A timely reminder - terryb
Sorry - don't know whether this is best suited to discussion or technical so I leave it to the Mods to decide whether to move it.

Our Bar manager has just had to take a lot of time off to deal with the personal grief (and grieving relatives) over the death of his best friend.

It seems said friend was highly experienced in doing up older cars and had all the kit at his disposal. However, last week he was in a hurry to get to the local for a pie and a pint, so he put his current project (Merc 2something SL?) onto the wheel-changing jack and went under to remove the silencer. Suffice to say the jack wasn't man enough for all the heaving and shoving. Result one broken neck and many grieving friends and relatives. It's a silly mistake and sadly one you only make once. And I haven't seen any reminders about it recently.

So a reminder to anyone tempted to go underneath a car that's only supported by a jack - PLEASE don't.

A timely reminder - Rob the Bus {P}
One of my relatives does exactly this. The scary thing is that he is a mechanic of some 30 years. So far, he has been lucky, but it is surely only a matter of time...

Thank you, Terry, for your post. I shall be reminding him of the dangers next time.

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
A timely reminder - J Bonington Jagworth
A very good point, TB. A pie and a pint are not worth risking your neck for. Having said which, I've done it a few times ('just tightening that nut up') but I shall remember your friend's fate the next time I am tempted.
A timely reminder - Cliff Pope
Well said. I had an old screw-type jack collapse once a long time ago. I had been under the car a few seconds previously. Ever since I have tried to keep to the safe rule.
An old tip if you are forced by circumstances to risk it, eg if a wheel nut rolls under the car, is always to shove a wheel or spare under the car or under the lifted wheel when the car is on the jack. It gives a litle bit more safety margin.
A timely reminder - 3500S
My condolesences and as someone who occasionally with be found underneath a car, this is something no matter how tempting should always be avoided.

Never rely on any jack no matter what the rating, a good set of ramps and rear chocks is the only way to go. Don't even rely on the handbrake or leaving the car in gear.

A car jack is for changing wheels and that's it.
A timely reminder - henry k
An old tip if you are forced by circumstances to risk
it, eg if a wheel nut rolls under the car, is
always to shove a wheel or spare under the car or
under the lifted wheel when the car is on the jack.

An excellent safety tip that I have always used.
Obviously remember to ensure the outside face of the wheel is uppermost and it does not get moved from its position while the work is going on. I always employ this approach as it, in addition to protecting number one, may also prevent other damage.
A timely reminder - Mondaywoe
About 15 years ago, my friends at work heard the news that I had been rushed to hospital with a broken leg, which had happened while working on my car. Naturally, they assumed the car had come off the jack.

Did it heck! I was carrying a master cylinder across from the car to the bench, skidded on a dusty floor (shiny soles!)I then fell on top of my own leg and broke it in two places......

Doing yourself a mischief isn't all that difficult when you put your mind to it!

A timely reminder - king arthur
My father did the very same thing once. It was a Humber Sceptre estate, I think - not a light car at all. Raised it by bottle jack only and crawled under, bottle jack fell over. Luckily our neighbour heard his shouting and managed to rescue him. Taught me a valuable lesson though.
A timely reminder - PhilW
A question was on a Citroen board a couple of days ago asking if it was safe to go under one when the suspension is on "high" 'cos it's supposed to lock on that position. the answer is, don't go under any car without ramps/axle stands etc - it ain't worth the risk of a tragedy especially for the sake of a couple of minutes or a few quid for the ramps/stands. I always put a pile of bricks there as well - I don't altogether trust that pin that holds the axle stand up - belt and braces I suppose. It's awful when something like this happens, such a huge cost for a small mistake.

Value my car