Editors Note: In an effort to provide the best employee benefits solutions to our clients, their employees, and their employees’ families in the automotive, roads, and fuels industry, the following is another installment in our ongoing series of educational bulletins designed to inform and protect our audience. Each segment of this series been taken from the archives of NARFA’s Automotive Industries Compensation Corporation (AICC) program and is designed to help inform, prepare, and protect businesses and their people from the everyday hazards within their workplace and beyond.
How To Create a Culture of Auto Shop Safety
An auto shop can be a very busy place. Not only do customers come and go on a regular basis, but vehicles cycle in and out of garage bays like clockwork—all the while mechanics are using incredibly powerful tools. This rapidly changing work environment can at times be hazardous to employees and customers alike, which is why implementing the proper auto shop safety policies is imperative.
Company safety policies should be set in place that not only enhance shop safety, but also encourage safe work activity from all employees. This isn’t achieved overnight, however. Creating a safe workplace environment takes time and oversight.
The following are examples of some auto shop safety rules you can implement to protect your workers, as well as your investment:
- Designate Locations for Equipment
Knowing where machines and tools are located within the auto shop can help create a culture of safety amongst employees because it forces workers to take responsibility and return things to their proper location. A good way to do this is to create an inventory list that includes the name and location of any and all tools and machines.
- Safeguard Equipment
Make sure that every piece of potentially hazardous equipment has functioning safeguards. While most all equipment should come with built-in safety devices, be sure they are in good working order. If not, take them out of commission and remove them from the workplace. While this may seem inconvenient, removing equipment with faulty safeguards can help prevent potentially dangerous workplace accidents.
- Organize Cords and Hoses
Your auto shop is likely filled with power cords and hoses of all types. These various cords and hoses can get in the way depending just how busy your workplace gets, and as a result can create major tripping hazards. The key is to train employees to recognize these hazards before they happen, and encourage them to untangle cords, reconfigure hoses and even tape down lines that are in walkways. A good way to ensure these cords and hoses stay out of your way is to install reels that hang from the ceiling.
- Oil Spill Prevention
It’s no secret that auto shops use a lot of oil—as well as other substances. These liquids, if spilled, can create a slippery workspace and can lead to employees getting injured while on the clock. Be sure to store these substances in containers that don’t leak and have secure tops. It’s also a good idea to have an oil spill kit on hand to take care of spills when they occur.
- Workplace Safety Enforcement
Creating rules is important. But making sure those rules are followed is vital. If you require your employees to wear eye protection whenever they’re in the shop, don’t let it slide when you find a worker not wearing anything. You don’t necessarily have to reprimand your employees, but make it known that not following workplace safety rules is unacceptable.
- Employees ONLY
Only employees should be allowed to enter your workspace. There should be no exception. When outsiders are allowed in they pose a risk not only for themselves, but also for your workers because they can divert attention away from the task at hand. If there is a need to bring someone into the workspace, make sure they are escorted and have the proper safety protection.
At NARFA, we strongly believe that implementing these auto shop safety rules, as well as the many others out there, can help you eliminate safety hazards and protect your employees as they work. Contact us to learn more about what other benefits administration services and employee benefit solutions that we offer, or to hear more about the culture of company safety that we cultivate as part of our AICC worker’s compensation coverage program. And don’t forget to stay connected with our Health & Wellness Safety Tips—we’re always adding more tips to help you and your employees create workplace safety.