Plan Insurance Blog

Motor Trade Safety Measures – The Major Threats to Life

The motor trade repair industry is undoubtedly a challenging work environment, with an annual death rate that is four times higher than the average across all industries.

In this dynamic field, where the whirr of machinery and the clang of tools create a symphony of productivity, employers shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding their workers with safety measures. Failing to identify and mitigate risks not only endangers the well-being of employees but also jeopardises lives. Let’s delve into the major threats that cast a shadow over the motor trade.

If your business buys, sells, repairs or modifies vehicles then Plan Insurance Brokers can source a tailored Motor Trade insurance policy for you. If you have any more questions or would like a quote call our expert team, request a call back or fill in a quote form.

Trapped and Crushed: The Grim Reality

The most alarming cause of fatalities in the motor vehicle repair industry emerges from a scenario where individuals find themselves trapped and crushed beneath inadequately supported vehicles. In the last five years, a staggering 17 deaths have been attributed to this perilous situation. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has stepped in with crucial advice, emphasising the importance of proper vehicle support before commencing any work.

Ensuring Proper Vehicle Support: A Lifesaving Checklist

  • Never work beneath a vehicle supported only on jacks.
  • Utilise axle stands in good condition, inspected annually.
  • Place stands on firm, level ground, securely located under a strong point on the vehicle.
  • Securely chock wheels remaining on the ground.
  • Do not exceed the rated capacity of the stand.

Additionally, when dealing with cabs or tipping trailers, always ensure they are properly propped, and never crawl beneath a vehicle with air suspension without adequate support. These guidelines form a crucial foundation for preventing tragic accidents.

Equipment: The Right Tool for the Right Job

In the dynamic world of motor vehicle repair, a diverse range of equipment is deployed, from motor vehicle lifting tables to tyre machines. However, the key to reducing serious risks lies in ensuring that the equipment used is not only appropriate for the task at hand but is also operated, installed, and maintained with utmost care.

Minimising Risks: The Equipment Edition

  • Select the right equipment for the job.
  • Train operators to use equipment correctly.
  • Ensure proper installation and maintenance of equipment.
  • Regularly inspect equipment to ensure ongoing safety.

Adhering to these guidelines significantly diminishes the likelihood of accidents caused by equipment failure or misuse.

Tyre Inflation: A Deceptively Dangerous Task

The seemingly routine task of tyre removal, replacement, and inflation conceals potential dangers that demand careful consideration. With approximately 30 million tyres replaced in the UK annually, this common practice can lead to injuries and, in extreme cases, fatalities.

Tyre Inflation: A Hazard Unveiled

For comprehensive guidance on safe tyre removal, replacement, and inflation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website proves invaluable. This resource assists in understanding and implementing precautions to protect workers during these seemingly routine but potentially hazardous tasks.

Dust and Fumes: Invisible Threats Lurking

The motor trade industry is not only fraught with obvious physical dangers but also with invisible threats in the form of dust and fumes. From inhalable dust during tyre re-tread processes to toxic fumes from running vehicle engines, the risks are diverse and demand vigilant management.

Managing Dust and Fumes: A Breath of Fresh Air

  • Control exposure to dust during tyre re-tread processes.
  • Implement effective local exhaust ventilation (LEV) equipment.
  • Regularly examine LEV equipment every 14 months.

By addressing these hidden hazards, businesses can safeguard the respiratory health of their workers and prevent potential long-term health issues.

Guidance and Support: Navigating the Hazards

Outlined above are just a few examples of significant risks encountered by the motor trade industry on a daily basis. For those navigating the intricate landscape of the motor vehicle repair industry, seeking guidance and support is crucial. The Plan Risk Management website offers comprehensive advice tailored to the motor trade sector, featuring insights from industry-leading bodies. By staying informed and implementing best practices, businesses can create a safer working environment and protect the lives of those contributing to the heartbeat of the motor trade.

In the bustling world of motor vehicle repair, where every clang and whirr signifies progress, safety must not be overlooked. By addressing the major threats head-on, the industry can pave the way for a secure and thriving workplace, ensuring that each worker returns home safely at the end of the day.

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