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Automotive Workplace Hygiene

Example Operating Guidelines

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Repair of Vehicle

  • 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 of person wearing respirator

    1 - Wear Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment During All Stages of Repair

    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. PPE may be required to reduce exposures to the disinfectant used. Refer to the SDS for recommended PPE. Inspect PPE for defects or damage prior to use.

  • icon of hand wiping down steering wheel

    2 - Clean and Disinfect High-Touch Surfaces of Vehicle Prior to Inspection

    • Clean all high-touch surfaces of the vehicle using soap and water, 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. Leave all doors open while using disinfectant to increase air movement inside the vehicle.

      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  car being washed

    3 - Pre-Clean Vehicle and Begin Repair

    Pre-wash/clean exterior vehicle with soap and water prior to disassembly. Power washing the undercarriage near the repair area is recommended. Begin repair following shop repair procedures.

  • icon of hand washing under a faucet

    4 - Follow Personal Hygiene Recommendations During Repair

    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 wiping down keyboard

    5 - Follow Workplace Hygiene Recommendations During Repair

    Regularly clean high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas of the shop using soap and water, then use an EPA registered disinfectant* that is appropriate for the various surfaces. Follow instructions on the disinfectant product label to ensure safe and effective use of the product, including recommended contact-time and reapplication requirements. Examples of high-touch surfaces include: exterior and interior building door handles, bathroom knobs, handles and faucets, desktop and computer equipment, and phones and cell phones. Examples of high-traffic areas of the shop include: waiting rooms, kitchen and break areas and other common areas. Remind each shop employee or technician to wipe down shared tools or equipment with disinfectant after use.

  • icon of spray bottle spraying door panel

    6 - Disinfect Vehicle Repair Area

    Regularly clean (using soap and water), and then use an appropriate EPA registered disinfectant*, on the interior and exterior repair area between repair process steps or when receiving work previously processed by a co-worker. Follow instructions on the disinfectant product label to ensure safe and effective use of the product, including recommended contact-time and reapplication requirements. Once complete, you’re able to deliver the vehicle to next workstation or change shifts with a coworker.

    Note: Procedures may vary based on shop size, protocol, damage, and repair.

  • icon of a hand holding a spray bottle

    7 - Disinfect Tools & Equipment after Each Step

    Once a repair step is complete, be sure to clean, and then use an EPA registered disinfectant† on, your tools and equipment used during repair. Select an appropriate disinfectant based on the type of tool to be cleaned. Follow instructions on the disinfectant product label to ensure safe and effective use of the product, including recommended contact-time and reapplication requirements.

  • icon of a respirator

    8 - Discard and/or Disinfect Personal Protective Equipment

    Finally, after your job is complete, ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) is properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of, as applicable, to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment. Refer to the manufacturer’s directions for proper disposal, cleaning, disinfecting, and storage of used PPE.


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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