Winter Workshop Housekeeping

As we are now well into the winter months we thought it was a good time to remind workshop managers and controllers of some useful housekeeping tips to help keep work-spaces safe and tidy and equipment in good working order.

Let there be light!

As most of us will currently be completing the last couple of hours of our working days in darkness it is important to ensure that there is adequate lighting in our working environment.  Of course most modern workshops, particularly in main dealerships, have very good lighting but now is the time to make sure that any damaged or end of life bulbs or LED units are replaced.  For those workshops that do not have the latest in installed lighting technology systems there are many other options to light up under-illuminated areas.  The development of LED and rechargeable technology means there are now many low cost solutions.  Whether portable floodlights, lift mounted lighting units, or hand-held inspection lamps are required, there are many value for money options available.

A new broom sweeps clean!

At this time of year high winds whip up leaves and debris and you can be sure they will blow in through open workshop doors.  It can be a real bind to keep on top of clearing these out but typically they will end up in places you don't want them.  If you have an MOT bay, leaves and rubbish are likely to gather in the brake tester roller bed.  If these are not cleared out and are allowed to build up there is a risk they could affect the performance of the tester.  Make sure no debris caught inside any open lift working mechanisms such as pulleys and chains.  So clearing out these crevices at this time of year are essential.

Slippery when wet!

Take care with workshop floors at this time of year.  Rain can blow in and snow can melt off vehicles which in turn will make floors wet and a potential slip hazard.  Excess snow should be cleared off vehicles before they enter the workshop and floors should be cleaned and dried regularly.  Professional floor cleaning scrubber drier machines are better priced than they used to be and can prove to be a worthwhile investment.  Water and snow run-off from vehicles does not just cause a problem for workshop floors though.  Excess water running onto a vehicle lift platform or into a brake tester roller bed, if left to stand can cause deterioration of the equipment.  The problem is particularly bad when the water contains salt from the roads.

Cold as ice!

Extra care should be taken of equipment that is located outside the premises at this time of year and is at risk of being frozen.  For example an air compressor will produce more condensate when it operates in a cold and damp environment.  Because of this the compressor should be drained more regularly than usual.  A useful device to assist with this is an auto-drain unit.  Any condensate that has been produced may pass into the airline so the pipework in your workshop should also be drained regularly.  If you leave a pressure washer outside for long periods of time without use it is possible the water inside the machine could freeze, expand and burst the hoses or even the pump unit causing a costly repair.

Hopefully these simple tips will help you avoid potentially expensive or dangerous incidents.