The Takata airbag crisis has created quite the stir among automakers, dealers, mechanics and consumers alike. The recall has now been extended to over 14 million vehicles worldwide, which is putting a strain on both manufacturers and mechanics who are trying to help repair and replace all affected or possibly affected airbags. On their own airbags are hazardous to auto shop workers and mechanics, however, these particular airbags pose extra dangers.
The trouble with the Takata airbags has been linked to the recent addition of ammonium nitrate as the primary propellant in the bags. Ammonium nitrate is a commonly utilized compound across many different industry sectors for a vast variety of purposes but has also been linked to many of the largest industrial calamities in the last few decades. When exposed to fluctuating temperatures and humidity, the compound changes its crystalline structure, therefore, causing the compound to become unstable and react differently when triggered than expected in a controlled lab. As such, the Takata airbag recalls centers on the realization that air bags exposed to these conditions could see larger, more volatile and uncontrolled detonation of these airbags with unpredictable effects.
Standard airbags fully deploy in less than a tenth of a second at a speed in excess of 200 miles per hour. As such, mechanics who work on airbag-equipped vehicles always face some risk exposure to serious injury or even fatality if proper airbag safety precautions are not strictly followed. The force of the deployment can break bones or cause fractures, strains, sprains and other musculoskeletal injuries to unsuspecting workers in an instant. Those with the greatest risk of injury include radiator and AC technicians as their work brings them close to the various airbag sensors and components throughout the vehicle. Add the additional volatile nature of airbags on recall, and Orland shop workers could have a huge hazard on their hands.
Luckily, Orlando shop workers and managers can take several steps to reduce the risk of accidental airbag deployment during vehicle service. However, the risk of spontaneous or accidental deployment could exist in some cases, especially those involving malfunctioning or faulty airbag systems.
It is vital the Orlando auto shops have a well-established worker’s compensation program designed to protect their workers and their assets from the risks and dangers they face on the job. At Newman Crane, we can help Central Florida Auto Shop owners find a business insurance program that meets their needs. From Orlando auto shop worker’s comp to property and liability concerns, our experts can secure the coverage your operation needs to succeed. To learn more about our operation and our Orlando auto shop insurance programs, contact us today at (407) 859-3691.