THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business May '14

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102 n Performance & Hotrod Business n May 2014 BUSINESS In addition to increased costs from insurance carriers, businesses with too many losses are at risk of being dropped by their carrier altogether, she says. To avoid this, Rossi recommends that shop owners implement a safety program and practice good claims management. "Report the claim immediately to the carrier, follow up with the providers and find a way to return the injured employee to work and find a way to accommodate their restrictions," she says. 2. Emphasize Employee Participation Rossi says the failure to enforce safety rules and not emphasizing consequences to employees if they don't follow rules are common mistakes business owners make. Since owning a business isn't easy, safety is just another thing on an owner's to-do list, so he or she might not consider it a priority. However, drafting a formal safety program with written rules and commu- nicating it to all employees is a good start. "Know who you're hiring, train them when they come in and engage them in the safety program," Rossi says. "It helps to have employees on board and provide rewards for good safety. Some people are fans of providing rewards for so many acci- dent-free days, but others say that encour- ages employees not to report their injuries. So perhaps a better program would be to incentivize employees to identify safety hazards." Jesse Henke, owner of JH Restorations in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, makes sure all of his employees renew their CPR and The American National Standards Institutes (ANSI) requires lifts to be annually inspected by a qualified auto- motive lift inspector, who can be certi- fied by the American Lift Institute. first aid certifications every two years. His father also took on the role of director of health and safety at the shop to help maintain safe working conditions, prevent accidents and take care of possible risks such as taping off areas when a hazardous spill occurs or making sure machines are as safe as possible. Henke says three family members work for the business, but considers all employ- ees to be family. "You don't want to see anybody get cut or scraped or bang their head on a hoist. The benefits of being safe is that you have employees at work every day, you have happy employees, you're not losing revenue because they're here and not hurt, and your costs of doing business stay down." Shop owners benefit from setting a good example for his or her employees from day one, according to John D. Heckman, a managing producer of restorer and builder, special dealer and high net worth programs at Horsham, Pa.-based Grundy Insurance. "They need to set an example," he says. "If a prospective employee walks into a shop and the floor is dirty, there's piles of old parts and greasy rags lying around and the place is dingy and dull, that's the kind of atmosphere that's going to continue. On the other hand, if the owner of the shop is conscientious and has a place for everything, and everything in its place, it's going to be a better and safe place to work." 3. Practice Good Housekeeping Many hot rod and speed shops are kept very clean, Heckman notes, because they have to be. "They don't have a lot of space, and they're working on rolling art," he says. Keeping a shop organized and main- taining a consistent cleaning routine are essential to keeping a clean shop, which is vital to a successful safety program. Organization includes designating specific areas for certain types of work. "Some shops will have a clean room where the cars are reassembled because everything is painted and chromed," Heckman says. "They need a clean environment for everything to go back together properly that's separate from PHBMAY.indd 102 4/2/14 2:05 PM

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