Maybe you grew up working on cars or have always appreciated the art of a well-oiled machine. If you own an auto repair shop, chances are you have a passion for vehicles and mechanics. No matter how long you have been practicing your skill, owning a shop comes with risks, which can result in huge financial losses if not properly managed. Our industry experts looked at the data and gathered five essential tips for managing risk in the auto repair industry.
Observe Safety Codes – If you own an auto repair shop, then you should be familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the portion of the U.S. Department of Labor better known as OSHA. Auto repair deals with potentially hazardous equipment, tools, and materials, and OSHA has established a long list of rules and regulations pertaining to the industry. Adhering to these codes will not only ensure safety in the workplace, reduce equipment damage or loss, and prevent injury to employees and customers, it will also ensure the government allows you to stay in business. For additional guidance, take a look through OSHA’s Small Business Handbook.
Prevent Fire – Type “auto body shop fire” into a search engine, and you will quickly see that fire disasters cause significant loss in the auto repair industry. Add “California” to your search, and you will find that fire affects countless local auto repair shops, too. Clean oil spills immediately, store flammable materials in well-labeled containers inside fire-safe cabinets, only weld in areas free from combustibles, and implement a fire safety plan. Maintain smoke detectors, alarms, fire extinguishers, and consider installing a sprinkler system.
Employee Training – Safe equipment use, material use protocol, and fire safety plans are useless if employees are not properly trained. Be sure employees have the proper training and the certificates, licenses, or experience required to operate equipment and handle hazardous materials. Hold regular safety meetings to review and update safety protocol, so the information is always fresh in your employees’ minds.
Install Theft Deterrents – The tools, equipment, and materials in your shop comprise a large portion of your company’s assets, and they are tempting to thieves. Installing video cameras and break-in alarms will not only deter potential burglars, but also potential internal theft.
Keep a Clean House – One of the most common types of accidents in auto repair shops are slips and falls, and they occur most often in a messy environment. Although it might seem like a minor risk, a slip and fall injury could cost your business big time in a lawsuit. Do not leave spills uncleaned, clearly mark wet floors or uneven surfaces, and keep loose cords away from high-traffic areas.
As an automotive repair shop owner, you and your business face risk 24/7. A vital part of your success as a business owner is anticipating potential risks, such as those mentioned above, and taking steps to prevent loss and implementing a business contingency plan in the event of a disaster.
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You should also control potential losses with a solid commercial insurance policy because not all disasters can be prevented. Safeguard your business, employees, customers, and livelihood with the ultimate loss control management tool, an affordable insurance policy, tailored to meet your auto repair shops unique needs. Contact us for a consultation to learn how our auto industry experts at Zuma Insurance can help you protect your business.