On a busy day, the floor can be covered in soaps, “engine juices,” oils, chemicals, and solvents. Flammable liquids in 55 gallon drums line the wall, with a high risk of explosion from any ignition source.
This is where the safety culture at your dealership gets the road test. In the detail department, where staff is usually subcontracted, and not normally a part of the safety committee. How do you measure the risk of workplace hazards and compliance liabilities in this work area?
Here’s the short-list of what to consider in your wash bay risk assessment:
- Hazard Communication: All affected employees should be aware and regularly reminded of:
- Primary Containers: all primary containers must have specific hazard labeling requirements. Primary container labels should consist of: manufacturer’s name and address/phone number, product name, and a specific hazard warning. Contact the manufacturer immediately if this information is unavailable.
- Secondary Containers: all secondary containers (spray bottles, etc) must be labeled to their contents and have appropriate hazard warnings.
- Organization: all materials and chemicals should be kept organized.
- Cleanliness: The wash bay should be regularly sprayed-down, swept, and cleaned.
- Everything should be stored and sealed when not in active use.
- Wash Bay attendants should wear protective gloves, and wash hands frequently.
- Proper footwear: work boots are ideal. On a busy day, the floor is too slippery for sneakers or street shoes.
- No smoking in the wash bay. No exceptions.
Subcontractors and Liability
Even if the work is subcontracted, the dealership could be liable for accidents or injuries. OSHA fines and financial liability both play a part. You should make sure that your subcontractor has adequate insurance. Get a certificate of insurance from your subcontractor, check that the coverage is adequate and keep it on file at your dealership. As the primary employer at the dealership, OSHA may also find you responsible for your subcontractor’s omissions. Check up on all of your subcontractors to make sure they’re not cutting corners.