All workplaces are hazardous—even the safest workplace harbours hidden risks. All employers or self-employed workers are therefore legally required to assess the health and safety risks arising from their workplaces and duties.
For motor traders that repair vehicles in a garage, assessing workplace risks can seem overwhelming. Garages contain an array of dangerous hazards, some of which are only identifiable after you have completed a risk assessment. Complete the required risk assessment and identify your garage’s risks by following these steps:
• Familiarise yourself with HSE and industry guidance. Consult the HSE’s health and safety toolbox for all industries, found at www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/index.htm, and study the HSE’s health and safety in the motor vehicle repair industry materials located at www.hse.gov.uk/mvr/index.htm.
• Read the manufacturers’ instructions for all chemicals and equipment. Certain machines or substances may require special attention—make sure not to overlook anything.
• Identify the hazards in your garage. Do this by walking around your garage and noting anything that may cause harm. Consult with your employees to determine what they deem most hazardous and what additional health and safety training may be needed.
• Confirm that your waste disposal is compliant. Motor vehicle repair workshops generate waste, much of which can be toxic. Speak with your licensed disposal contractor to determine whether you are correctly disposing of your waste.
• Study the accident book. Learn the most common accidents and near misses, then work to reduce them.
While identifying your garage’s hazards, think about what your business is already doing to quell risk, and whether it should do more. Record any further action you think needs to be taken, and make a plan to implement improvements. Include information on upcoming improvements, as well as who will do them and when, then post the risk assessment in a central location so all employees are aware of upcoming changes. Finally, establish a timetable for reviewing your business’ risk assessment to keep it up to date.
If you would like specialist risk management advice from experts who know the motor trade industry, find out more about our risk management services here.
Alternatively, visit our motor trade insurance page if you are looking for a motor trade quote.