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SL-C Manual: Safety

Yeah, this is boring, right? So I’ll just skip right over it….

Or not. 

Building a car is more risky than sitting at a computer screen. You can hurt yourself or someone else, maybe even fatally if you don’t follow basic safety procedures. And nobody wants to see you with your eye put out!

Here’s a list of basics, just as a reminder.

Always use eye protection. Drilling, grinding, striking and everything else that is a normal part of building a car all create moving projectiles.

The popular Mechanix brand or similar gloves are a good idea to protect your hands.

Remember that popular solvents, in addition to the usual culprits like fuel and oil, are all fire risks.

Buy and locate several fire extinguishers near the project. You’ll probably never have a fire, but if you do, being able to knock it down immediately can be the difference between a scare and a car, garage and house burned down.

If the electrical system is live, and you are working on it, disconnect the battery negative terminal first.

If you are using an engine hoist, double-check the chains and how they are attached to the engine. Remember that these are inherently unstable, and plan and act accordingly. A helper when using such tools is a great idea.

Use lights that don’t have exposed bulbs –  these can shatter and eject sharp glass fragments. LED lights are cooler and brighter anyway, as well as more economical to operate.

If you are using corded tools, check the cords for fraying, and the ends for safe connections. 

Having your young kids “help” you build the car can be fun, but be extra mindful of their safety when they are around- they aren’t old enough to have learned to protect themselves.

Believe it or not, hot metal looks a lot like cold metal. Use gloves to pick up parts that might be warm.

Remember, it’s impossible to list every hazard, and the safety tips to mitigate that risk, so use care, and think about what you are doing and how you are going to do it first. 

It isn’t very common these days, but use common sense when you do anything around the car.

And finally, read the manual, the wiki, and the forums. They can save you many hours of wasted time.