Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE)

Vehicle Repair Facts

picture of mechanic repairing rear brakes

Between 1992 and 2006, 12 workers died in upstate New York while repairing vehicles. Below are descriptions of how some of these workers were killed on the job.

  • A 43-year-old mechanic was working on a car using a hydraulic hand jack when the jack failed, causing the car to fall on him.
  • A 55-year-old tire shop manager was working under a truck when it fell off its jack, pinning him under the rear axle.
  • A 52-year-old maintenance worker was repairing a brake line on an electric cart when it fell off its jack stand, crushing him.
  • A 28-year-old mechanic was repairing a truck's rear brakes while parked on a slope when it rolled backwards, crushing him.

How Can These Accidents be Prevented?

  • Ensure workers are properly trained and supervised.
  • Exercise caution when using jacks to support vehicles or equipment.
    • Use lifts or maintenance pits, instead of portable jacks, when possible.
    • Ensure all vehicles/equipment with a potential to fall are properly jacked, supported with jack stands, and chocked prior to getting under them.
    • Follow manufacturer's instructions for safe lifting and securing.
    • Do not place jack stands under portions of vehicles that are not fixed in place.
    • Ensure all tools and equipment, including jack stands, have been tested, certified, and rated for the work that is being done.
  • Exercise caution when working on vehicles on inclined or uneven surfaces.
    • Always chock the vehicle's wheels.
    • Ensure the vehicle's transmission is set to the park position and set the vehicle's parking brake, where possible.
    • Ensure the ground is sturdy enough to support the vehicle's weight, jack or block. Do not conduct work if safe working conditions cannot be met.
    • Repair trucks in a shop equipped for large vehicles, if at all possible.

New York Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation (FACE)

The NY FACE program is supported by a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Additional information can be obtained by contacting:

Center for Environmental Health
Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention
Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1325
Albany, New York 12237
(518) 402-7900