We wanted to share with you the sad story of an auto mechanic who was severely injured when a vehicle fell off a lift and onto him at a repair shop last fall, and eventually passed away from his injuries.

HARTFORD, CONN. (AP) — Police say an auto mechanic severely injured when a vehicle fell off a lift and onto him at a repair shop over the weekend has died. The 22-year-old man was injured at a Hartford shop on Sunday afternoon. He was taken to the hospital with critical injuries. Police announced Monday that he had died. He was identified as Cristian Soto-Carrasquillo. Police say what appears to be a “tragic accident” likely resulted from the improper placement of the lift’s arms. The address police gave for the death is Gurabo Auto Sales. The death remains under investigation and police have notified the state Department of Motor Vehicles and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Here are some recommendations from our loss control team:

How should I place the vehicle on the automotive lift?

Place the vehicle properly on lift using the following procedure:

  • Put the transmission in neutral position, turn off ignition, close all car doors, and check for overhead obstructions such as radio aerials.
  • Place adapters or pads in the proper position under the recommended contact points.
  • Check that the automatic chock devices on drive-on or runway lifts are in position before raising a vehicle. Ensure that permanent blocks are sufficient to stop a vehicle. As the lift is raised, watch the automatic chocks at the drive-on end of the lift runners to make sure they operate properly.
  • Raise the lift until the vehicle’s wheels are just off the floor (about 30 cm or 1 ft).
  • Check again to ensure that contact pads and any adapters are set accurately and that loads are not being placed on parts of the vehicle which might be damaged.
  • Lower the vehicle and reposition the vehicle on the lift before continuing further if the contact with the vehicle is not even or if it looks as if the vehicle may slip.
  • Do not bang or move the lift quickly at the top. Raise it slowly for the last 45 cm (about 1.5 feet). Banging the lift will stretch the seal bolts and allow oil to leak.
  • Lock the lift with the mechanical locking device or use appropriate jack stands.
  • Be aware of conditions that could cause the vehicle’s center of gravity to shift and cause the vehicle to fall. For example, before lifting a vehicle, remove a load or cargo if it can shift unexpectedly, or follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for removing heavy components like engines, axles, or universals. In addition, the removal or installation of parts may cause the center of gravity to shift and the vehicle to become unstable.

Keep checking back with us for more safety tips and other important industry news.

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