Company makes recommendations on how to protect customers and staff
The government has recently announced that independent garages can remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Whilst workshops are open there are many simple practices that can be implemented to keep customers and staff safe during the pandemic.
There’s really no limit to the preventive measures that can be taken, so here’s some suggestions to get garages started.
Frequently sanitise those surfaces that are regularly touched.
These can include door handles, computer keyboards, payment keypads, workshop diaries, kettle buttons/levers, microwave controls, reception counter tops, toilet flush handles, toilet door handles and taps.
Think about those objects / surfaces that are repeatably touched and ensure they’re often sanitised throughout the day.
To help reduce the risk of infection, antibacterial handwash should be available within all toilets, for both customers and staff.
For those garages with a drinks machine or water cooler within the reception area, sanitise all buttons and surfaces regularly and provide disposable cups for customers to use, rather than reusable cups.
Having tissues available within the reception area is another simple step to reduce the chance of transmission of COVID-19 between customers and staff.
Take Care with Money and Keys
Encourage customers to pay with their debit/credit card, to reduce exposure to handling cash.
If this isn’t possible, think about wearing protective latex / nitrile gloves for cash transactions.
Similarly, gloves should be worn when receiving and handing keys back to customers.
Wiping keys with antibacterial wipes, after initially receiving them and before giving them back to customers is an additional safety step.
Maintain Social Distancing
Follow the government guidelines issued to businesses for maintaining social distancing.
This includes minimising the number of customers within the premises at any one time and keeping a space of 2 meters between individuals.
Placing tape on the reception floor can help remind customers to keep their distance from the reception counter.
For the moment, refrain from shaking customers’ hands, no matter how loyal they’ve been in the past – they’ll understand.
It’s good practice to not only wear latex / nitrile gloves when working on a vehicle, but also to change them between working on different vehicles.
Before turning on the vehicle ignition, switch off air conditioning systems to limit anything being airbourne inside the cabin.
The most frequently touched areas of the vehicle should be thoroughly sanitised before any work starts – these include the steering wheel, gear stick, door handles, handbrake, indicator and wiper stalks, light switches, window switches, seat buckles and entertainment systems.
Similarly, when the vehicle is ready to be returned frequently touched areas should be sanitised once again.
It’s natural for customers and staff alike to be nervous during the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Informing customers and staff about the procedures that have put in place will provide reassurance.
This can be as simple as telling customers that their vehicle has been thoroughly cleaned, to clearly displaying a list of the measures your business is undertaking to safeguard those on site, within the reception area.
Poster now available
The Parts Alliance has created a poster for garages with all this information included. It can be downloaded here for printing.
Stay up-to-date with the latest government advice and guidance.
The government has a dedicated section on its website www.gov.uk/coronavirus, which includes advice for businesses.
Rather than remembering to visit the site, it is possible to register an email address to receive updates, with the option to choose the frequency of the updates.
For more information on the The Parts Alliance’s COVID-19 policy, click here.