Operating a car wash can be both an exciting and challenging proposition. There are unique hazards that are part of the day to day operations of any wash. We have chosen to work in an industry that has car wash safety challenges that need to be managed on a daily basis.

In this blog we will touch on several of these challenges and offer simple suggestions for operators, employees and customers.

Charles Kettering, a famed inventor for GM once said “a problem well stated is already half solved.” The most important tool to use while thinking safety is actual thought.

Personal Safety

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • If you have cameras, make sure they are in good working condition and are able to record and store video in case of an incident.
  • Keep your facility well lit inside and out.
  • Develop a relationship with the local police and fire department.

Employee Safety

  • Provide employees with general and specific job training.
  • Provide appropriate uniforms and clothing to clearly differentiate employees from customers.
  • Provide an employee handbook and safety material as a reference.
  • Create an emergency checklist in case of injury.

Vehicle Safety

  • Use traffic delineators or cones to control traffic flow.
  • Provide clear and simple signage and instructions for customers.
  • Limit driver options on your property.
  • Traffic should flow in one direction whenever possible.

Mechanical Safety

  • Create and follow a daily, weekly, and monthly general maintenance schedule.
  • Walk through your facility and property several times a day noting any safety concerns.
  • Listen for noises that sound “out of the ordinary” in the equipment room.
  • Understand how to read the various gauges throughout the facility.
  • Be aware of changes in weather and how they affect your equipment.
  • Know where emergency shutoffs are in your facility.
  • Understand how to shutoff or bypass every piece of equipment.

Chemical Safety

  • Every employee should go through required OSHA/GHS safety training. Local and online resources are readily available.
  • Make sure employees understand all product labels and warnings.
  • Provide a central located SDS booklet or computer access for employees to reference in case of an emergency.
  • Provide eye wash stations, proper eye protection, gloves, aprons etc.
  • Provide an emergency checklist with contacts to local fire, poison control and hospital. Every chemical label should provide a 24-hour emergency phone number.
  • Make sure all drums, pails, and holding tanks are free of any leaks.
  • Keep oil absorbent available in case of any product leaks.
  • Always close any drums or pails before moving them.

These are just a few general tips to improve the safety of your facility. Perspective and awareness are everything and in today’s world it is better to be proactive than reactive. Your customers and employees will thank you for it!

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