If you have an auto body shop, the days are busy. You’ve got a revolving door of cars and clients, and maybe it feels like there’s barely organized chaos going on at any given time. It’s understandable. However, you’ve got to make sure that your shop is a safe place for your employees to work. Not only is this for their health and wellbeing, but it’s also a way to lower your workers’ comp risk. We’ll go over what you need to know about workers’ comp insurance for auto body shops.
Wait – what’s workers’ comp?
Workers’ comp is the coverage that protects your employees if they get hurt on the job. Unfortunately, auto shops aren’t always the safest places to work. Working with cars means working around some potentially dangerous equipment, so this is an important coverage for auto shops.
Anyways, workers’ comp protects your employees by providing a portion of their lost wages if they get hurt on the job and have to take some time to rest and recover. It can also cover their medical bills so they won’t have to stress about paying for the medical care they need. That way the only thing your employee has to worry about is getting better. (Take note that Georgia law may require you to carry workers’ comp insurance if you have three or more employees.)
To give an example, let’s say that one of your mechanics is on the shop floor when they accidentally slip and fall. They not only hit their head and need stitches, but they also break a leg while they’re at it. They need some pretty extensive medical care and physical therapy, not to mention they need some time off from work. Workers’ comp could swoop in to save the day. Kind of like a superhero.
Tips for auto shops to lower workers’ comp risk.
There are a few things that you can do to lower your workers’ comp risk – meaning lowering your chances of having a workers’ comp insurance claim. (Basically, how can you prevent your employees from getting injured on the job?)
Provide proper safety equipment and make sure your employees are using it.
You’ve got to make sure that your employees have access to the safety equipment they need, and that they’re using the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) properly. Have eye protection and hearing protection available for your employees to use. If your employees will be using paint, make sure they have breathing protection. Have dust masks if employees will be sanding or grinding things.
Make sure hoists and jacks are well maintained.
It’s really important to make sure that all the hoists and jacks that are used to lift the vehicles are well maintained. Crawling around under cars can be dangerous, so make sure that all the equipment is functioning properly to avoid accidents. Also, ensure that all of your employees know what a properly supported vehicle looks like so they know not to work underneath one that isn’t.
Prevent slips and falls.
You also need to look out for the more mundane dangers out there. Your employees should keep the workspace tidy and clear of anything that could cause someone to trip or slip. When you’re rushing around trying to get work done, it’s easy to fail to notice something on the floor that could send you flying. Head that off by making sure that walkways are clear.
Train employees on proper lifting.
It’s really important to train employees on proper lifting to avoid back injuries and strain. You don’t want anyone throwing their back out because they tried to lift something. Back injuries are no fun.
Train, train, train.
You’ve also got to commit to spending some time on safety training. Make sure that your employees know how to properly use every piece of equipment and tool that they’ll be expected to use in the course of their jobs, and make sure that they know they can ask questions if needed. There are some simple things that your employees should know, such as…
- Keeping sparks away from car batteries, which can explode.
- Being careful of any moving parts, such as belts, pulleys, and fans.
- Not touching/opening the radiator when the car is still hot.
- Not unplugging electrical parts when the engine is still running.
- Taking care when opening fuel lines.
- Disconnecting one of the battery cables when doing electrical work to avoid shorting anything or starting a fire.
- Not smoking around flammable things.
- Not wearing loose-fitting clothing that could get caught in something.
- Tying back long hair.
Yes, these may seem like very simplistic things, but it’s important that your employees understand basic safety around the shop. If your employees feel that they’re unable to perform a task safely, make sure they feel comfortable telling you or their supervisor about it.
How to get workers’ comp quotes.
One way you can save money on your workers’ comp insurance is by comparing quotes. How do you do that? It’s easy!
- Let us know you’re looking for insurance by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.
- Chat with one of our agents so that they get to know you and your business. They just need to ask a few questions so they can best assist you with your insurance needs.
- We’ll gather some quotes for you.
- The agent will go over your quotes with you and present your options.
- We’re here to help with any of your insurance needs or questions.
So that’s the scoop about workers’ comp insurance and auto shops. If you want to see if you can save money on your business insurance, let us know. Our team of insurance professionals would be happy to help.