Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Crushed Between Two Cars

 
Finding good material for writing blogs gets tougher as the years fly by. But, as I research the car wash accidents that involve injuries, invariably, the most serious are a result of people being hit by cars. Case in point, a few months ago an employee in Abilene was crushed between two vehicles at a car wash. According to the story from krbc news, an employee lost control of a Van that had been customized to accommodate a handicapped person causing the vehicle to run into another employee standing in front of the car ahead. Fortunately, the injury was not life threatening.
 
I don't know what protocols, if any, that may have been in place at the location, but this accident clearly illustrates that they weren't followed or didn't have any.  I'm certain that, if they had the opportunity to do this over, it would be different.
 
Don't wait for a wake- up call.  Take steps now to develop a plan along with the proper training to eliminate or minimize this potential exposure.
 
Here's a few ideas:
  • Develop a driving program with written policies and procedures
  • Appoint trained designated drivers as the only employees authorized to drive customers cars
  • Enforce specific penalties for any violations to your written procedures
  • Handicapped vehicles should only be operated by trained drivers 
  • Try to avoid stacking cars
  • Employees that are designated drivers should wear distinguishing clothing
  • Drivers should wear shirts or vests that are bright and very visible
  • Establish a consistent training program(the difference between developing the written policies and training is simply, we often have good written procedures that aren’t shared with the employees).
Also, during my research, I came across something that surprised me. It shouldn't have, but it did. It turned up when I typed in car wash injury claims. They call themselves the Car Wash Accident Attorney! Don't be one of their victims, be prepared and eliminate the risk before it becomes a nightmare.
 
Remember, a safe wash protects people and profits.
 
What do you do at your wash to prevent driver error?
 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In the Blink of an Eye

Summer Safety Tips
 
 
Have you ever sported an injury and thought to yourself, if only I had yesterday to do over. Case in point, the other day I had a conversation with a car wash operator who related a story about a cell phone injury. Basically, what happened was while walking down a stairway of a newly constructed dream vacation home, his co-worker slipped and fell severely injuring his knee. The cause, texting and walking! Now, instead of enjoying a summer full of boating and fun in the sun, this individual can look forward to a leg cast and all the excitement that comes with that condition for six long weeks.
 
Well, today is yesterday. Even though this was a personal event, the principal is the same at the wash. The following are a few simple summer safety tips that can help you avoid the "if only" syndrome.
  • Heat stress at the wash can be addressed with little cost and just a small amount of attention. Check out my article that was published in the 2014 summer issue of the Northeast Carwasher magazine. Read Full Article Here
  • Proper clothing is always important. Be sure that the selections are appropriate for the weather conditions.
  • Pay additional attention to the employees shift schedules. Heat will wear out an individual more quickly and a tired worker is an accident waiting to happen.
  • Warmer weather means a greater number of customers and often children are likely to be outside. Be sure tunnel exits are properly marked and blocked off to pedestrian traffic.
  • Think about awnings or temporary tents to provide shady areas where customers can safely wait for their cars to be serviced.
  • Walking and looking at email messages as well as texting can obviously be very dangerous at the wash. Consider using signage to alert customers of these dangers. 
     

  • Summer also is a time where insect bites become more prevelant. Be sure management is aware of any employees that have allergic reactions and train the persons responsible for responding regarding proper procedures. Also be certain to check the first aid kits for the medications neccesary to treat stings and or bites.
  • Don't overlook the constant need for training and reviewing ideas.

Another important point that should assist with training efforts, is to encourage the participants at your safety meetings to take notes. Provide a small pad and writing utensil for them at each gathering. I recently read the Safety/NewsAlert E-Learning posting  that a study has determined that personally writing notes will help workers retain information. The following is a brief quote from that source Safety News Alert: www.Weekly@SafetyNewsAlert.com


It turns out the written word creates mental stimulation in the brain. Learning and remembering is made easier.
A study by psychologists Pam Mueller of Princeton and Daniel Oppenheimer of the University of California, LA, found in real-world classrooms, students learned better when they took notes by hand.
This new research suggests writing allows the student to process the information provided and reframe it in their own terms. That can lead to better understanding and remembering.

Don't let a preventable accident ruin an employees summer and eat into your profits! Be sure to implement an action plan today and be safe.


Remember, A safe wash protects people and profits!