Car Wash Bay Safety

While working in Car Wash bay near car wash equipment, one must follow following safety precautions to avoid hazards and personal injury.


Working With High Pressure Air & Water Hoses

  • All air and high pressure hoses must be kept properly coiled, when not in use.
  • Couplings and valves are in good repair. the ends should be tightly clamped so that, the ends cannot be pulled loose, allowing the lines to whip around dangerously.
  • High pressure spray wand should not be pointed at another person.
  • Compressed air guns should be directed away from face and goggles should be used to protect operators eyes from flying dust particles.
  • When working near steam cleaning operations, always wear rubber boots, thick gloves and face protection to protect from burns.


Chemical Safety

  • Caution while handling all chemical compounds. Some car wash chemicals may be somewhat caustic and should not be permitted to come in direct contact with bare skin or eyes.
  • Chemicals must not be taken internally.
  • If chemicals should accidently come in contact with eyes or skin, flush area generously with water immediately. If irritation persists, contact a physician as soon as possible.
  • When handling such chemicals like acid, strong caustics or concentrated solvents or waxes, wear proper protective rubber gloves, boots and a face shield.
  • When diluting an acid, always pour the acid slowly into water so that heat generated cannot cause splattering and never water into acid.
  • Smoking or open flames should be prohibited near any stored flammable products or near any area where explosive vapors might be present.
  • Read caution labels on any chemical product before handling or using.
  • Mix chemicals according to the manufacturer's directions.
  • Never assume that an empty chemical drum is completely free of residue. With clean water, thoroughly rinse the inside of all empty chemical containers. After emptying a drum, close up the top and seal all openings. Keep empty drums out of the sun and heated areas. Dispose of them according to management instructions and environmental regulations.


Pit Cleaning and House Keeping

  • Good housekeeping is essential to provide a safe work place. It will result in lesser accidents and will reduce fire hazards as well.
  • Cleaning up the work area is part of the job. A job is not completed until the residue or tools are cleaned up.
  • Habits of good housekeeping, such as putting away all tools and supplies and keeping floors clean and free of debris, can go a long way toward reducing accidents.
  • Be sure that doors, passages and electrical panels, switches, etc. are not blocked in any way.
  • Never clean out a pit without assistance.
  • Use proper tools. Don't remove material by hand. Be carefull to avoid broken glass or sharp metal points.
  • Assistance is also needed to clean screens or suction lines in pit area.


Fire Safety

  • Post the phone number of the Fire Department in a highly visible spot near the phone.
  • In case of fire, call Fire Department AT ONCE -- then make prompt use of available fire extinguishers which can be used for oil and electric fire BOTH!
  • All fire extinguishers should be checked every month as to charge and condition. They should be serviced and tagged at least once every year.
  • Learn how to use them. Don't wait until there is a fire.
    It is a good idea to develop a good standing with your local fire company. Support their activities. invite them to come around to inspect your premises


First Aid

  • All injuries--no matter how slight--should be attended to immediately.
  • Become familiar with the contents of the First Aid Kit and how to use it if an injury should occur. Employe a trainer to educate your employes.
  • Any injury you receive MUST BE REPORTED AT ONCE to your immediate supervisor (or other person designated). Medical attention must be obtained promptly if required.
  • If you get detergent or similar materials in your eyes--flush quickly and generously with water. Get medical attention if discomfort persists.
  • If you should spill chemical on yourself, wash the affected areas thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Post the phone number of Ambulance, Paramedics and Emergency Medical Center near the phone in a highly visible location.


Customer Injury or Property Damage

  • All injuries to customers or damage to customer's property are to be investigated and reported at once to your supervisor. The investigation should include obtaining the following information:
    Time and date of incident.
    • Name and address of all parties involved.
    • Name and address of any witness ( Not the operator and other workers working at the car wash).
    • Year, make and license number of vehicle.
    • Manufacturer's name, address, model number and serial number of any equipment involved in the incident.
    • Complete description of accident (what happened? how?).
    • Extent of property damage.
    • Nature of injuries.
  • History of Car Damages--Many car washes seem to want to wash any and all types of vehicles, no matter how extraordinary or large. Yet all car washes are not built to handle vans or vehicles with large tires or custom add-ons.
  • Windshields--Hairline cracks that are hidden by windshield trim can result in the formation of a crack extension under vibration and temperature change. This can also be true of stone bruises. Actually, it is almost impossible for a windshield to be broken by properly operating automatic car wash equipment.
  • Vehicles that Can Cause Problems--While most problem cars can be handled if proper precautions are observed, watch out for: taxis and police cars, sun roofs, pickups, sports cars, jeeps, trailer tows. This list is incomplete, but can be used as a starter. Common sense can alert you to problem cars that don't fit the general pattern. The International car wash Association also provide a vehicle alert program that can notify you of potential vehicle problems.
  • Stopping Unfair Claims--Two of the best ways to beat unfair claims is to always conduct a careful inspection before letting a car enter the tunnel and using legible disclaimer signs. These disclaimer signs can be made more palatable by using the positive approach, "We are responsible for..."


General Safety Precautions

  • Correct Unsafe Conditions-- If you see tools, materials or other objects lying on floors, driveways, or islands, remove them to eliminate tripping hazards. Wipe up all spills (oil, detergent, wax, etc.).
  • Study Your Job From the Safety Angle--Think before starting every job. Search out hazards and take precautions to prevent accidents from happening. Be sure to use the protective equipment provided.
    If you are in doubt about hazards, the correct way to do the job, the proper tools, or the proper protective equipment to use, consult your immediate supervisor.
  • Report Hazards and Near Injuries--Report any unsafe conditions you observe in your work to your immediate supervisor. Near-injury incidents often reveal conditions that can be corrected before an accident occurs.

  • Lift Properly--When lifting, be sure of your footing and grip. Bend your legs to get close to the object, keeping your back straight, and then lift by straightening your legs. Hold the load close to your body. Avoid twisting or turning your body while lifting or carrying a load.
    If the object is too heavy for you, get someone to help you. use proper lifting equipment.

  • Be Watchful for the Safety of Others--Be especially watchful of new workers and customers. If you see them in locations where they are likely to be injured or if they are creating a hazardous situation, tell them courteously about the hazards and how to avoid them.

  • Tools and Equipment--Inspect tools and equipment before using them. Your life, or the avoidance of injury, may depend on the safe condition of the ladder or other equipment you are about to use.If you have any doubt about its safety--DO NOT USE IT.

  • Horseplay--No "horseplay," wrestling or other pranks are permitted on the car wash property.

  • Use of Ladders--Never stack up boxes or use drums to climb on to reach overhead work. Always use a ladder that is in good condition. If you must climb up above the bottom step or two, have someone hold the ladder steady. Never stand on the top step under any circumstances. Never step on pipes or duct work.

  • Loose Clothing--Rotating machinery has a unique ability to grab hold of anything that is loose and floppy. Once a piece of rope is wrapped around an axles so that it presses upon itself, it can pull with a strength exceeding that of the rope itself. Riggers and seamen use this principle to lift huge crates, raise anchors, and pull ocean liners up to dock. Don't get hung by your own sleeve.

  • Long Hair--Much like clothing, long hair can get caught in the machinery of the car wash. All hair must be confined under a hat or cap to prevent injury.

  • Shoes--The best types of shoes to wear consist of the safety type. These shoes usually have neoprene soles that are resistant to chemicals. They are also more slip-resistant on oily or soapy floors and usually incorporate steel caps for toe protection against falling objects. Do Not Wear Sneakers.

  • Body Protections--When working with electrical tools, always wear dry, insulated shoes that can't result in shock through the soles. Don't stand over water unless standing on a dry insulated platform of wood or cement blocks. Don't work without wearing a reasonably dry shirt with buttoned sleeves. Always wear safety goggles when eyes might be subject to injury. Work clothes should fit snugly. Anything that can catch in machinery is taboo, such as neckties, loose sleeves, patch pockets, etc.

  • Gasoline Containers--Gasoline should not be dispensed in any glass or plastic jugs brought in by customers. This is illegal and should be so posted. Dispense only in approved metal containers officially marked "Gasoline."

  • Dispensing Gasoline--Never smoke or permit smoking within 25 feet of a gasoline pump or tank being filled. Never top off tanks. Snuff out all lighted butts immediately.

  • Request that all customers turn off their ignition and not smoke while receiving gasoline. See that "No Smoking" signs are properly displayed. Gasoline should not be stored in any form inside buildings.

  • Smoking--Smoking or open flames are prohibited near any stored flammable products or near any area where explosive vapors might be present.

  • Gasoline or Kerosene Use--The use of gasoline, kerosene or other flammable solvents as cleaning agents for equipment or building surfaces is strictly forbidden.
    Gasoline should never be used to clean brushes. Nonflammable solvents (such as "Varsol") are recommended to eliminate the danger of explosion inherent in gasoline.

  • Waste Materials--All oil rages or other flammable waste materials should be kept in closed metal containers, not indoors, and preferably should be disposed of every day. Don't jam such materials tightly in drums and keep them over long periods of time or spontaneous combustion may occur.

  • Caution Labels--Install caution labels and signs whenever necessary.
    Manuals--See equipment manuals for any safety precautions which may apply to equipment being used or serviced.

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