The success of any safety initiative, with regards to hazards at the wash, begins with the obvious.
Too often, problems are overlooked because carwash professionals become accustomed to these issues on a regular basis. For example, some areas of the wash may become compromised by transfer from the chemicals at the exit. Employees see the discoloration all the time and may think nothing of it. However, added substances can make parts of the property more susceptible to slip and falls, leading to increased liability.
One way to combat this issue is to institute a process of having an employee perform a walkthrough of the wash every day before opening for business.
It is also recommended that this person be rotated periodically to ensure the carwash is being looked over by new eyes and a different perspective. Create a simple form to record any problems employees may detect.
Creating a process is the first step, but it is then imperative to provide employees a forum where they can share what they have observed. Finally, any hazards that are identified as dangerous to employees or customers must be corrected immediately.
In the example mentioned earlier, power washing the affected areas regularly may be the logical solution to minimizing the potential effect of the slippery surface. And, this should be an easy and cost-effective procedure to implement.
So, owners and operators should ask if their carwash reviews and implements safety initiatives on a regular basis. If not, they should incorporate a plan to start right away.
An example of a consequence when these things are overlooked can be found here.
Also, please visit my earlier blog posted in February 2014, titled “What is a Crushed Foot worth?” You can find this blog post here. Outlined in this post is a detailed explanation of how to develop a formal hazard assessment program.
The bottom line is that developing proactive measures to avoid unintended injuries at the wash is worth the investment every time. Please don’t overlook the obvious, and be sure to have a plan in place now.
Remember, a safe wash protects people and profits.