Prioritize Safety Protocols

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Matt White. PHOTO Matt White

Don’t let world events compromise safety.

Just when we thought we were safely coming out of the pandemic, a conflict thousands of miles away sends gas prices soaring.

It’s already hitting us where it hurts. Tire shops have yet another challenge to balance competing in the market and keeping the lights on.

That’s where forecasting can help, watching day to day expenses, having good and open relationships with your customers and suppliers. And not cutting corners where it counts. You can make sacrifices, find different ways of doing business to fight shortages of tools, trucks.

If you’ve built a culture with safety protocols, it will take care of itself. But if you were relaxed about safety, it’s one more thing to think about. A business should be built on being proactive, being prepared ahead of time. Instead of waiting for events to happen, you should see them coming.

Safety culture

Your safety culture should be a priority, placing training at a high level. You can’t impact everyday safety. It may be tempting to take shortcuts, but don’t do it! It’s not the way to save money. Frankly, one mistake on a person’s car because of taking shortcuts can cost you more money. It takes longer to do it wrong than it does to do it right, because you have to bring it back and redo it.

There needs to be a balance of doing the right thing. Safety, tooling, training, should still be a factor. Safety can’t be sacrificed because you’ll just cost yourself more money.

Forecasting should have a perspective on safety, to maintain what you’ve already been doing. You don’t want to go backward, you want to keep going forward. You can cut back, but you have to keep your staff, your customers, your business, everyone safe. You have to be careful not to let world events interfere with your focus on safety.

Sure, it can sound easy to cut down on training. You’re sending people out of the building, travelling, spending money on airfare. How can you maintain that? Throughout the pandemic, we’ve learned how virtual training can be effective. You can get quality training online today.

Don’t move backwards

Training still needs to happen. You need to replace or repair equipment and tools that have become unsafe to use, you can’t compromise on safety because it costs money. It will cost you even more if you do!

If you start sacrificing safety, it could result in an accident. And one accident in today’s world could result in moving backward financially. You’ve put so much effort into training, so much into safety standards and protocols, keep going. There’s still room to grow in a tough economy, you just have to be the strong one.

You also have to keep mentally focused. It’s hard when there are so many unknowns, when we’ve already been through a pandemic (that still isn’t over), masks, sanitizing, social distancing, shutdowns – and here’s one more thing on top of it all. Keep morale high, however you can. Your business will be better for it.

I’m confident the tire guys will survive this tough road. Events are moving, changing every minute and the headlines are grim. But if you incorporate the right attitude into your shop, stay on top of what’s going on, you’ll keep moving forward.

Matt White is the Director of Tire Services for the Tire Industry Association (TIA). He has over 34 years of experience training technicians from all over the globe on how to stay safe on the job.


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