The motor vehicle repairs industry is being warned to prepare for an
increase in Health and Safety Executive inspections.
Motor repair workshops should expect an increase in the frequency of HSE
visits as more inspectors are being recruited and trained by HSE - 100
new recruits started in October - for the engineering sector.
Motor vehicle repair (MVR) counts as light engineering and provides a
useful training ground for HSE inspectors before they move into more
complex or heavier engineering activities.
The warnings come from the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI).
Its environment, health and safety adviser Peter Barlow, said: “Inspectors dissatisfied with health and safety arrangements will issue an improvement notice and deadline for
completion of the necessary actions, to which motor vehicle repair
businesses should react immediately. MVR businesses should seek advice
if they are unsure as to what is required.”
The RMI has discovered that HSE inspectors look at four main areas when
they call and has offered this information.
Does your company have a written health and safety policy
statement? This is a basic recognition that employers have
responsibilities for the health and safety of their employees and others
with whom they deal in the conduct of business. Every business with
five or more employees must have one. It should state who is
responsible for ensuring policy implementation
Does your business have a risk assessment for the substances and
preparations used on site as required by the Control of Substances
Hazardous to Health Regulations? Every fuel, lubricant, aerosol, paste
or fluid you have on site will have a material safety data sheet (MSDS)
produced by the manufacturer in a 16-heading EU format. Ask for copies
from your supplier and act on the information given. You
must extract from the MSDS details of the risks associated with the
material and the safety precautions to be followed to ensure safe use.
Most importantly, this information must be communicated to employees
using that material.
Has your business undertaken an assessment of the risks to
employees and others of the activities and equipment used on or off the
premises by employees as required by the Management of Health and Safety
at Work Regulations? Having identified the associated risks, employers
must aim to reduce those risks to the minimum by putting in place the
necessary policies and procedures. The findings must be communicated to
the employees concerned
Has your business produced a fire risk assessment (FRA) for its
premises? This is more detailed than the fire certificate produced by
the local authority, which is primarily concerned with ensuring people
can exit the building safely in the event of fire. The FRA looks at the
flammable materials and sources of ignition, the location of people at
risk, reducing that risk, fire detection and warning systems, means of
escape, means of fighting fire, and maintenance and testing of fire
RMI-member garages should contact the RMI on 01788 576 465
for guidance on the legal requirements.