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Carwash Safety 101

How to improve employee attentiveness

Often times, the simplest things can be the most effective solutions to potential disasters.

Safety at your carwash can be greatly improved with a few basic tasks. It doesn’t have to be rocket science to make it work. For instance, how often do you hold safety meetings where the subject is how to improve the attentiveness of employees and visitors at the wash? The amount of incidents that occur as a result of employees not being tuned into their surroundings is significant. So, ask yourselves: Does this indicate that there is a lack of proper training? The following are some reminders that need to be reviewed regularly to ensure that your employees aren’t overlooking these simple tasks:
  • Employees need to be trained to recognize the common hazards associated with vehicles on the property.
  • Directional signage must be used wherever possible to avoid confusion while driving.
  • Apparatus, such as stop-and-go signals, may be used as long as they are not a distraction.
  • Enforce strict “no cellphone” rules for employees on the clock to avoid distraction.
  • All employees guiding cars onto the conveyor must be trained before they start.
  • Additional training is needed for employees performing any process on the exit of the tunnel, especially in regards to safe areas for specific tasks.
  • Keep distracting conversations around moving vehicles to a minimum.
  • Make sure employees are well rested and alert before performing tasks.
  • Take into account that stress plays a significant role in causing distractions on the job.
  • Implement and enforce rules for the use of tablets associated with new POS systems.
  • Be sure the conveyor has an audible device that can be heard while it’s activated.
  • Make sure newer employees are thoroughly trained on all job-related tasks and associated risks before they begin their duties.
  • Have your employees create a list of distractions they see at the carwash, and use your next safety meeting to discuss the causes and develop solutions to mitigate the risk.
The primary purpose of these items is to help employees and customers remain aware of the activities going on around them at the carwash. Although the above list is by no means complete, adopting these practices can be a good start to creating a less distracting environment for everyone. Don’t overlook the simple things at your next monthly safety meeting.

Mike Benmosche, CIC, is the national carwash program manager for McNeil & Co. McNeil & Co., with over 25 years in business, has become a nationwide leader in specialized risk management and insurance, specializing in the professional carwashing industry. For more information, please visit

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