I’m sure we have all appreciated the quality time we have had with our families, experienced the added complications of working from home and used video calling more over the past few weeks than ever before?
For many businesses, this might be the ‘New Normal’ but for us in the motor industry, the majority don’t have a showroom or workshop at home!
As we look forward to government announcements and possible easing of restrictions, we will need to start to consider how WE as an industry manage the risks associated with bringing our team’s back to work and safely managing customer expectations.
I have been helping our customers and businesses new to us with COVID 19 risk assessments & social distancing packs. Many body shops have been operating throughout in support of key and essential workers. We have also completed 100% online safety audits!
As the situation unfolds, we intend to help motor trade businesses as they open their doors. As always, if you have a question, please get in touch. That is what we are here for!
But what can we do now to prepare?
I have compiled a list of 5 things you can do which will safely prepare your motor industry business to open your doors when the time comes.
Prepare public areas – Receptions, waiting areas etc. Empty and flush through the coffee machine, replace china cups with disposable paper cups, display social distancing signage, arrange seating so it is 2 metres apart.
Test and check everything are working as it should – Some of the equipment in your businesses may have been sat dormant for 6 weeks. Test your fire alarms, air conditioning, compressed air equipment, lifting equipment and leave enough time to get any maintenance carried out.
Statutory inspections – The HSE have clearly stated that all statutory insurance inspections still need to be carried out. If the lifting equipment, compressor or LEV have not been thoroughly examined by a competent engineer, they should not be used. You can find out the schedule of the inspections by viewing your last report, if you have ramps or lifts and they have not been inspected within 6 months, you will need to arrange an inspection prior to using this lifting equipment. Jacks, axle stands etc. are 12 monthly inspection intervals.
Staff training and awareness. Everything will be different when we return to work. The way we deal with customers, our social distancing, levels of hygiene and handing over vehicles will need different procedures. We should never assume that just because we understand this, all of our team will. Invest time in ensuring your teams understand any new processes and procedures and involve every department to ensure they link up. Consider rehearsals. This may sound strange but, in the Army, we used to rehearse operational missions, it uncovers problems we might not anticipate in theory.
Prepare welfare facilities. We might have to stagger breaks and lunch times, reduce shift working hours and rearrange workstations. There is no point social distancing while we work and sitting and standing shoulder to shoulder at break times or in smoking areas. Arrange seating at 2 metre distances, put in place stricter hygiene in rest rooms, common areas, kitchens and smoking areas.
When we return to work, some of these areas could be easily over-looked. KVF are here to help you every step of the way.
We can provide COVID 19 risk assessments, social distancing signage, pandemic awareness e-learning courses and of course, we can provide either an online audit for existing customers or a socially distanced H&S audit, to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. Let’s face it, the last thing you would want after being closed for 2 months is to have to deal with the HSE or a major incident.
As with this pandemic, prevention is better than cure and preparation will help you prevent accidents and ill health.
Get in touch if you would like us to help you.
Lee Kennedy – Managing Director KVF