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3 Reasons Why Your Shop Needs an Automotive Shop Safety Checklist

Ideally, your shop shouldn’t cut corners anywhere, but it’s especially crucial to take safety seriously. Without a robust strategy to protect your mechanics and other workers, you’re likely to find yourself dealing with low employee morale — and that’s the best-case scenario. If things go wrong on your shop’s floor, you could open yourself up to severe expenses and legal troubles.

One of the most effective ways independent auto shops can promote worker safety is by establishing an automotive shop safety checklist and sticking to it. Read on to learn about the three biggest reasons why your garage needs a reliable safety checklist ASAP.

What Is an Automotive Shop Safety Checklist?

Even the most well-laid-out auto shop is a minefield of potential safety hazards. After all, many jobs don’t involve heavy equipment or dangerous chemicals. However, your mechanics likely deal with both of these factors day in and day out! Since this environment poses an unusually high level of risk, your safety protocols need to be as thorough and reliable as possible.

No matter how much you trust your techs, they’re only human, which means they can miss things on the job now and then. But when it comes to maintaining workplace safety, even a seemingly-minor oversight can have severe consequences. 

That’s where an automotive shop safety checklist comes in. Following one of these checklists can make it trivial for your workers to remember every detail of your safety strategy.

Summarizing everything your safety checklist should include is beyond the scope of this article. To help you get started, these are some crucial areas to consider when building a checklist:

  • General walkthrough items. Safely storing dangerous materials is just one of the “meat and potatoes” topics your shop’s checklist should cover. Additionally, your checklist must include inspection items related to your building, floors, and equipment.
  • Hazardous material management. OSHA doesn’t take chemical management for auto shops lightly. Under Hazard Communication standard 1910.1020, your garage must maintain records of every chemical it has used in the past three decades. This is the most common area where independent shops are cited, so keeping up on chemical maintenance should be one of your highest safety priorities.
  • Employee training. Since there are so many potential hazards in the average auto shop, it stands to reason that the standards for employee training and onboarding are incredibly high. By including these standards in your checklist, you can ensure your new hires know what they’re doing before they step onto your shop’s floor.
  • Regulatory compliance. Following the regulations applying to auto shops would be difficult enough even if they stayed the same — but they change constantly. To lower your risk of non-compliance, ensure your checklist includes reminders to keep up with regulatory changes.

Why Do You Need One?

By now, you should know what your safety checklist should include. That said, you might still be wondering why you need one of these checklists in the first place. A well-thought-out automotive shop safety checklist can help you:

1. Improve Shop Culture

To consistently comply with OSHA regulations and other safety standards, you’ll need buy-in from everyone working at your garage. Checklists can help make following everyday safety protocols a habit instead of a chore. Because of that, they’ll increase the likelihood that your mechanics will stick to these requirements.

2. Protect Your Team

Everyone likes to know that their employer is willing to take their health and safety seriously. When you establish and follow a safety checklist, you’re sending a message to your employees that their well-being matters. That’s particularly crucial if any of your workers have been injured on the job elsewhere.

3. Avoid Penalties and Financial Impact

It’s simple logic — when skilled employees get injured and need to take time off, you’ll find yourself with fewer workers while needing to handle the same workload as before. 

On top of that, you’ll have to pay worker’s compensation and deal with costly non-compliance penalties. The best way to handle the consequences of employee injuries is to avoid these injuries altogether, and a safety checklist can go a long way in that regard.

Check Every Box With AutoVitals

Using a reliable automotive shop safety checklist is a fantastic way to boost worker morale and comply with changing regulations. At the same time, safety checklists can help you steer clear of the adverse financial effects that can come with worker injuries. 

These checklists are most effective when you give yourself and your employees enough time to focus on safety in the first place. One way to do this is by boosting your shop’s efficiency — and the services provided by AutoVitals can help.

As the industry’s only Complete Shop Success Solution, AutoVitals is all about helping your shop perform better than ever. With the digital vehicle inspections, workflow automation, and digital marketing tools provided by AutoVitals, you’ll have the time you need to slow down and take workplace safety seriously. Set up a demo today to see what AutoVitals can do for you!

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