see it getting your eye.
2) Decapitation by Tire: Not many people realize this, but beading the tire can be very dangerous. If there are any defects with the tire on the underside or if your just plain carless and over inflate, the tire can blow right of the changer! You see when you take the tire off, you lock the rim down with clamps. These clamps will hold it on, unless the tire blows out. Having a bubble in a new tire is very rare, but it happens. Lets say you are working on a Dually Truck. The tires are normally pretty big and take around 60 to 70lbs of pressure. If the bubble comes up on the underside, you aren’t going to see it. The bubble will just grow and grow until it reaches its limit, and when it does POW!! The tire releases the air content sending it flaying off the clamps and into the air!
Result: Well it depends on where you are standing. Some people lean away, and some lean closer to the tire. If you are leaning away there is a good chance you can avoid it coming up. However when it comes down, that much weight falling on lets say…you HEAD could kill you! If you are leaning closer…..decapitation seems pretty likely.
Chances it could Happen: Of the tire blowing out, not all that likely. Chances of you surviving if it did…not as good.
And finally our number one….
1) Bay Falling on You: You have to lift the car to work on it. The only way around that is an oil pit bay, and we don’t have those at my shop! This actually happens more than you think! All it takes is one little break and you could have a lift and a car laying on top of you. Don’t really think I need to give a scenario for this one. The only thing you need to know is the lift is falling and you are under it!!
Result: The bay and car have crushed you!! There really is no getting away. Now if you dropped as soon as you could you may get away with a broken skull. More than likely though you are one big pancake!
Chances it could Happen: Better than you think. Lifts are supposed to be changed every 5 to 7 years. Most places ignore that and just keep fixing them.
So there you have it, my list of garage disasters! Hope you found it enlightening! Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to bed. Hmm, wonder what could happen there!
Till Next Time,