Personal safety & protective clothing when using pressure washers and cleaners in the workshop.
you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective
clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which
conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other
items, this may include:
- Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
- Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
- Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
- Hand protection – such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
- Respiratory equipment – such as face masks and valved respirators
If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
- Wear protective gloves whenever using cleaning agents or solvents.
- Always wear a facemask and gloves when using cleaning and washing equipment.
- Always wear safety shoes when using any washing equipment to prevent slips on slippery surfaces.
be aware of the location of safety switches located on equipment and of
eyewash and first aid stations should an accident occur.
- Do not place your hand, or any other part of your body in the stream of water from the high-pressure wand
- Do not aim the high-pressure wand at another person.
test the temperature of the wand and the hose before you pick it up.
The handle of the pressure wand is insulated to protect the user from
heat, but the wand extension and the hose are not.
- If the
pressure cleaner uses a heating element, turn the heater off and allow
water to flow through the wand until is has cooled before you turn the
- If you are unfamiliar with a solvent or a cleaning
agent refer to the MSDS for information about its correct use and
- Always wear protective clothing and the appropriate safety equipment.
sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal
safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are
unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.
Points to note
washers and cleaners used in automotive applications are available in a
range of makes and types depending on application. There are fixed
washers for cleaning components and mobile pressure washers that can be
used to wash vehicle systems and engine bays.
- Make yourself
familiar with the equipment prior to use; incorrect handling can result
in damage to the vehicle or components that you are cleaning in
addition to health risks to yourself and your workmates.
biggest advantage of using fluid to clean vehicles, components and
workshops is that it wets the dirt or contaminants, so no dust is
created. However, the waste products must be caught and disposed of
properly in either a tank or sullage pit. The waste materials must not
be released into a storm water drain.
- Component washers have
to incorporate either an in-built waste recovery system or can only be
used where the contaminated washer fluids can be captured to enable
disposal in an environmentally friendly manner. They are normally
designed to run on low pressure and use a range of chemicals and
solvents as the cleaning agent.
- A low-pressure air blower is
normally provided to remove the fluid from the component into the tray
area and then back to the tank by gravity.
- Always follow
recommended safety procedures. Some washers use very dangerous
chemicals and others use very high pressure water to clean away the
- It is imperative that the user read the
instructions beforehand and be familiar with the operation of the
pressure washer. When cleaning exterior paintwork, extreme care must be
taken to ensure that the pressure does not damage or remove paint. If
in doubt, clean the area manually using a clean sponge using fresh
- It is very important to note the type of solvent
being used as some vehicle components can be damaged by some solvents
and should only be cleaned in wash tanks containing the correct
- When using high pressure washers, it is always
important not to use the high pressure spray in areas where the ingress
of water and water based solvents can have a detrimental effect on
electrical equipment such as fuse boxes and relay units. If you are
required to use a pressure washer in an adjacent area of the vehicle,
take precautionary measures to protect the units from high-pressure
water damage. The damage sometimes does not become apparent for some
time after the cleaning process, but can have a catastrophic effect on
the vehicle, causing system failures, which are difficult to diagnose.
the washer has been used on the braking system, ensure that the vehicle
is driven for a small distance with the brakes slightly applied to
dispel any residual water from the system through heat transfer and
subsequent evaporation of the water.
- On completion of the job,
the correct disposal of contaminated materials is an absolute priority.
Operatives of equipment may be subject to prosecution for the incorrect
disposal of waste materials.
- Familiarize yourself with the equipment prior to use, as misuse can cause damage.
using solvent when cleaning components as it contaminates friction
materials and may cause seals to swell. Water is a good cleaning agent
for brake components.
- Never use Kerosene as a general cleaning
agent to clean brake components as it does not clean away brake fluid,
can be absorbed into lining materials and can cause seals to swell.
using a pressure washer or tank type cleaner with solvents and cleaners
make sure there is adequate exhaust ventilation. Wear appropriate
breathing apparatus and eye protection.