6 Safety Precautions to Follow When Using Your Automotive Torque Wrench

If used incorrectly, any tool can present a danger to the operator. For mechanics using an automotive torque wrench, these dangers are usually busted knuckles, falling debris, and slip-related injuries. Workplace injuries drain resources, and can be avoided by taking proper precautions. Before using your automotive torque wrench, make sure you’re taking precautions and using it safely.

automotive torque wrench1. Know Your Tools
This is the easiest, cheapest safety precaution people can take, yet it’s one of the most overlooked precautions. Every automotive torque wrench comes with some kind of manual from the manufacturer. This manual will give tool ratings, recommended uses, maintenance instructions, and suggested proper safety gear. Understanding, and following, these instructions are the first and best steps to avoiding injury.

2. Don’t Push the Limits
Automotive torque wrenches operate within a specific range of force. Applying too much pressure, especially by using things like “cheater bars,” can quickly push the tool out of range. This can easily damage the torque wrench, and could lead to failure of the tool or fasteners. If a wrench or fastener fails while you’re putting too much force on them, the release of energy can lead to busted knuckles, wrenched backs, or even painful falls.

3. Never use Questionable Tools
If you have any reason to suspect that a tool has been damaged, don’t risk using it. A cracked socket can shatter, sending shrapnel flying. An automotive torque wrench that has been pushed beyond its limits may be damaged, and is probably no longer accurate. This presents a danger to you if the tool fails and to your customers if the assembly is incorrectly torqued.

4. Follow Proper Maintenance
An automotive torque wrench is a complex piece of equipment. It needs to be cleaned, oiled, and calibrated according to a set schedule. Failure to follow this schedule can lead to inaccurate torque measurements and eventual tool failure. Service should only be performed by authorized personnel such as an accredited calibration lab.

5. Use Proper Body Mechanics
Know where your body is and take into account where it could end up if the tool you’re using slips or breaks. Move into the safest possible position that allows you to pull the torque wrench towards your body. Never push a wrench away from you, as you’ll have little control over where your hands or body end up should the tool or fastener slip or break.

6. Wear Protective Equipment
Even with all of these precautions, tools will slip, sockets will break, and fasteners will strip. This is a fact that all mechanics are familiar with. Wearing slip-resistant gloves with padded backs and knuckles can protect your hands from serious cuts, bruises, and abrasions. Proper eye protection will help keep falling debris, such as rust, from getting in your eyes, while also protecting you from flying metal in the event a socket or fastener shatters.

Getting Hurt is Not Part of the Job
Injuries cost time and money, and if you don’t follow safety precautions when using automotive torque wrenches you may be at risk. Protect yourself, follow the instructions, and maintain your tools, and you’ll be able to spend more time turning bolts, and less time maintaining damage.

Have a question about how to safely use your automotive torque wrench? Contact us to speak with a MountzPro representative.

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