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Automotive Workplace Hygiene

Example Operating Guidelines

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Delivery of Vehicle to Car Owner after Repair

  • As the world continues to change with the COVID-19 pandemic, determining how to help protect employees and customers is top of mind. To assist our valued shop customers, 3M is providing a series of example operating guidelines, designed to help apply the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to a typical collision repair shop and car care setting. Collision repair and car care shops are responsible for health and safety at their worksite and for adapting these example operating guidelines as appropriate for their particular work environment and in accordance with the latest guidance from applicable local and national public health authorities.


  • icon image of 2 people with an arrow noting 6 feet of separation

    1 - Minimize In-Person Contact

    Communicate electronically with customers as much as possible. Make arrangements in advance with the vehicle owner/ your customer with the exact time the car will be ready for pick-up. This step will help minimize the number of people and time spent in the waiting room. As a courtesy, provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) for customers as they walk into the shop. Greet customers with a wave while avoiding handshakes. Recommend a plexiglass barrier between receptionist and customer. Arrange wait room to help maintain social distance between customers (e.g., space chairs).

  • icon of hand washing under a running faucet

    2 - Follow Personal Hygiene Recommendations

    Practice social distancing, proper hand washing, and avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth). Eliminate contacts where possible (no hand shaking or touching). If you must cough, use your elbow and face the opposite direction of any people. Be sure to stay at home if you are sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before and after eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. (If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty).

  • icon of person wearing personal protective equipment

    3 - Wear Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment

    Based on the repair or service to the vehicle, be sure to wear the proper personal protection equipment (PPE). The types of PPE required during a COVID-19 pandemic will be based on the risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 while working and job tasks that may lead to exposure. When selecting PPE, consider factors such as function, fit, decontamination ability, disposal, and cost. Each employer should select the combination of PPE that protects workers specific to the workplace.

  • icon of car being washed

    4 - Wash Vehicle and Test Drive Prior to Delivery

    Wash the vehicle to be sure that dust and debris from the repair has been cleaned from the vehicle. Test drive the vehicle to be sure that everything is working properly and has been restored to pre-accident condition.

  • icon of person with thought bubble containing a wrench

    5 - Practice Social Distancing When Inspecting Area for Completeness of Repair

    When providing the customer with a detailed explanation of the work that has been completed and send it to them electronically, maintain proper social distancing. Carefully walk around the vehicle, again maintaining proper social distancing. Explain the shop’s warranty and repair guarantee and offer to send electronically with the final invoice.

  • icon of dollar sign

    6 - Practice Social Distancing When Explaining Bill

    Once the inspection is complete, be sure to explain the details of the invoice and repair to customer. It is recommended to use a screen from behind a desk for ensure proper distance. If possible, avoid exchanging paper copies and send all documents electronically, including a customer satisfaction survey.

  • icon of hand cleaning steering wheel

    7 - Clean and Disinfect High-Touch Surfaces

    Clean all high-touch surfaces of the vehicle, then use an EPA registered disinfectant* that is appropriate for the vehicle’s various substrates and surfaces. Follow instructions on the disinfectant product label to ensure safe and effective use of the product, including recommended contact-time and reapplication requirements. Test the disinfectant on an inconspicuous area of the surfaces to ensure that it is compatible with the surface.

    Note: reference vehicle manufacturer website / owner’s manual for guidance on product suitability.

    Examples of high-touch surfaces of the vehicles include:

      • Keys and/or key FOB
      • Start/stop buttons
      • Exterior & interior door handles
      • Steering wheel
      • Door trim
      • Switches and buttons
      • Wiper & headlight controls
      • Center console along with armrests
      • Any window/seat/mirror controls
      • Rear-view mirror
      • Seatbelt buckles and anchors
      • Gear selector
      • Radio
      • HVAC areas

      Use caution when cleaning and applying disinfectant to sensitive surfaces such as touchscreen displays and refer to the owner’s manual for directions for cleaning sensitive surfaces.

  • icon of keys above an open hand

    8 - Practice Social Distancing During Delivery

    Upon approval of the repair, return the keys to the vehicle owner/customer by setting on counter and maintaining proper social distance. Thank them for their business.


Important notes

  • This example operating guideline document is informational in nature and designed to assist our valued shop customers apply the guidance of the WHO, CDC, and OSHA (as of May 5, 2020) to the collision repair shop setting. Collision repair shops are responsible for adapting these example operating guidelines as appropriate for their particular work environment and in accordance with the latest guidance from applicable local and national public health authorities.

    For any country, including the U.S., local regulations should always be consulted before selecting and utilizing a disinfectant cleaner.

    Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) regulations may exist that prohibit the use of certain alcohol solutions or solvents. Consult with your local Country, State, or Provence environmental authorities to determine whether the use of a solution or solvent is restricted or prohibited in your area.


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