As long as we own and drive cars we will be subject to accidents occurring. The need for auto body shops isn’t going the way of the horse and carriage anytime soon, so owners of these businesses need to protect their most valuable assets: their workers. Running an auto body shop comes with a slew of risks and exposures associated with the type of work being performed and you should be well informed about your exposure to these risks, work on ways on how to avoid it, and learn how to prevent gaps in your auto body insurance coverage.
Employees’ risks & hazards for auto repair & body shops
Risk can come from any direction, at any time and the severity can be major, even resulting in a loss of life. It’s a harsh reality, but with the equipment, tools, chemicals, and of course the vehicles involved in this type of business, the possible scenarios are important to consider. Risk exposures can cause substantial losses and setbacks to your business, and therefore must be met head on with safety procedures, precautions, and some good old common sense.
Auto body shops have a myriad of hazards they need to protect their employees from including antilock agents, asbestos, lead dust, solvents, diesel exhaust fumes, heavy objects, and faulty lifts and jacks. Some of these hazards can lead to serious illnesses and injuries including:
- Cuts and burns
- Hearing and vision loss
- Broken bones and paralysis
- Strains from overexertion, and
- Accidents as a result of slips and falls
Tips for preventing injuries
Make sure workers get help lifting or moving extremely heavy objects. Have them use jacks and lifting aids for lifting and holding heavy parts for installation, and use rolling work stands in order to avoid having to bend over to pick up tools. In addition you should help prevent work-related asthma by having employees wear approved respiratory equipment. Make sure your respiratory protection program meets Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) requirements.
Additionally, have staff in work areas:
- Wear eye protection
- Wear protective clothing to avoid contact with paints and chemicals
- Avoid cuts by wearing puncture-resistant gloves whenever possible, and
- Always keep knives sharp to avoid using excessive force, always cutting away from the body
Typically, workers’ compensation will help protect your business from these types of claims. Having the proper amount of auto body insurance coverage and creating risk management and loss prevention programs can make all the difference in the world.