Risk Alert: Minimize Dust from Sanding Operations in YOUR Shop!

As the owner of a garage and auto body shop, you understand that there are health and even life-threatening risks in your shop. Without the proper training, equipment and tools for the job, your workers may be filing for workers compensation sooner than later. Luckily, having a garage insurance program in place will make sure your workers are protected, but it is still best to avoid a claim.
During the past few weeks, we have discussed the risks that toxic solvents bring to your shop. This week, we have decided to look into another health concern: the exposure to dust from sanding operations. Exposing your employees to hazardous air pollutants (HAPS) will have a negative effect on their health in the long run. To minimize this risk, you can:

• Purchase and use a vacuum sander to collect the dust during sanding operations;

• Avoid bringing home your “work clothes” to keep these HAPs in the shop.

• Have your clothing cleaned by a professional.

• Wear safety goggles and a mask when sanding. Employees may think that masks are too hot or a nuisance to wear, but it is NOT an option! Masks are mandatory, according to OSHA regulations.

• Avoid bringing food and drinks into the shop where sanding procedures are typically done.

As you can see, there are always ways to minimize risks in the shop. To avoid exposing your employees to this, it is essential to follow the tips listed above to minimize the dust from sanding operation in your shop.

For more information on how to lower the risks on your shop, contact our agency. Our professionals would be happy to assess your risks and offer possible solutions. We would also be more than happy to provide you with a free garage insurance quote!


Driveaway Collision Insurance: Do You Need It?

As the owner of an auto body and repair shop, it is not uncommon to have used vehicles for sale or even customer autos held on consignment. If you do it’s important that you are aware of the risks that your garage and employees face on an everyday basis. By being aware of your risks, you can purchase the right amount of insurance and the proper policies to protect you from the worst case scenario. Auto repair shop insurance can be designed to cover just about anything! One coverage option that you may not be familiar with: driveaway collision insurance.

According to IRMI.com, dealers driveaway collision is: “a garage policy endorsement that broadens the collision coverage for autos being driven or transported from point of purchase or distribution to the destination. The garage form limits collision coverage for these autos to apply only within a 50-mile radius of your facility The exclusion will apply if the distance is greater than 50 miles, even if a collision occurs within the 50-mile radius. Driveaway collision coverage deletes this distance exclusion and affords coverage for the pickup or delivery to or from a point greater than 50 miles from the dealership.”
In other words, if you are driving a vehicle and are involved in an accident, you better hope the final destination is less than 50 miles away! Let’s say it actually comes out to be 70 miles… you will not be covered. This is where driveaway insurance comes into play. If your shop has cars that either you or your customers own for sale, this endorsement may be useful to you.
If you want to learn more about driveaway insurance, contact our experts at Wolpert Insurance. We would be more than happy to go over this policy endorsement in further detail. You should also contact us for a free auto repair shop insurance quote! We would be happy to go over the risks in your particular garage and make sure you have the proper policies in place. Your shop is unique; and your coverage should be, too!

The Benefits of Toxic Paint & Solvent Reduction

In this day and age, going green in your shop is the way to go. Going green does not only mean a reduction of costs for your auto body and repair shop, but more importantly it reduces health hazards and possible risks down the line. Besides being safer for your own workers, it is also beneficial to the customers that come in and out of your shop. A safer way of working is the way to go, especially if that means more business for you in the end!

While we may be your go-to for information on garage insurance policies and coverage, we are also here to help you lower risks in your business and keep hazards to a minimum. That being said, we have put together a quick list. Here are just a few benefits of using less toxic paints and solvents:
• Toxic paints and solvents have been shown to negatively affect health over time. Both your workers and even customers may suffer health issues down the line.
• Going green reduces the risk of lung cancer.
• Reduces worker and customer exposure to hazardous air pollutants.
• Reduces the cost of hazardous waste disposal.
• Lowers the chance of spills, lowering the number of slips and falls.
Trust us; Americans are on the prowl for green businesses these days. If your business can hop on the green band wagon now, you may start growing sooner than later!
As we mentioned before, going green will not only mean a growing clientele. The less toxic chemicals and solvents you use in your shop, the less pollution, mishaps, accidents, and claims… the benefits are endless! Of course, the lower the number of claims made in your shop may mean a lower garage insurance premium. If you are wondering how going green may affect your premium, contact our agency! We would be happy to discuss with you.

Reduce the Use of Hazard Paint in Your Body Shop

Over the past few weeks, we have discussed the harmful effects of solvents in your auto body shop. The truth is, there are plenty of other harmful chemicals besides just solvents (such as toxic paints!) We enjoy being your go-to for garage insurance inquiries, but we also enjoy sharing our knowledge on garage safety. This week, let’s focus on paint use!

While it may not be possible to eliminating paint use all together, there are always ways to reduce it. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, there are a few ways to do so:
1. Opt for high-volume-low-pressure (HVLP) spray guns as opposed to conventional spray guns. They may cost more, but they will reduce labor time and pollution.
2. Provide training to your employees to ensure the best spray application techniques. Those with higher transfer efficiency will save paint, reduce application time, and reduce exposure to air pollutants.
3. Stop spilling paint! Try to minimize waste and spills while you mix paint.
4. Use air-tight containers to reduce vapors and waste. The only time you should open these containers is to add or pour liquid.
There are plenty of benefits to reducing paint use in the garage. It can reduce labor time, costs associated with product purchases, application time and most importantly, it can reduce exposure to hazardous air pollutants. That is a plus for your workers!
At Wolpert Insurance, we want the best for your auto body and repair shop. This is exactly why we are dedicated to providing you with the most comprehensive garage insurance program in New England! For more information, contact our agency today.