Are you Chemically Compliant?

When’s the last time you thought about chemical compliance? Have you ever thought about it at all?

Though chemical compliance often ranks low on automotive dealer’s priority list, running a chemically compliant business is in fact incredibly important to maintaining your products correctly as well as the safety of your staff.

Despite this, there’s a good chance that your dealership is not using approved cleaning, pre-delivery, yard-wash and detailing products. The chemicals underpinning these important products can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding risks and penalties.

Most dealerships experience the same common problems with chemical compliance, including:

  • No visible Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), let alone two, in the workplace. It’s actually mandatory to have two sets of MSDS at each area where chemicals are used, one at the work area (eg: wash bay, detail shed), the second in the relevant manager’s office.
  • Too many unnecessary hazardous products
  • A lack of safety equipment or underutilised safety gear
  • No medivac plan

Over the past 20 years, there’s been a major shift in new vehicle paint and finish quality as well as a significant development in the use of plastic to protect vehicles in transit. This innovation in particular, provides a far better solution compared with the old travel wax that was used to protect vehicles in the past.

While travel wax had to be removed using flammable and hazardous solvents, the use of plastic to protect cars has made dealership staff a lot safer – or has it?

Many Dealers are unaware that some chemical companies in Australia have not changed their pre-delivery product formulas, despite them being unnecessary today. Now, with water-based paints and ceramic clear coat systems, it is not necessary to use solvent-based, silicon-based and potentially dangerous waxes and compounds in dealerships.

The use of hydrofluoric acid is in the same boat and should not be used. In fact, hydrofluoric acid is a registered dangerous good and is extremely unsafe if used incorrectly.

Nevertheless, it is still found in many dealerships, and is commonly used on pre-owned cars and to clean wheels.
The bottom line is that chemical compliance is a major part of dealership operations and every Dealer should be aware of the products being used by staff.

The good news is that it’s entirely possible to find non-hazardous, non-dangerous chemicals to clean every car in your dealership, ensuring you offer your staff the safest work environment possible.

For more information about chemical compliance and dangerous goods, visit the Australian Government website,

Blair Woolcott
Dealership Chemicals Expert, Sales Manager – Cargroomers QLD

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