Are you guilty of any of these common safety fails?
I love working with motor trade customers and I love to improve the overall safety culture. In the next few months we at KVF Consultants will be reaching out to businesses in the automotive industry to improve safety within their workshops, body shops and commercial vehicle depots throughout the UK.
In the meantime, I want to share the 5 most common areas neglected by customers when we begin to work with them;
Fixed mains electrical test certificates
As a part of our audits we ask when the last time the fixed mains were tested. We either get a blank stare or pointed toward a plug with a sticker on it. Having portable electrical items tested (PAT) is commendable, however, we need to make sure the fixed mains electrical test has been carried out by a competent electrical engineer. A copy of a satisfactory certificate should be kept on site. 22% of work place fires are still attributed to electrical faults and if the fixed mains have not been tested, your insurance policy will not cover you. Remember; 80% of businesses do not survive the 2 years following a catastrophic fire!
As above, this can be neglected. All gas appliances including boilers, industrial heaters for workshops and gas-fired ovens in body shops need to be checked annually by a GAS SAFE commercial engineer. A record needs to be kept on site, or at least electronically - we provide an area on our online safety management page to store this kind of information.
Air conditioning & showers
If you have air conditioning within your premises it needs to be serviced at least annually to ensure your team are not at risk from Legionella bacteria. Legionella can only survive between 20 and 50 degrees Celsius, so if you have showers for your tech's or in driver waiting areas, ensure they are run up to a high temperature, close the door, allow it to steam up and go in and turn it off. We provide risk assessments for this.
Health and safety meetings
Minuted meetings should be carried out at least annually. Some customers we work with hold them quarterly. We find they really help to focus and hold safety representatives accountable and don't take too long. 15-20 minutes every 3-6 months is fine.
Health & safety induction
'If I was to ask your apprentice or newest member of the team a few questions on health and safety are you confident they could answer them correctly?' This question focuses managers and directors. Let's face it, most of us pay lip service to this. We need our teams to know the following;
- Who is the first aider in your department?
- Who is the fire marshal in your area?
- Where is the nearest first aid kit?
- What is the fire evacuation procedure?
- What is the accident/near miss procedure?
- How do we report defective equipment?
- Where is the fire assembly point?
How confidently are we that ALL of our team can answer those questions?
As always, thank you for reading. As I always say health and safety won't get you up in the morning, but it will keep you up at night. Unless you have an expert on board.
Peace of mind is a wonderful thing!