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Not Today, COVID-19: Mechanics

For workers in essential businesses, having reliable transportation to and from work is a necessity. Mechanics are still needed to perform preventive maintenance and repairs to keep cars and motorcycles on the road. Implementing no-touch services and creating a work area that prevents disease spread is necessary for mechanics to operate during the pandemic.

Risk Assessment

The most important thing to do is to assess the risk of disease spread from the activities performed. The level of risk will dictate the controls necessary to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Low Risk Activities

Most of the activities performed by mechanics are at low risk for disease transmission, including:

  • Repairs involving only one mechanic

  • Working in a room away from other workers and the public

  • Working after closing time when the public cannot access the store and away from other workers

Medium Risk Activities

Medium risk activities include:

  • Performing work that requires more than one mechanic and following physical distancing requirements whenever possible

  • Working in public areas of the shop and interacting with the public while following physical distancing requirements during business hours

High Risk Activities

High risk activities include:

  • Performing work that requires more than one mechanic and physical distancing is not possible

Prevention Methods Based on Risk

First and foremost, make sure to follow all local public health orders for essential businesses. Some of the most common requirements for essential businesses include:

  • Social distancing plan for workers and the public

  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols for regular business operations and if a confirmed case was identified at the store

Recommended controls, regardless of risk, include the following:

  1. Encourage workers to stay home if they feel sick

  2. Implement physical distancing rules for workers and the public

  3. Require a face covering to be worn at all times by workers and patrons

  4. Promote hand hygiene by wearing gloves while working, encouraging frequent hand washing and placing hand sanitizer in high traffic areas

  5. Establish cleaning and disinfecting protocols for contact points (e.g., car interiors, door handles, motorcycle handlebars) using EPA-approved cleaners

  6. Reduce contact with patrons as much as possible (e.g., use key drop-off boxes, accept payment via phone or online)

For medium risk activities, the following controls can be used:

  • Encourage patrons to leave immediately after dropping off their car (e.g., close waiting area, ask patrons to arrange for transportation)

  • Mark the floors to establish work areas or waiting areas that space people at least 6 feet apart

  • Establish work schedules to limit the number of people working at one time to allow physical distancing

  • Wear gloves when working with tools/equipment used by multiple users

  • Switch to cash-less payment systems and do not handle patrons' credit/debit cards

For high risk activities, the following controls can be used:

  • Wear face shields to prevent exposure to droplets

  • Designate partners for mechanics that have to work in close contact with someone else

Recommendations for Patrons

If you require repairs/maintenance for your car or motorcycle, follow these steps to reduce your risk of disease transmission:

  • Call your mechanic and find out what precautions they are implementing for COVID-19 prevention

  • Choose services that reduce contact with workers

  • Wear a face covering if you have to enter the shop for drop off, payment, and pick up

  • Avoid the waiting area of the shop; if possible, arrange for transportation (preferably not a taxi or rideshare) to and from the shop


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