Working While Impaired

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March edition of TireNews

It’s your job to make sure your techs, your staff, and your customers stay out of harm’s way.

I remember watching a car pull out of the service bay of a local tire retailer a few years ago. It then turned left out of the parking lot, and immediately lost one of the front wheels. I can only imagine that the technician who installed that customer’s new tires either forgot to tighten the lug nuts on the wheel that came off, or forgot to put them on altogether.

It was such an odd thing to see, that to this day I think about what would have happened, or what could have happened, had that wheel come off the vehicle after the customer reached highway speeds on the nearby freeway.

Distracted or impaired?

What happened after this incident? I’m not sure. I drove off, and the customer no doubt walked back to the store to exchange words with the owner and with the technician. Was the tech distracted? Family problems on his mind? Was he overworked and lacking focus? Or was he dealing with a hangover from a night of drinking? Maybe still high after enjoying cannabis?

Whatever the reason, had this technician’s sloppy handiwork resulted in a serious accident, we can be sure that the owner of the store would have been the one paying the price. The tech may have lost his job, but it would have been the owner who would have had to pay for damages.

That brings us to an interesting question every tire retailer has to answer: What am I doing to make sure my techs are careful and that they’re not working while intoxicated or high?

Heavy responsibility

The “high” part is especially important to ask today. Since the legalization of cannabis here in Canada, you need to make sure your techs aren’t dealing with the residual effects of cannabis in their system. They need to have their head in the game, and if they don’t, it’s your job to do whatever it takes to prevent your tech from harming himself, a coworker or a customer.

If you need a written policy in place, get one. If you need to have a conversation with staff, have it. Do whatever it takes to make sure everyone goes home at the end of the day, and that no one ends up in the emergency department for the night.

This issue of TireNews includes a number of articles that address this very issue. Please read them and please take them to heart. It’s a matter of life and death.

Here’s the link to the March edition of the TireNews digital magazine.

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