When valeting a car, your customers have put their trust in you to not only do the job effectively but keep their vehicle safe while doing so. When thoroughly cleaning the interior or exterior of a vehicle, there are a number of risks you can face, ranging from damage to the vehicle to injury to yourself.
Accidents do happen, but understanding the risks that you are likely to face while valeting a car can help you better prepare yourself to deal with them, or avoid them completely. Here are some of the most common to watch out for:
Damage To Vehicles
When it comes to valeting cars, accidents can happen that result in damage to the client’s vehicle. Whether it’s something as simple as wearing jeans and catching the paintwork with a belt buckle, or some hard debris gets caught on your cloths or brushes and leaves scratches on the exterior, any damage will need to be reported to your client and handled accordingly.
Having the right Car Valeter insurance will ensure that your business is protected financially against any claims made against you. Insurance can also cover any injury caused to third parties by your business, including any slips on wet floors or trips over your equipment.
Slips and Trips
Following on from the point above, slips and trips are a common accident in any job, but extra care should be taken when valeting cars. Not only could your clients be at risk if care isn’t taken, but your own health and wellbeing may also be at risk or the wellbeing of your employees.
When washing a car, it’s a given that water is going to get on the floor, and it’s important to ensure that there is sufficient drainage around to avoid water sitting on the surface for too long. Non-slip shoes should be worn when working and you should either avoid your clients walking over wet floors, or ensure that appropriate signage and warnings are given.
Similarly, you are likely to use a range of equipment with valeting a car, and everything from a small wheel brush to a hose or pressure washer can pose a trip hazard for anyone in the area. You should keep any areas where customers or the public can enter completely clear and organised to reduce the risk of trips, and you should take care to ensure that equipment is well organised when in use to prevent these accidents amongst staff.
The use of electric tools and machinery when valeting cars can make the job much simpler and in a lot of cases, faster too. However, the introduction of electricity into what can be a very wet environment comes with risks that need to be assessed and handled correctly. Most water-related machinery that requires electricity will have been tested and designed to suit the environment, but you will often need to keep plug sockets as far away from the area as possible.
With high levels of water comes a higher risk of electrocution, so workers should always wear shoes with rubber soles, and you could consider utilising non-conductive mats when electrical equipment is being used in a wet environment. You should also have a comprehensive Employer’s Liability Insurance policy to ensure all employees are protected financially in case of accidents.
When cars are being driven in and out of your premises, the risk of collisions is one that can’t be ignored. Cars can collide with not only other vehicles or objects, but with people too, so you need to ensure that visibility is high at all times and that anyone operating the vehicle is properly trained and paying attention.
Good safety practices such as speed restrictions and the use of the handbrake anytime the vehicle stops can really make the difference when it comes to the safety of you, your employees and your customers.
Strains & Sprains
When cleaning a vehicle, you’ll likely be doing a lot of repetitive movements throughout the day and in some cases, stretching tall to reach the top of higher vehicles. These movements can cause strains and sprains within the body which are not only painful but can affect your or your employee’s ability to perform their job.
Employees should be well trained in the measures needed to reduce the risk of sprains, and you should provide any equipment required to do this, including stepladders to prevent overstretching, providing adequate training for equipment and conducting regular risk assessments with and for all employees.
When you’re working in a room all day with various chemicals, it can be easy to forget that the level of exposure you have to some of these liquids could have an effect on your health. While most scented shampoos are relatively harmless, substances such as polishes, waxes and solvents can be harsh on the nose and on the body when not used correctly.
Your workspace should always be well ventilated, and you and your employees should wear the appropriate PPE such as gloves and masks when utilising chemicals. Being well trained in handling chemical burns the moment they occur can also provide peace of mind to your employees and potentially reduce any damage or injury in the case of an accident.
Ashburnham Insurance is on hand to help you get the best Car Valeter insurance policies, with each quote tailored to you and your business. Get in touch with us today on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137 to find out more.