5 Risk Assessment Strategies for Car Washes
If you run a car wash, it’s essential to avoid the risks of various car wash activities and operations — and risk assessment strategies can help you identify where you’re most at risk and help you take actions to prevent accidents. By preventing risk, you can raise your business’s financial security, increase customer satisfaction and give you greater peace of mind.
Find out more about the most common risks of running a car wash business and the top risk assessment strategies for reducing or preventing accidents.
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Common Car Wash Safety Concerns
When you own a car wash and want to reduce risk, you’ll likely want to know about primary car wash safety concerns. For example, electrical hazards, machine malfunctions and car accidents are all risks a responsible car wash owner aims to reduce. While risks are fairly rare in the car wash industry, knowing more about these concerns can help you make your car wash safer by taking action on risks and training your staff properly.
Find out more about the most common car wash risks and safety concerns below:
- Electrical hazards: Since car washes use electrical tools and machinery to clean vehicles, electrical hazards are a major concern. Common electrical concerns come from employees utilizing tools without ground prongs or a lack of ground fault interrupters in bay or tunnel sections. Another potential electrical danger involves employees using electrical equipment when their hands are wet or are standing on wet floors. It’s also important employees don’t handle extension cords or tools with exposed wiring or splices.
- Chemical hazards: Car washes regularly employ various chemical products in their operations. As a result, employees have to be very careful when handling these products, as direct contact with them could cause burns and other adverse health effects. When companies don’t have their employees read their chemical products’ caution labels or train them how to handle chemicals properly, employees can injure themselves or create hazardous conditions.
- Conveyer belt malfunctions: When a conveyor belt is running, employees must not touch it, as doing so could result in injury. Employees also need to be careful not to let hoses or other equipment get caught in a conveyor belt, as it can cause the belt to malfunction, damaging equipment and potentially harming people close by.
- Brush malfunctions: Like conveyor belts, employees must be trained to not touch brushes while they’re running and know how to stop them quickly in the event of an emergency. Touching a brush or having a piece of equipment get caught in them during operation can result in malfunctioning brushes and injuries.
- Water pressure malfunctions: Car washes regularly use pressurized water to clean vehicles. If the water pressure malfunctions and goes too high, it could result in vehicle damage or injuries to anyone who gets hit with it. Due to this risk, employees must ensure they know how to maintain pressure washing equipment and spot potential dangers.
- Slips and falls: Since car wash floors tend to get wet and have lots of equipment, it’s important employees are trained to avoid slips and falls. Loose equipment, tools and materials lying on the floor can cause injuries, making tidiness and organization a must. Employees also need to know how to remove excess water on the floor and always wear slip-resistant footwear.
- Car accidents: Due to the great deal of vehicular traffic at car washes, there’s almost always a chance of car accidents. When a car wash doesn’t have signs stating speed restrictions or doesn’t enforce them, they’ll likely have a higher risk of accidents. It’s also important for employees to never stand in front of a moving vehicle, ensure cars are in park or neutral before letting someone leave their vehicle and always drive out of tunnels slowly.
5 Risk Assessments Strategies
With all of the risks that come with owning and operating a car wash, you’ll likely want to rely on risk assessment strategies. These strategies can help you avoid and reduce risks at your car wash, resulting in a safer work environment. By implementing risk assessment strategies, you can lower the chances of injury and reduce the financial impacts of accidents.
Find out more about the five main risk assessments strategies any car wash owner should know:
1. Make a Risk Management Plan
One of the steps you can take to manage risks is to create a risk management plan. If you’re interested in making one of these plans, it usually consists of four parts. You’ll begin by listing out your potential risks and then rate each of these risks based on their impact and likelihood. In the next two parts, you’ll assess your current risk management abilities and then create a plan of action to reduce risk overall.
These plans allow you to evaluate the risks you’re most likely to experience and develop an action plan to appropriately address them. As you create your action plan, you’ll look at how well you’re currently managing risk, with priority placed on safety concerns you’re not currently handling appropriately. After you identify your risk management needs, you can begin developing a plan for reducing them, identifying actions your team can take to handle risk.
2. Choose How to Control Risks
With your risk management plan created, you’ll then move on to deciding how to handle your primary risks based on your assessment of your current methods for handling them. As you decide how to control your risks, you’ll likely want to consider whether you can effectively manage risk or if you’ll need to end a practice entirely. You can use your risk management plan at this stage to decide what actions you’ll need to take to handle and eliminate risk at your company.
3. Prioritize Safety
Based on your risk management plan and the actions you plan to take to reduce risk, you can better prioritize safety at your car wash. When you properly prioritize safety, you’ll implement the various policies and changes you need to make to avoid risks. Before you implement any changes, it’s crucial to assess your current level of safety and use that assessment to develop various ways to increase safety in areas where you fall short.
Effective safety prioritization often involves creating accident protocols and safety checklists. You’ll also likely want to hold training sessions for employees, helping them understand the primary hazards, safety protocols and first-aid practices. Staff should also be aware that accident prevention is critical and you’ll no longer tolerate dangerous work practices. By prioritizing safety, you’ll protect your employees, customers and vehicles.
4. Keep Customer Service in Mind
While you might not always expect it, customer service often represents an area of risk. If you don’t offer high-quality customer service, you can end up with poor customer loyalty and reduced sales. As a result, it’s critical that customers feel valued by your business. As you look to improve your customer service, you can start by assessing your current offerings to customers. If you don’t incentivize them with perks and bonuses for customer loyalty, you might want to consider setting up a rewards program.
You can also evaluate how well your staff currently interact with customers and plan training sessions to ensure they’re aware of your customer service standards. You can also better understand your customers’ needs by having an easy way for them to leave reviews and feedback you can take action on to improve your overall service quality.
5. Look Into Insurance Policies
One of the best risk assessment strategies you can take is to review your options for insurance policies. These policies can help you mitigate financial risks in the event of an accident. As you look to reduce the most risk via an insurance policy, it’s important to review what the policy doesn’t cover. If a policy excludes some types of coverage, you may be able to purchase them for extra, helping you better avoid financial risk in the future.
Review the following primary insurance policies car washes regularly purchase:
- Worker’s compensation: Since many car wash safety risks can result in employee injury, many car wash owners purchase worker’s compensation plans. These plans protect your employee’s well-being after an injury and your company from financial stress due to worker injuries.
- Liability: You don’t want your staff or yourself to be held personally responsible for accidents. Liability insurance helps protect your company from having to be personally responsible for various accidents.
- Property: Car washes often rely on a lot of expensive equipment to provide high-quality service to their customers. Property insurance protects your property and equipment by covering them from various dangers like fire, theft and damage.
Strategies to Treat Risks
Once you’ve properly assessed risks and considered ways to address them, you’ll likely want to develop appropriate strategies to treat these risks appropriately. Most car washes rely on four main strategies to address them, with these four strategies revolving around avoiding, reducing, transferring or accepting risks. Each strategy can be effective in different situations, so it’s crucial you know more about each of them.
Review the reasons why you might want to choose each strategy below:
1. Risk Avoidance
One of the most comprehensive risk strategies you can take is to avoid risk entirely. When you decide to avoid risk, you’ll often either be ending a dangerous activity or changing the way you go about the said activity to eliminate risk. This strategy shuts down the chance for a risk to occur, safeguarding you from the potential negative effects of a dangerous practice.
While this strategy is very effective at shutting down risk, it does have some drawbacks, as it also prevents you from performing certain practices or activities. Since risky car wash practices can sometimes be very profitable, you’ll want to consider if the risk avoidance strategy is worth the potential losses. However, if a practice is so dangerous that it could result in major injuries or damages, and there’s no way to make the practice safer, the avoidance strategy might be best.
2. Risk Reduction
When a car wash activity or task is too profitable or essential to your business to eliminate, you might be interested in a risk reduction strategy. As you might expect from the name, this strategy involves reducing the risk associated with a practice rather than eliminating it entirely. Risk reduction often involves minimizing the impacts of accidents or lowering the chances of negative outcomes happening in the first place.
Risk reduction at car washes can take many forms, such as more employee training, investing in more updated equipment or selecting safer chemicals for use. For example, safer chemicals can help reduce the chances your employees experience injuries while using them or there’s damage to a vehicle due to improper use. While there are times where risk reduction isn’t possible, risk reduction is one of the most common risk management strategies, as it allows car washes to continue profitable operations while lowering the chance of negative outcomes.
3. Risk Transfer
Another way to treat risks is to transfer them to another party. One of the most common ways to transfer risk involves purchasing insurance, where the insurance company then becomes responsible for covering your car wash in various situations. When negative outcomes occur, an insurance company will cover the loss, allowing you to have greater peace of mind that you won’t have to suffer any unexpected financial penalties.
4. Risk Acceptance
Occasionally, some risk is necessary to perform various services. While you’ll never want to accept a major risk, you can likely accept some level of minor risks if the benefits outweigh them. If you didn’t identify a high negative impact from various risks, it might be better to simply accept them instead of cutting the actions out entirely or investing a significant amount of money in reducing them.
Preventing Future Risks
While it’s essential to assess your risk and take action to handle it, you’ll want to avoid leaving it there. Instead, you’ll want to make risk management and assessment a daily practice at your company to avoid future risks. One of the best ways you can prevent future risks is by monitoring your risk management actions to see their effectiveness. Continuous monitoring can also help you identify new risks that pop up, allowing you to take action before an accident occurs.
You can also prevent future risk by implementing any training programs you identified as potential risk reducers. Once you’ve completed training, managers and supervisors can ensure staff members follow new safety practices and policies. By ensuring your team has the proper training and follows your safety policies, you can underscore the importance of safety to your team and prevent accidents.
Another way to prevent risk is to purchase insurance, as it can significantly reduce your financial liability when mistakes happen. Based on your evaluation of your insurance needs, select the best insurance for your car wash and ensure it covers you from significant risks. You can also better protect your car wash by purchasing safe cleaning supplies you can trust to not damage your customers’ vehicles while still fully cleaning them, raising customer satisfaction.
Choosing JBS Industries for Your Car Wash Supplies
As a leading car wash supplies manufacturer, JBS Industries knows how important safety is to your operations. Due to this need for safety, we only provide the highest quality vehicle cleaning products on the market today. When you trust us for your car wash supply needs, you can expect our products to fully clean your customers’ vehicles, resulting in greater customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Since we provide a top level of product consistency, you can always expect to receive high-quality results every time your team uses our supplies. We also offer custom manufacturing capabilities to ensure you get the exact product for your unique requirements. Additionally, you can improve your environmental safety by using our many green solutions.
Besides the effectiveness of our high-performing cleaning products, our products also help you reduce financial risk. Due to our ability to offer bulk purchasing for every cleaning solution we provide, you can expect to keep your costs manageable. We also ensure our products get to you fast, helping you always have the products you need to provide the best possible service to your customers.
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Since treating risks are important and our cleaning products help increase your safety, you might be interested in working with us. Review our product offerings today. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.