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WHEN you think of a junkyard, the mental image you get may note be compelling enough to contemplate getting your car parts from there.

However, considering a salvage yard for car parts is an excellent way of significantly reducing your car repairs. Additionally, if you have a rare or vintage car, a salvage yard might be the place to find those elusive car parts.

To note, however, all is not rosy in a junkyard. Even though you get affordable and rare car parts, there are some risks involved. There is a risk of biohazardous waste, hydrocarbons, sharp materials, and heavy metals. So, as you visit a scrap yard, it’s imperative you observe precautionary measures to mitigate the risks mentioned.

Are you looking to repair or add aesthetics to your car? Consider buying used car parts as long as you are willing to keep safety a top priority. You get hard-to-find car parts without necessarily breaking your bank.

Safety tips in a scrap yard

Due to the potentially hazardous nature of scrap yards, it’s vital to observe the following safety guidelines to deter injury and other health concerns.

Wear the appropriate PPE

In a scrap yard, you come across all manner of sharp materials. Again, there is the risk of head injury from falling objects. To stay safe, wear PPE such as gloves, helmet, and safety glasses to minimize injury risk.

For extra caution, you can consider a mask to avoid the risk of inhaling dangerous hydrocarbons. Consider steel toe boots to avoid injury to your feet. However, even though you might not have steel toe boots in your closet, consider the sturdiest pair of footwear you have. Ultimately, don’t wear open shoes.

Avoid alcohol and pets

A salvage yard is not a partying destination. Most junkyards will turn you away if they notice you are tipsy or have brought alcohol drinks with you. An intoxicated person is at more risk of injury because of reduced attention. Actually, removing parts from cars when drunk is akin to driving under the influence.

Being drunk doesn’t guarantee injury. However, the risk increases as you gobble more and more drinks. Maintaining sobriety ensures alertness in case of danger.

In the same breath as alcohol, leave your pets at home. Why? Materials hazardous to you pose an even greater risk to animals. In addition, pets could distract you. Results? A knock here. A prick there. Regardless of how professionally your pet is trained, a junkyard is no place for animals.

Handle materials appropriately

A scrap yard is full of hazardous materials such as oil, acids, and antifreeze. Even though most yards have safety handling procedures for such materials, it’s not unusual to come across poorly disposed materials. In such instances, proper handling and wearing the right costume minimises the risk of injury.

Handle loads correctly

Material handling isn’t the only inherent risk in a scrap yard. Loads, if not handled appropriately, can result in injury. Avoid musculoskeletal issues by handling weight that you are comfortable with. Always ask for help when handling considerable loads to minimize the risk of injury.

Carry a torch

Even when the sun is shining brightly, paths in between cars can be dark. Poorly lit surfaces could result in injuries from knocks. Again, a flashlight helps you to visually inspect the part that you want to pull out.

Situational awareness

Due to the numerous risks in a salvage yard, be on high alert for unsafe conditions. Know where others are even as you work. Be aware of the position of your body against those objects that can harm you.

Report any accidents or potential risks to the staff around. Proper documentation of accidents and risk areas is pivotal in developing mitigating policies and procedures for future safety.

In conclusion

If you are looking for rare and affordable car parts, salvage yards are worth your time. Your first visit to a junkyard can be intimidating. However, do not hold back from asking for assistance from the staff. The employees are likely to offer invaluable advice to help you navigate around.

In addition, be cautious of the risky nature of the environment you are in. Danger is never far from you when you are in a salvage yard. Talk of acids, oils, rusty and heavy objects. With this in mind, there is a need to have elevated levels of alertness to avoid injury. Furthermore, wearing appropriate gear and observing the safety tips highlighted above, keeps you safe.


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