Prevent Dermal Exposure Risks in your Garage

Working in a repair and auto body shop day in and day out is sure to have a negative effect on your health, especially if you are not mindful of the risks in your garage. As the owner, it is important to make sure both you and your employees are protected by providing the proper gear, workers compensation and garage insurance. Most importantly, it is crucial to make sure all workers are careful while using specific chemicals and products; dermal exposure is a serious health concern in this industry!
At Wolpert Insurance, we believe one of the best ways to protect your skin from coming in contact with harmful chemicals is simply wearing the proper gloves. According to OSHA, there are a variety of factors that may affect your glove selection, including:
• The type of chemical you will be handling;
• The frequency and duration of contact with the chemical;
• The temperature of the chemical;
• Concentration of the chemical;
• The nature of chemical contact (splashing, misting, total immersion, etc.)
• The length of your arm to be protected;
• Grip requirements (slippery, oily, dry);
• Thermal protection;
• Size and comfort;
• Price;
• Special glove features (cuff edge, lining, color, etc.)
One OSHA study indicated that 70% of the workers experiencing hand injuries were not wearing gloves. Hand injuries to the remaining 30% of the workers who were wearing gloves were caused by the gloves being either inadequate, damaged, or the wrong type for the type of hazard present. As you can see, a lot of thought should be put into this decision! To avoid harmful skin exposure, it may even be a good idea to have your shop evaluated by a professional; health and safety should be a priority!
At Wolpert Insurance, we always place safety and protection first. That is why we offer high-quality garage insurance. We have a wide-variety of programs that are dedicated to the auto repair industry, including: auto insurance, workers compensation, umbrella insurance, property insurance, employers’ liability insurance and much more. We want to help your business overcome these health hazards!

5 Ways for Auto Body and Repair Shops to Remain Profitable

As the owner of an auto body and repair shop, it is important to be just as skilled as a manager as it is to be as a mechanic. In order to remain profitable, it takes much more than just the necessary labor skills. A shop owner and manager must always be aware of changes in the field, procedures, billing, garage insurance, and any other areas that may affect the business and its profits.
More specifically, there are five areas that should be monitored and modified regularly in order to remain a profitable auto body and repair shop. The following five areas are:
#1: Estimate: It is important to be thorough and specific when writing estimates or else your profit may suffer. What may seem like a minor expense once may be multiplied as you continue to use the wrong estimate.
#2: Standard operating procedures: For a thorough estimate, it is important to be educated on each repair procedures. This is where standard operations procedures (SOPS) can be helpful, serving as a checklist for repairs once it comes time to figure out billing.
#3: Efficiency of the shop: It is crucial to continually improve processes. This may require constant training but it will be worth it. The ability to repair a vehicle correctly and in a swift manner will benefit your shop and reputation.
#4: Changes in equipment: There are constantly new and improved tools hitting the market. It is important that your shop keeps up with these changes. Some may end up affecting costs and profits so it is crucial to adjust.
#5: Shop integrity and honesty: Stellar customer service will go a long way. If your customers respect your workers and your shop as a whole, you may never face a shortage of business. Keep up that great reputation; it is hard to fix once it is tarnished!
While these are not the only five areas that should be monitored, they are certainly the most important. If you cannot properly manage these areas, you may find your company profit at a stand-still, or worse, at a loss.
Another important part to monitor and keep up with is your garage insurance. Without the proper protection in place, a minor issue could turn into a major financial loss. Luckily, this policy is specifically designed to cover the unique risks you may face as a garage shop owner. Possible products and services include: auto insurance, workers compensation coverage, employers’ liability insurance, umbrella insurance, group auto insurance, small business retirement planning and much more. Feel free to contact us for a free quote today!

OSHA Standards Part III: Dermal Exposure

Over the past two weeks, we have discussed OSHA standards and how the proper precautions and procedures can help eliminate risks in the workplace. As the owner of an auto body and repair shop, it is crucial for you to be aware of these standards and ways to decrease medical and health risk. Having garage insurance and workers compensation will only go so far when protecting your employeLast week, we discussed the risks associated with welding, cutting and brazing. This week, we want to take a closer look into chemical exposure and how it can affect you skin. According to the United States Department of Labor, “the number of cases and the rate of skin disease in the US exceed recordable respiratory illnesses.” In 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 34,400 skin diseases.
While this issue may seem like an impossible feat, it is actually fairly easy to control and prevent dermal exposure in your workshop. Here are a few prevention tips to keep in mind:
• If possible, change the chemicals that you use. While you may be using a harsh chemical for a specific job, there may be a safer product that will get the same job done. Research!
• In order to avoid splashing or immersion, it may be a good idea to re-evaluate and re-deign the work process.
• Chemical protective gloves, an apron, goggles and other protective clothing and gear should be worn at all times.
• Find a pair of gloves that are best suited for the specific chemical that you are working with. Factors to consider: type of chemical, frequent and duration of chemical contact, nature of contact, concentration of chemical, temperature of chemical, grip requirements, thermal protection, glove features and much more.
The next time you are working with a chemical, remember these tips. Chances are, both you and your employees in the auto body and repair shop are using chemicals on a daily basis. Having the proper protection should keep your skin safe from harm.
Having protection for your business is important in all areas, not only when it comes to chemicals! Allow us at Wolpert Insurance to cover your shop with garage insurance. This policy is specifically designed to cater to the unique issues your shop faces each day; from auto insurance to discounted workers compensation. Better safe than sorry in such a risky work environment!

OSHA Standards Part II: Welding, Cutting, and Brazing

If you are working in an auto body and repair shop on a daily basis, you understand the importance of recognizing risks. For business owners, it is crucial to look into the proper garage insurance to stay protected from potential threats and dangers. However, it takes much more than a policy to stay safe on the job.

Last week, we discussed safety from hazardous and toxic substances. However, these are not the only issues that employees in the auto body and repair shop business will face. Welding, cutting, and brazing are among the variety of hazardous activities in the workplace. Not only do these activities pose a physical safety risk, but health as well. According to The United Sates Department of Labor, “the risk from fatal injuries alone is more than four deaths per thousand workers over a working lifetime.”

There are a variety of health and safety hazards to be aware of when welding, cutting and brazing, including: exposure to metal fume, exposure to UV radiation, burns, eye damage, electrical shock, cuts, crushes toes and finger, and more. The best way to protect you and your workers from these potential risks is to follow proper procedures, work in a well-ventilated area and wear the correct protective equipment.

While your garage may be equipped and ready for the worst case scenario, that does not mean you will be able to avoid every possible risk. One of the best solutions? Staying covered with garage insurance. This policy will be able to protect your business from top to bottom, unlike a typical business insurance policy. We have designed this coverage to fit your garage’s specific needs, with policies such as employer’s liability insurance, discounted workers compensation, auto insurance, umbrella insurance and much more. If you are interested in putting your workers and company first, be sure to speak with us at Wolpert Insurance. We would be happy to supply you with a free quote!