Take Proper Measures to Keep Customers Safe
Auto body shops present a variety of hazards to customer safety. These include but are not limited to the use of dangerous chemicals, exposure to paint fumes, sanding dust, and 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.
Though you as an owner are well aware of these dangers, customers visiting your shop probably do not fully understand the potential risks at hand. They are not equipped with training or appropriate personal protective equipment, and you are liable for any injuries in your shop. It is absolutely critical to take the proper measures to ensure customer safety.
Take the Safe Route
Your best bet for keeping customers free from injury is to insist they remain in designated waiting areas and away from the garage. We also recommend that you place signs around your shop to clearly indicate “employee only” zones. This will warn customers of potential hazards on the shop floor.
A good rule of thumb is to only take customers into the garage when it is vital to do so to complete the job. Remember that your company is liable for customers’ injuries inside the garage. You will be better off discussing repairs away from auto shop hazards when possible.
Factors to Consider
If you do decide that escorting a customer away from the waiting area and into the garage is the only feasible option, here are some things to consider to protect them from harm:
- Be sure that the shop is clean and orderly. Promptly mop up all oil, grease, and water spills, and remove tools and other objects from any walking paths. To avoid gashing any customers, make sure that there are no sharp edges exposed in your shop.
- Check frame straightening machines and hydraulic pressure hoses regularly for signs of excessive wear. This can help prevent the possibility of chain snapping.
- Properly vent the designated customer areas in the shop to ensure they are free of any harmful fumes.
- Due to dust floating around the shop, ask that customers keep food or drink in designated waiting areas. The dust could potentially contaminate these items.
Questions? Contact us today to discuss any liability or insurance concerns.