Car washes are typically safe environments. However, with so many moving pieces, accidents can happen. Slipping hazards, dangerous chemicals, confusing traffic patterns, and high-pressure jets of water are just a few examples of the issues that are likely to occur at a car wash. We compiled a list of 10 products to help you operate a safe car wash.
Instructional Safety Signs Alert People to Hazards
Signs communicate information, instructions, and warnings. Display bilingual signs to help Spanish-speaking customers understand messages. Use signage to warn of slip hazards, surveillance, and provide directions. Addressing dangers with signage is required by OSHA and a best practice to encourage safety. Check out their standard for guide to learn more.
Treat Injuries with First Aid Kits
It’s better to have one on hand and never use it than to need one and not have it. First aid kits control severe injuries, buying time until paramedics arrive. Ensure someone has the training to attend to severe injuries. Additionally, you never know when someone will cut themselves and ask for a band-aid or need eyewash.
Check first aid kits for expiration dates, as some items do expire. Replace expired items to keep your first aid kit ready to go. Finally, place first aid kits in easily accessible locations.
Muffle Loud Environments Using Noise Protection
Car washes are noisy environments. The room housing the pumps and equipment is often the loudest area for employees working at washes. OSHA requires employers to provide hearing protection at noise levels of 85 dBA and over. Hearing protection includes earplugs and earmuffs. Combine both to enhance decibel reduction. Additionally, rotate employees through jobs with high noise levels to prevent over-exposure. Reducing the noise in the environment is another option, which could prove challenging at a car wash. Check out our blog post with useful tips for noise reduction.
Prevent Falls with Anti-Slip Grating
Car wash pits utilize grates, enabling employees to maneuver around the facility safely. However, older steel grates become slippery when wet. Slick surfaces cause falls, resulting in injuries and potential lawsuits. Purchase fiberglass grating like EZ-Grate with a gritty top to enhance traction. This grating is corrosion resistant surviving car wash environments. Fiberglass is lighter than steel and is easily customized to fit your pit. Most importantly, it prevents people from slipping. Watch our YouTube video to learn about the other benefits of EZ-Grate.
Spill Kits Soak Up Chemical Puddles
Chemical spills are bound to happen. Be prepared to handle spills involving oil or hazardous materials while following OSHA requirements. Many spill control products exist including, pads, absorbent socks, and kits.
Place absorbent socks around the chemical to contain and absorb excess fluid. Once controlled, deploy absorbent pads on the spill. These pads will soak up the remaining liquid. When cleaning up oil, use products specifically designed to handle oil. Provide PPE to protect your employees from harm.
Encourage The Use of Protective Gloves
Numerous hazards can harm the hands of your employees if they are not using gloves. Nitrile gloves protect against chemicals, contaminants, abrasions, viruses, and bacteria; some even enhance the user’s grip.
Sizes range from small to XXL because not everyone has the same size hands. If you purchase bulk gloves, add a dispenser to your order to mount glove boxes on walls for easy access.
Shield Eyes from Harm with Protective Eyewear
Splashing is a risk involved when handling fluid chemicals. Safety glasses work, but do not provide protection from dripping chemicals. Goggles seal to the user’s face preventing chemicals landing above the face from dripping into their eyes. Equip your employees with splash-proof safety goggles for the best level of protection.
Reduce Trip Hazards Using Hose Reels
Hoses are trip hazards for your employees. Hose reels organize hose and prevent trip hazards for tunnel prep employees. Hoses also present a hazard when used to clean bays. Remind employees to wind it up back up when they are done.
Monitor Your Wash with Surveillance Systems
People will commit criminal acts when they believe no one is watching them. Without a surveillance system, your car wash may be vulnerable to theft and other crime. Install signs notifying people a camera surveillance system is present. Having a visible security camera system immediately creates a safer environment by inhibiting criminal activity.
We offer cameras with state-of-the-art technology to surveil your property. Cameras require a DVR to store recorded footage. Purchase a DVR unit with the correct resolution, number of channels, and storage capacity to match your cameras. In short, people avoid criminal activity when cameras are watching.
Control Traffic Flow Using Cones
Car washes can be a confusing place to navigate for drivers. There are many uses for traffic cones. The first use is to block off bay undergoing maintenance or to block of down equipment. Additionally, cones control traffic flow between bays and other areas of your car wash. Controlling the movement of vehicles at your wash reduces accidents because people will know where to move.
Add bollards as a visual deterrent to prevent cars from striking equipment and to protect workers from getting hit. Position bollards where vehicles could hit workers and train employees to stand behind them. We offer covers for bollards in multiple colors to match the branding of your wash.
In conclusion, safety is a vital part of operating a car wash. Both your customers and employees value safety. When customers feel safe, they will continue visiting your wash. It is just as important that your employees feel safe. When working in a safe environment they will have less accidents saving you money on workers comp. Employees who feel safe will also stick around longer. Provide a safe environment for both your employees and customers to operate a safe and successful car wash!
We mentioned some OSHA guidance above. Visit OSHA’s website to learn about compliance. They have multiple guides to comply with their standards and the law.