We talked to a couple of repairers about how they are keeping their staff and customers safe from the coronavirus. Thanks to Greg Preston of the Australian Association of Progressive Reairers for sending me these Government guideline PDFs. WHS Hygiene recommendations Covid 19 information to employers
Lana Pagiamtzis from Fix Auto Mulgrave in Melbourne has instituted a number of measures to protect customers and staff and reports that while a couple of people have cancelled assessments and they are a little quieter than usual, there’s still plenty of work out there.
Pagiamtzis isn’t allowing customers on site – they leave their car and put the keys in a letterbox. The staff sanitise the car before they get in it, cleansing every area where they might touch and putting in a seat protector before they drive the car. They are also electing to wear masks. Spare parts are being dropped off at the gate. Pagiamtzis has invested in a Go Pro to record any pre-existing damage on the car in lieu of the usual customer walk around.
She is constantly having meetings with the staff to keep them updated – none of them want to stop working and are well aware that if one of them contracts the virus the whole shop will have to shut for at least 14 days.
Meanwhile over in Perth Wayne Phipps Smash Repair jumped onto the hygiene wagon as soon as it started rolling. The company has also instituted a contactless customer experience. You drive in for your assessment and don’t have to leave the car. Customers drop their cars off and enter the office (doors are kept open) and drop their keys into a plastic bag. One nominated member of staff then santises the car and places all of the disposable covers (steering wheel, gear stick, handbrake, seat etc). Phipps has blocked off the workshop to stop visitors entering and blocked off the workshop from the office. He has also notified customer that they won’t be detailing the inside of cars until the current health crisis is over.
While it has been business as usual Phipps reports a couple of people today were inquiring if they should put off the repair until next month and one woman was worried about climbing into the back of a taxi.
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