Coronavirus precautions for garages
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Everyone is now taking sensible precautions to protect against the Coronavirus, with good hand hygiene being central to everything we do. Yet little has been said or written about the dangers of the virus when it comes to our cars. Even the best hand hygiene in the world can fall foul to a contaminated car interior and this is something that can put garage employees at particular risk.
It is an unfortunate fact that car interiors are often dirty spaces, with multiple occupants frequently in a confined space for a long period of time. This means internal vehicle surfaces can easily carry virus droplets. For example, if an infected person sneezes in a car then the droplets have nowhere to go. Worse still, in a car there are numerous frequent touch points where someone else could come into contact with the virus.
For this reason it makes sense for garages, and indeed all car drivers, to take some sensible precautions in addition to the general advice of washing hands regularly and avoiding touching your face.
- Clean the touch points inside the vehicle with an antibacterial spray or wipes before working on the car. This does not just mean obvious spots such as the steering wheel, but also; the gear stick, indicators and other instruments, visors, door handles, seatbelts, window switches, audio and A/C controls, etc.
- Wear disposable gloves when working on a vehicle, change them frequently and dispose of them safely.
- Many drivers tend to run their A/C in recirculation mode. Before spending time in the cabin change the A/C so that it is drawing fresh air from outside the car and run it for a few minutes.
- Keep the vehicle well ventilated by opening windows.
- Always change the vehicle cabin air filter. Dirty filters harbour bacteria and mean the occupants are not breathing clean air.
- Think about items entering your workshop. The packaging of a part for example may be touched by four or five people from the time it is taken off the pallet at the distributor to the time it arrives in the garage. A quick antibacterial wipe is just a sensible precaution.
While the vast majority of Coronavirus infections are mild and large proportions of the population may avoid it altogether, anyone who works in the automotive aftermarket should be taking these and other common sense precautions. This will not only avoid the risk and inconvenience of contraction, but also reduce the speed that the virus spreads.
Clean the touch points inside the vehicle with an antibacterial spray or wipes before working on the car