SAFETY AND HAZARDS
The success of any safety initiative, with regards to hazards at the wash, begins with the obvious. Too often, problems are overlooked because we become accustomed to their presence on a regular basis. For example, some areas of the wash may become compromised by transfer from the chemicals at the exit. Employees see the discoloration all the time and may think nothing of it. However, added substances can make parts of the property more susceptible to slip and falls, leading to increased liability.
One way to combat this issue is to institute a process of having an employee perform a walkthrough of the wash every day before opening for business. It is also recommended that this person be rotated periodically to ensure you occasionally have new eyes and a different perspective. Create a simple form to record any problems your employees may detect. For example:
Creating a process is the first step, but it is then imperative to provide employees a forum where they can share what they have observed. Finally, any hazards that are identified as dangerous to employees or customers must be corrected immediately.
In the example mentioned earlier, power washing the affected areas regularly may be the logical solution to minimizing the potential effect of the slippery surface. I think everyone will agree, this is a very easy and cost effective procedure to implement. So, ask yourself, does your wash review and implement safety initiatives on a regular basis? If not, incorporate a plan to start right away.
An example of a consequence when these things are overlooked can be found in the following link: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/01/court_upholds_439000_awarded_t.html
Also, please visit my earlier blog posted in February of 2014 titled “What is a Crushed Foot worth?” Outlined in that post is a detailed explanation of how to develop a formal hazard assessment program.
The bottom line is that developing proactive measures to avoid unintended injuries at the wash is worth the investment every time! Please don’t overlook the obvious and be sure you have a plan in place now.
REMEMBER, A SAFE WASH PROTECTS PEOPLE AND PROFITS!