As a panel beater or body shop owner, you will be familiar with the types of risks that are associated with your trade.
Garages present a variety of hazards, including the use of dangerous chemicals, exposure to paint fumes, exposure to sanding dust, metal fumes from welding and cutting, hearing damage from excessive noise, the potential for oil or grease spills leading to slips and falls, flying debris, electrical exposures and the general peril of working with large, heavy machinery.
While you and your employees will be aware of these dangers, it is likely that members of the public visiting your garage probably do not fully understand the potential risks.
Because customers are not equipped with training or proper personal protective equipment (PPE), you may be liable for any injuries incurred in the shop, which could lead to losses under the Public Liability section of your Motor Trade Insurance policy.
With this in mind, it’s vital to take the appropriate risk assessments, it is essential to take proper measures to keep them safe.
Take The Safety First Option
Your best bet for keeping customers free from injury is to keep them in the designated waiting areas and away from the garage altogether.
It is recommended that you make sure signs indicate employee-only zones to warn customers of potential hazards when entering the garage.
A good rule of thumb is to take customers into the garage only when it is absolutely vital to completing the job.
If You Do Need To Take A Customer Into The Body Shop…..
If you decide that taking a customer back into the garage and away from the designated waiting areas is the only feasible option, here are some things to consider to protect the customer from harm:
- Be sure the floor is clean and orderly. Clean up all oil, grease and water spills promptly, and remove all tools or other objects left in walking paths. Make sure there are no exposed sharp edges around the shop where visiting customers could cut themselves.
- Check frame straightening machines and hydraulic pressure hoses regularly for signs of excessive wear to prevent the possibility of chain snapping.
- Make sure the areas where the customer visits are adequately ventilated and free of any harmful fumes.
- Ask that the customer keep any food or drinks in the designated waiting area, as any dust from the garage could potentially contaminate these items.
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