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Garage Safety – Finding The Right Sign To Reduce Accident Risks

Car garages are bustling environments, full of machinery and high foot traffic. As such, they pose a unique range of hazards to both the employees and those visiting. As the owner or manager, it is your role to manage these risks and implement the right procedures to reduce the chance of accidents.

In this guide, we’ll delve into garage safety and how to find the right sign to minimise these risks too.

Why are Garages Dangerous?

Here in the UK, the automotive industry is estimated to employ somewhere in the region of 100,000 people. With 75% of adults over 17 holding a full driving license and over 200,000 cars breaking down every year, it’s no surprise that mechanics are some of the busiest professionals within this industry. And, as such, car garages remain busy, hazardous and dangerous places.

The most common hazard posed here include:

  • Manual handling.
  • Slips, trips and falls.
  • Use of machinery.
  • Use of hazardous substances.

Manual Handling

Lifting and carrying heavy items, such as replacement car components or liquids are some of the most common non-fatal injuries recorded by the HSE. This includes using bodily force to push, pull or handle materials that may not just be heavy, but awkwardly shaped too.

Slips, Trips and Falls

One of the most common injuries in the workplace, slips, trips and falls are prominent in the motor vehicle repair industry. The most hazardous culprits are uneven flooring, spilt liquids, accessing raised storage areas and poor housekeeping.

Use of Machinery

Fitting and repairing different automobile components can result in serious injuries and, in some instances, fatalities. This includes things like vehicle jacks, cranes, air compressors, jump starts, car ramps and oil fluid extractors.

Use of Hazardous Substances

Consider flammable chemicals such as petrol, oils and cleaning chemicals. Without the right precautions, these can prevent fire hazards as well as increasing the risk of slipping if they are split and not cleaned instantly.

Why is a Risk Assessment Vital?

There are hazards in every working environment. And, car garages are no exception. Risk assessments are part of your legal obligations to workplace safety. They are a formal assessment of the working environment to help identify hazards, understand your ability to eliminate them and implement precautions to minimise these as much as possible. A well-carried out risk assessment has the potential to save lives, help avoid costs associated with poor risk management and help to reduce a company’s legal liability.

In garage environments, they help you to identify the risks and hazards that are unique to your specific environment. For example, larger-scale garages are likely to have more equipment and higher foot traffic to contend with. Smaller garages may not have so many people through the doors, but the compact foot space could make tripping, slipping and poor housekeeping more of a prominent risk. These assessments will help you to understand where in your garage the risks are most prominent as well as open up a conversation for discussion with your employees that empowers them to speak about their concerns.

How to Choose the Right Safety Sign?

Once you have carried out an appropriate risk assessment, you’ll have a better understanding of where the most prominent hazards are. Where possible, you should try to eliminate the risk quickly. For some environments, this will mean offering additional training or replacing unsafe machinery. In others, it may mean coming up with new methods to complete certain tasks. There are also many situations where it is impossible to remove the risk entirely. In these instances, you need to take preventative and protective measures to manage the chance of accidents. Consider actions such as providing PPE, additional training or utilising safety signs.

The right sign will guide what actions to take to prevent injury. In garages, they remind employees of previously taught behaviours and offer information to temporary visitors (such as your customers). There are warning, information and order signs for garages.

Warning Signs

Yellow warning signs for garages are yellow with a black triangle and clearly legible writing. As the name suggests, they warn the reader of a potential hazard.

Such examples that you may need to consider include:

Information Signs

Used to provide clear information to employees and customers, these signs provide information to help maintain good health and safety. They can be positioned close to the hazard or in highly visible locations to make sure as many people as possible have the opportunity to read them.

Examples to consider include:

Order Signs

These signs provide a direct order, used to manage behaviours that could end in injury or accidents. They are generally red and white with a circle and a line through the explanative image. As part of your risk assessment, you’ll be able to identify the actions that will minimise risks. And, the right safety signs can be used to easily convey these orders/messages to employees and customers alike.

For example, you may wish to consider:

Using Safety Signs in a Garage

Once you have identified the best garage safety sign for your business, you need to consider how to use them appropriately. Make sure you don’t overwhelm a location with signs as messages can become complicated. Install them at eye height and in places where they’re unlikely to become blocked. And, implement a maintenance schedule that includes wiping the surface of your safety signs down to prevent the images and words from becoming covered by dirt.

At Lasting Impressions, we specialise in the design and manufacture of safety signs for every working environment. If you cannot find what you’re looking for, we also have a Design a Sign service for custom orders. And, our specialised team is always on hand to offer advice and recommendations. Get in contact today to make garage safety a priority for your business.