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May/June 2003

Safety Sense
preventive measures

Safety is Important to Everyone
by Dale Malcolm

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the state or federal agency that sets rules and guidelines that are intended to protect employees from injury. All of the articles I have written have been targeted toward employee safety. However, there are usually other people around that need protection as well.

Protecting Your Customer 
Many times when working on a customerís vehicle the customer is asked to look at something of concern on the vehicle. This can expose the customer to hazards, such as sharp glass or metal edges, for which they may be unprepared. 

Extra attention should be paid to children accompanying their parent(s) into the shop. Children are naturally curious and glass shops can be a very interesting and dangerous place for unsupervised children. Children should either stay in a safe place, such as a customer waiting area, or be led through the shop by the hand to avoid injury. 

All employees should be trained to be aware of customers in the work area and take appropriate precautions when a customer is present. Your showroom also can be full of hidden hazards that you donít see because youíve grown accustomed to them. Carpets should be kept clean, as many parents think nothing of allowing small toddlers to crawl around on the floor. 

Broken glass or frames containing broken glass should be placed out of the reach of youngsters. 

Mobile Hazards
When doing mobile work, the problems of protecting observers and passersby from injury can be more difficult to accomplish. Access to the interior of your mobile truck should be restricted, as it can be full of hazardous chemicals and sharp objects. Broken glass in or around the vehicle should be cleaned up as soon as it is practical. Glass parts that have been removed should be disposed of.

Primer or urethane spilled on a customerís driveway can be costly to clean up. It is important to protect the vehicles nearby. 

If there is not enough room to work on a vehicle safely, move it to an open area away from the public. Always be sure to do a ďwalk-behindĒ of your mobile vehicle before backing up as you never know who or what might be back there. 

Care should be taken when working on a customerís vehicle to prevent broken glass from getting all over the interior. Seat covers should be used and the defroster vents should be 

Broken glass created or caused by the removal process should be cleaned up completely by the installer. 

Many times whatever damaged the glass may have been so severe that broken glass will have gotten into many of the small crevasses and spaces in the passenger compartment. When this occurs, the installer is expected to conduct a reasonable clean-up of the interior. There will be areas that are inaccessible to the installer without removing seats or disassembling the defroster ductwork. When this occurs the customer should be warned that there might be glass particles remaining under the seats or in the ductwork. The customer should then be referred to a detailing shop for additional clean-up or to the dealership to have the ductwork disassembled and cleaned. This should then be reported to the insurance company as a supplemental claim related to the original loss. I personally know of several customers that have gotten glass blown into their eyes because glass was left in the defroster vents.

Doing the right thing for your customer goes beyond doing quality work with quality materials. 

Dale Malcolm is technical services supervisor with Dow Automotive/Essex ARG in Dayton, Ohio.


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