The Collision Auto Repair Safety Study (CARSS): a health and safety intervention

Am J Ind Med. 2015 Jan;58(1):88-100. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22377. Epub 2014 Sep 22.


Background: Collision repair employs approximately 205,500 people in 33,400 shops. Workers are exposed to a diverse array of chemical, physical, and ergonomic hazards.

Methods: CARSS was based on a random and purposeful sample. Baseline and one baseline and one-year evaluations consisted of 92 questions addressing issues, such as Right-to-Know, fire protection, painting-related hazards, ergonomics, electrical safety, and personal protective equipment. Owners received a report and selected at least 30% of items found deficient for remediation. In-person and web-based services were provided.

Results: Forty-nine shops were evaluated at baseline and 45 at follow-up. At baseline, 54% of items were present. This improved to 71% at follow-up (P < 0.0001). Respiratory protection improved 37% (P < 0.0001) and Right-to-Know training increased 30% (P < 0.0001). Owners completed 61% of items they selected for remediation.

Conclusions: Small businesses' interventions should address the lack of personnel and administrative infrastructure. Tailored information regarding hazards and easy-to-use training and administrative programs overcome many barriers to improvement.

Keywords: Collision Auto Repair Safety Study (CARSS); auto-collision repair industry; health and safety program implementation; intervention; small business safety programs.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Automobiles
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Industry / organization & administration
  • Minnesota
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Occupational Injuries / prevention & control
  • Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Safety / statistics & numerical data*
  • Small Business
  • Workplace / organization & administration
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data*