Tyres and exhausts
The main hazards associated with tyre and exhaust fitting premises (the list is not exhaustive) include:
All equipment should be installed and maintained by a competent person. It is recommended (IEE Wiring Regs BS7671) that the fixed system is inspected/tested at least every five years (or more frequently as recommended by a qualified electrician) and that all electrical appliances are examined/checked ("PAT" Tested) at a frequency appropriate to the risk. Regular maintenance should include visual checks for general wear and tear ensuring that plugs, leads and sockets are in good condition and that there is no exposed wiring. Any corrective actions must be carried out immediately.
Industrial type plugs and sockets should be used as these are more robust and can stand up to the conditions better. Working areas should have sufficient socket outlets to avoid trailing cables.
Safe use of machinery
To prevent harm to employees, ensure that all staff are fully trained to use the equipment provided e.g. Bead breakers, wheel balancing machines and ramps. Ensure that workplace equipment is maintained and it is safe for use and that it is the right equipment for the job. Bead breakers have the potential to trap operatives' fingers and precautions should be taken to prevent the operator being distracted by careful location of the machine. Wheel balancing machines should be fitted with a fully interlocked cover to protect the wheel whilst it is in motion and which will immediately brake the wheel if the cover is lifted.
Some of the equipment e.g. air receivers, chains ropes & lifting tackle, hoists and lifts and other lifting equipment will require statutory examination by a competent person (usually your insurance company engineer).
Under vehicle access
Safety is secured by observing procedures such as manoeuvring of vehicles and braking/chocking of wheels. Maintenance of equipment is essential. Only authorised and trained personnel should undertake such tasks.
Floors, corridors and stairs
All areas should be properly maintained and kept free from obstructions and any substances that are likely to cause people to slip. Floors should be kept free of airlines; tyres etc. and spillages of oil and water should be cleaned up immediately.
Safe working practices should be established to prevent the risk from violent separation of the component parts of the wheel or air blast from ruptured or burst tyres. Skilled personnel who have been thoroughly trained should only tackle tyre servicing. The most hazardous activity undertaken in tyre fitting is in relation to split rim wheels. When dealing with this type of wheel assembly, precautions to be taken include, complete deflation including removal of the valve core and inflation only when wheel-containing measures are in place.
During the charging of batteries there is a risk of explosion. Battery acid presents a hazard to skin and eyes. Charging areas should have good natural ventilation and electrical apparatus and other sources of ignition should be kept well to one side or sited below the level of the battery (but not where electrolyte could fall on it). The area should be designated "No Smoking". PPE should be provided e.g. facemasks/goggles, gloves and protective aprons. Facilities for eye washing should also be provided.
Working at the roadside can be particularly hazardous and safe working procedures are required to be written and communicated to all staff involved. Service vehicles should be clearly visible with reflective markings and fitted with revolving amber lights. Vehicles should be equipped with high visibility reflective clothing, first aid kit, traffic cones, a correct vehicle jack, axle stands and a portable safety cage.
Many substances found and used in tyre and exhaust premises are subject to the requirements of COSHH e.g. degreasing solutions, exhaust paste, brake fluids, adhesives, engine oils and exhaust fumes. All are potentially hazardous and work involving them will have to be formerly assessed and recorded. A brief guide to COSHH can be found on this page.
To prevent dermatitis personnel hygiene is important. Good welfare facilities should be provided that include running hot and cold water together with soap and suitable drying facilities. The provision of barrier creams is also advisable. The provision and use of disposable nitrile gloves should be encouraged.
Cylinders in use and spare cylinders kept inside workrooms should be secured to a wall or mounted on trolleys. The number of cylinders stored should be kept to a minimum. Acetylene hoses should be fitted with a flashback arrester and each hose should be fitted with a one-way valve at the end attached to the torch.
Arrangements should be made for the safe storage of tyres and exhausts in purpose designed racking. Properly secured steps and ladders should be provided to reach the upper levels.
HSE Published Guidance titled "Health & Safety in Tyre & Exhaust Fitting Premises" HSG 62 (from HSE Books).
Main legislative requirements
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).