Automotive Shop Safety in the Age of Coronavirus

It is back to work after being shut down due to slow business from the business side-effects of the coronavirus, or Covid-19. Automotive shop safety practices seem to be front and center at work right now.

Customers are calling to ask questions.  We are answering.  Our shop routine has changed since being back at work.  I hope all shops have established safety rules. We have done quite a few things that have changed business as usual.  I hope what we are doing is making a positive impact on our customers.

I would not talk on this subject, but it may be essential to breach that self-imposed barrier. To me, this is controversial, and I want to make my blog more about car maintenance and car repair. Since this is a worldwide pandemic that affects many people, I will go over some things we are doing to help slow or stop the spread of the disease.

Things that have affected us in the shop

We are wearing masks when appropriate. If we are in the customer car, they require us to wear a mask.  I think this makes sense.  We don’t have to wear it while working in the engine compartment or underneath.

I am not sure about you, but it is uncomfortable wearing it all the time.  But when it makes sense, it is an excellent practice.  I am tired of smelling my breath, though.  How does my girlfriend put up with it?  Anytime we are in direct contact with another person, breaking the six-foot barrier, we wear the mask.  Another excellent practice for businesses to follow.

We have walkie-talkies for communication.  This idea keeps us from entering the front office and customer areas. We can communicate with the service advisor/office supervisor without direct contact.

Sanitize it.  We are spraying and wiping contact areas of all the customer vehicles before and after repair.  We are also sanitizing the keys.

Sanitizing doesn’t stop there. We wipe down break room areas, doorknobs and clean the bathroom more often. Clean, clean, clean.

We are also staggering our breaks—ahhh solitude at break time.  I know I enjoy it. Sometimes.

Things that have affected the customer

We have changed our regular operating hours.  This may also be because of the slower workload. Customers can drop their car off before and after hours using our secure drop-box.  We also have security cameras in place. We have shortened the workday.  I don’t mind.

We have installed plastic shields in the desk area. We have eliminated passing credit cards and other items back and forth between employees and customers. They set a desk up with the work orders for the customer to enter personal information. We regularly wipe and sanitize this area, pens, and clipboards.

Customers may not wait on their vehicles inside the customer lounge.  They can drop their cars and leave or wait outside. Fresh air is an excellent idea. We have set up an area outdoors to make it as comfortable as possible for customers who have no choice.

We no longer provide rides for customers to designations. They call for rides, though.  This is basically for our employee’s safety.

I am sure we will continue to adjust to whatever is necessary for the protection and safety of the public and our customers.  I hope all shops have implemented some safety protocol.

I hope this wasn’t too boring. I promise to get to some genuine tech stuff, so you know that I am a real auto tech.

Until next time, keep those motors tuned…

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