Protect Employee Health and Prevent Pollution: A Guide for Auto Repair Shops

Dec 12, 2023 | Business Insurance

A thorough sustainability manual must be followed if you want to run a sustainable automotive body and repair shop. When we say, “automotive body and repair shop,” we’re talking about places like gas stations, car washes, auto dealerships, and places where vehicles are maintained in fleets. A sustainable auto repair shop considers the business’s effects on the economy, society, and the environment in addition to the needs of fixing and maintaining vehicles. Green companies work to win over customers by assisting them in selecting environmentally friendly products. For instance, a green repair shop can offer guidance on how to lighten a vehicle’s load, improve fuel injection or catalytic converter systems, or conserve the road. Being able to promote your business as an eco-friendly one is a growing trend that can help you stand out from the competition. Additional efforts to preserve resources and safeguard the environment can have the following advantages, as listed by Bodyshop Business:


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  • decreased costs for operations, insurance, and waste
  • higher property values,
  • easier hiring of employees,
  • decreased risk of liability,
  • Incentives such as tax credits and other potential government programs,
  • Benefits to productivity and employee health.

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OPERATIONS

Establishing efficient energy practices can help you save money, improve the resilience and dependability of the electric grid, and have positive effects on the environment, the community, and your health. Any strategy for energy conservation must include cultivating a culture of efficiency in the workplace.


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Keep a dry shop: Tip #2 Vehicle fluids may drip, spill, or otherwise get into floor drains and sinks in service areas during routine repair and maintenance. A dry shop management strategy can reduce the amount of wastewater produced by a shop using a variety of tactics, such as capping the floor drains and transferring fluids using safety cans, drip pans, trays, and funnel drum covers.


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Use recycled water, according to tip #3: A car wash that can wash 400 cars per day uses 48,000 gallons of water each day, or more than 17 million gallons annually. If there is a carwash at your facility, using recycled water for these operations lessens the reliance on surface water, which is getting more and more expensive and scarce. Additionally, it can lessen groundwater overdrafts and the amount of treated wastewater that is discharged into rivers and oceans.


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Tip #4: Make use of technology to improve supply chain visibility and transparency. An average car consists of an astounding 30,000 parts. Tracking specific products and components as they move from the supplier to the manufacturer to the consumer will be made simpler by process documentation.

Tip 5: Convert to a fully digital setup. A digitalized auto repair shop allows for the automation of customer relationship management during repairs and visits. This will reduce paper waste associated with processing customer information, work orders, inspections, internal communications, emails, and invoices.

Use equipment that reduces noise. Most of the auto body and repair shops use pneumatic tools that are powered by noisy air compressors. An air compressor typically produces noise of up to 90 decibels. Any noise that is louder than 70 decibels can harm hearing, according to the CDC. 

Train yourself and your staff, according to tip #7: Through practical employee training, several practices are put into place as part of this management strategy to produce less waste. 


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ENGAGEMENT OF CUSTOMERS

Encourage customers to use green products: To increase customer trust and provide a better shopping experience, concentrate on educating your customers. To assist your customers in making more eco-friendly purchasing decisions, this education should emphasize sustainability.

Starting a green loyalty rewards program is Tip #9: Long-term customer retention strategies include customer loyalty programs. According to data, customers who participate in a long-term customer loyalty program spend 67% more. Customers are more likely to stick with a particular brand and remain loyal the longer they take advantage of the loyalty programs.


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TIPS FOR REDUCING ENERGY

Use solar energy to meet your electricity needs. Energy costs, which total more than $2 billion nationwide, are the third largest expense for auto repair shops. Due to the lack of available alternatives, utility bills have historically been an undervalued expense. But for car dealerships all over the nation, solar power offers a distinctive, advantageous option.


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Upgrade to retrofitted light fixtures as recommended in tip #11: LED lights are not only cost-effective in terms of energy use, but fixtures can be adjusted for brightness and direct light output. A car’s warping, dents, and dings are easily revealed by brighter, more direct light, which can speed up the insurance rebate process and reduce the possibility of a customer receiving a car that is still damaged.

Install insulated garage doors, which is tip #12: As vehicles enter and exit, bay doors open and close numerous times throughout the day, increasing the heating and cooling loads. These doors may be left open unnecessarily for extended periods of time in some facilities. Insulated doors are a more environmentally friendly option that also offers security and energy-saving advantages.


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INSIGHTFUL BUYING ADVICE

The 13th tip is to reduce packaging. Bulk purchases can result in financial savings, reduced waste, time savings, and a constant supply of staples.

Tip #14: Use an industrial acrylic floor system or another impervious material to seal the shop floor: In areas with a high exposure to liquids and spills, a sealed shop floor is slip-resistant, can limit hazards, and can reduce slips and falls. Epoxy flooring’s seamless surface is very simple to clean because it is water, oil, and grease resistant. Additionally, it is non-porous, making it simple to wipe away dust and dirt.


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Choose suppliers who only offer products, services, and chemicals that are environmentally friendly: The use of environmentally friendly chemical substitutes is expanding in the professional carwashing sector thanks to improvements in professional cleaning procedures. Green cleaning is advantageous to both the environment and staff members. Human health is harmed by exposure to some conventional cleaning agents, which can cause asthma, allergic reactions, and skin rashes.


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