Car jack safety
Around 120 Australians have died as a result of do it yourself (DIY) car maintenance accidents since 2000, while many hundreds have been hospitalised due to injuries and Consumer Protection is keen to see a dramatic drop in these incidents.
Research undertaken by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) shows most fatalities happen when the victims are working under a vehicle and using equipment incorrectly, with many of the fatalities involving the use of vehicle jacks. Most of the fatalities were men and involved the vehicle being lifted or supported in the wrong way. Most victims were aged 40 to 49.
A national safety campaign was developed to raise awareness about the risks associated with do-it-yourself (DIY) vehicle maintenance and the simple steps to minimise the risks:
- Never get under a car that is only supported by a jack.
- When working under your car, use a trolley jack to lift the car before lowering it onto vehicle support stands. Use vehicle support stands on a hard surface before working under your car.
- Never place any part of your body under a vehicle unless it is sitting securely on support stands or ramps.
- Never allow a person or pet to remain in the vehicle while it is being jacked.
- Never exceed the weight capacity of the jack.
- Always perform vehicle maintenance on steady ground, not on sand or a sloped surface.
- Never use makeshift support stands such as blocks of wood or bricks.
- Apply the handbrake in accordance with safety instructions.
- Always 'chock' the wheels on a raised vehicle.
- Follow product instructions and report faulty products to Consumer Protection WA by email or via our Contact Centre on 1300 304 054.
Many people who like to do their own vehicle maintenance tend to ignore product warning labels and disregard the risk of death and serious injury from lifting and suspending vehicles. The ACCC video below explains the correct procedure for common DIY car maintenance tasks to help car enthusiasts safely repair their vehicles,
- Widow urges caution with DIY car repairs - ACCC Product Safety video
- Safety alert - Working under a vehicle
- Don't be a jackass - an anti-manual for using a car jack - ACCC Product Safety video
- More tips for working safely under vehicles