October 23, 2021
Sooner State Agencies


Think Twice Before Allowing Customers in the Garage

As an auto shop employee, you already know what kinds of risks are associated with your job. Auto Shops present a variety of hazards, including the use of dangerous chemicals, exposure to paint fumes, exposure to sanding dust, metal fumes from welding and cutting, hearing damage from excessive noise, the potential for oil or grease spills leading to slips and falls, flying debris, electrical exposures and the general peril of working with large, heavy machinery.

Though you are well aware of these dangers and take several preventative measures to avoid workplace accidents, customers visiting your garage or shop to look at their cars and discuss repairs probably do not fully understand the potential risks. Because customers are not equipped with training or proper personal protective equipment and because you may be liable for any injuries incurred by the customer while in the shop, it is important to take proper measures to keep them safe.

 Factors to Consider When Taking the Customer in the Shop:

  • Be sure the shop is clean and orderly. Clean up all oil, grease and water spills promptly, and remove all tools or other objects left in walking paths. Make sure there are no exposed sharp edges around the shop where visiting customers could cut themselves.
  • Make sure the areas of the shop where the customer visits are properly ventilated and free of any harmful fumes.

A Good Rule of Thumb

Take customers into the garage only when it is absolutely vital to completing your job. Remember that if it turns out your company is liable for customers’ injuries while inside the garage, you might be better off discussing repairs away from potential auto shop hazards in the long run.

PPE for Safety!

Request that the customer wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while on the shop floor, emphasizing that it is for his/her safety. Even brief exposure to chemicals commonly found in Auto Shops can cause respiratory conditions.