OSHA is known for their great dedication towards employee health and safety. In fact, if it wasn’t for OSHA’s safety standards and guidelines, many workplaces would be quite a bit more hazardous than they currently are. Anyhow, OSHA makes it a regular practice to visit businesses in order to make sure they are indeed in compliance with specific health and safety standards. When a business fails to comply with such standards, a noncompliance citation may be given and the fines associated with such noncompliance can be very costly. In order to avoid noncompliance issues, it is essential that businesses are well-versed in OSHA’s safety standards and understand how they can be applied and followed correctly.
Let’s discuss some safety standards associated with the auto industry. The truth of the matter is that the auto industry has come upon quite a few noncompliance issues lately. Not because they don’t care about their employee’s safety but because there are so many opportunities for health and safety hazards within this business sector.
According to Terry Dortch, CEO of Automotive Compliance Consultants –
OSHA continues its sweep of auto dealerships in a somewhat heavy-handed way to intimidate auto dealerships by searching their premises for health and safety violations.
When it comes to the safety of auto dealerships there are many hazards as these businesses tend to be quite multifaceted in their business endeavors. It is not uncommon for an auto dealership to sell cars, repair cars, and also engage in auto body repairs as well. There are many different operations going on at once and numerous different and potentially dangerous items may be in use as well. Some common dangers include used battery cores, acids, oils, electrical equipment, pressurized and/or heated fluids, heavy machinery, etc. In order to stay on top of such hazards, OSHA provides many helpful standards and guidelines when it comes to the handling, storage, and training needed to safely handle such hazards.
Here is a top 10 list of concerns within the auto industry according to Safety.BLR.com:
· No free-flowing eyewash station accessible within a 10-second or 55-foot walk of technicians,
· Eyewash stations not inspected and cleaned weekly,
· Workers not properly trained in the new globally harmonized system (GHS) for hazardous material shipping and labeling,
· No annual test documentation for fire extinguishers,
· No recent forklift operator safety training (required every 3 years),
· No regular checking of proper labeling of bottles of chemicals,
· No recent first-aid kit inspection and restocking,
· No recent lift safety and function inspections,
· Improper battery core storage (must be on a proper pad with secondary containment), and
· Unsafe use of extension cords or use of extension cords in an unsafe environment.
Many of the above concerns are easy fixes and take hardly any time at all to remedy. However, there just has to be a little effort put in to create the compliance needed. It is truly better to be safe than sorry when it comes to workplace and employee safety.
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