Tow truck operator fixing the car on platform 2022 02 09 05 35 21 utc

What are the most effective forms of PPE for the automotive industry?

Looking at some of the most important types of PPE for those working in the automotive industry.

Our experience

Our experience in the automotive industry means we understand the need for equipment that keeps workers safe by the roadside and in the workshop. From safety equipment to Hi Vis clothing, having the right PPE save lives on the road. Our customers include the likes of the AA and RAC, where we help them stay safe both in the garages and by the road.

EV Garage Mechanic

How to build the most effective forms of protection

PPE for the automotive industry can be divided into two categories: roadside recovery and vehicle workshops. Roadside recovery refers to employees who provide assistance when a vehicle has broken down. Automotive workshops refer to the workshops where repairs, annual services and MOTs are offered to customers.

Roadside recovery

Vehicle workshop

Hi Vis PPE is essential to keeping roadside recovery workers alive. The risk for recovery working on a busy road is extremely high, especially in poor conditions. The workwear must comply with EN ISO 20471 standards for high visibility to ensure employees are clearly visible to roadside traffic.

Human error and malfunctioning equipment are both causes of accidents and injuries in the automotive industry. Having the correct protective equipment will minimise risk and help keep your workers free from harm. Eye protection, safety gloves and foot protection are essential PPE for workshops.

EV Plug in Image

Working with EV

The demand for EV is growing with more battery engines sold in 2021 than in any previous years. With plans to stop the sale of new petrol or diesel cars in 2030 the demand will only increase. By 2030 we will need 75,000 more EV technicians to keep but with the demand. This includes fixing roadside breakdowns and flat batteries or moving the vehicles off the road.

PPE always needs to be suitable and reliable which has led to an increase in demand for new protective equipment for EV workers. Remember, it’s important to look after your PPE and perform regular inspections before and after using any equipment. This includes checking for any faults, especially tears in gloves and other clothing.

Choosing the right protection

Car manufacturers and mechanics may be interacting with hazardous chemicals as well as heavy-duty equipment or machinery. Having the appropriate PPE prevents accidents like trips and falls, as well as more serious injuries to fingers, hands and even head injuries.

For roadside rescue services, visibility is key and ensuring your team is equipped with good-quality clothing is vital. Always choose workwear with ISO EN 20471-approved reflective tape. Make sure drivers’ lights will reflect off the tape, especially in low light or poor visibility conditions.


Hi Vis

Work gloves

Safety glasses

Hi Vis clothing contains special pigments which are brighter than normal colours, creating a glow which is more clearly visible in dark conditions. You can find many styles of Hi Vis clothing such as jackets, vests, coveralls and fleeces to keep the wearer protected in different situations.

Work gloves for a car workshop need to be easy to work with and designed not to hinder your employees from being able to do their job. Dexterity is key as they are handling machine parts, and gloves need to be practical without being bulky. Work gloves also need to be comfortable so that workers feel like they can be worn all day.

The nature of mechanic workshops means there’s lots of dust and debris from used equipment and work surfaces. When selecting the right eye protection, make sure to find a design that prevents dust particles from getting under the frame and doesn’t fog up.

Protective footwear

Hearing protection

Protective footwear is essential in the automotive industry to reduce the risk of crush damage. When rescuing a stranded driver, you may need to inspect or move a vehicle. As a vehicle is a heavy piece of machinery it could cause serious damage if it falls or rolls over your foot. The same risk applies within a workshop. Having the correct foot protection could prevent life-changing injuries.

If noise can’t be reduced or eliminated, ear protection must be worn. Extended exposure to loud noise could cause permanent ear damage. Car workshops are loud environments and may require you to wear earmuffs, or earplugs when noisy work is being carried out.

Not sure what you need?

Speak to one of our subject matter experts to find out what PPE or workwear you need on your employees. For further information fill out the form below or call us on 01202 718000.

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