Archive for December, 2012

Housekeeping in the Detail Department (Housekeeping Part 4)

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

It is the employer’s responsibility to provide a clean and safe work environment. Even if you hire subcontractors for the detail department, their safety and working conditions are ultimately part of your dealership’s responsibility. Do you recognize any of these problems? Do you follow these best practices for mitigating the problems? (more…)

Two of the nation’s largest safety associations are pushing OSHA to make the injury/illness prevention program (I2P2) rule a top priority in 2013

Friday, December 14th, 2012

I2P2 OSHAI2P2 was presented a few years as a top priority for OSHA and then we didn’t hear much about it for a while. Earlier this week we read an update again in this article that two of the nation’s largest worker safety associations — the American Society of Safety Engineers and the American Industrial Hygiene Assoc. — are pushing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to make the injury/illness prevention program (I2P2) rule a top priority in 2013.

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Housekeeping in the Service Department (Housekeeping Part 3)

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Has anyone at your dealership been hurt as a result of poor housekeeping? Housekeeping issues are ever-present in a busy service department, and they have to be addressed as part of daily business processes, otherwise they can get out of control very quickly. Do you recognize any of these problems? Do you follow these best practices for mitigating the problems?

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Tis the Season for an HR Reminder

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Now is the time of year when many employees are getting ready to party hard at the company holiday party.  Yet, company polices do not end when the party begins. Therefore, employers should remind employees about guidelines for appropriate behavior, and how company polices are still applicable during a holiday party (even if it is scheduled off-site and during non-business hours).  (more…)

Gift-Giving at the Office: Do’s and Don’ts

Friday, December 7th, 2012

With the holidays fast approaching, employees and bosses alike are debating whether it is a good or bad idea to exchange gifts at the office.  To avoid any confusion, hurt feelings, and/or embarassment, Ladies’ Home Journal has come up with a few easy pointers to make sure you are following proper gift-giving etiquette: (more…)

Online Shopping @ Work

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, you may think that the chances of your employees shopping online during work hours are behind you as well. Think again.  According to the latest CareerBuilder survey, 49% of employees plan to shop at work this holiday season with most planning to begin sometime after December 7th. (more…)

OSHA’s Housekeeping Regulation Explained (Housekeeping Part 2)

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

At a glance the OSHA regulatory standard 29 CFR 1910.22 states that all places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service room shall be kept clean and sanitary.  So this regulation will cover every square inch of your facility.   Everything from your service department to your janitor closets and bathrooms.  It also mentions that to help facilitate cleaning all protruding nails, splinters, holes, and loose boards need to be fixed beforehand.

Moving past the definition, the OSHA regulation specifically identifies toilet facilities, waste disposal, wet processes, water supply, change rooms, vermin control, and food supply. OSHA can use the Housekeeping regulation as a catch all for any unsanitary condition. It also applies to items that you can’t see like odors.

How Much Can it Cost if OSHA Inspectors Finds Housekeeping Issues?

  • $1800 depending on situation (general duty clause)
  • $2700 general housekeeping initial penalty

Top General Housekeeping Issues:

  • Waste disposal
  • Clean and Dry Floors
  • Vermin control
  • Water supply (potable and non-potable water)
  • Toilet facilities
  • Food handling, storage, preparation and consumption

Waste Disposal

This includes detached buildings, forgotten corners of storage areas, detail areas, and body shops.

Ask the right questions: Is the trash getting taken out daily? Are there enough trash cans? Are the trash cans conveniently located so that disposing of an item doesn’t require slowing down work?

What is an acceptable trash can? Carefully inspect any container that you would consider using for a waste receptacle. Consider the following:

  • Waste receptacles cannot leak
  • It should have a tight fitting cover unless it can be maintained in a sanitary condition without a cover
  • Trash should be removed as often as possible to maintain a sanitary condition

Vermin Control, Toilet Facilities

It is hard to attract and keep top performing employees with dirty toilets and vermin in working environments. Working conditions like these tend to trigger OSHA calls, and customers  tend to spread the word about dirty bathrooms more often than they would talk about clean showrooms. If these are issues at your facility, they need to be addressed and you should consider hiring a subcontractor to fix the problem immediately and follow up on a regular schedule.

Clean and Dry Floors
Even the floor in the detail area needs be maintained. A “Wet Process” involves a location where liquid is used as part of the working process, and workers should be provided mats and the area should have proper drainage.

What about weather conditions?

According to an OSHA interpretation of the standard, rain and snow are not considered part of a wet process, and general housekeeping rules apply to weather related slip hazards. As long as a hazard exists, employees and customers should be protected from the hazard, even if it is a slip hazard from rain or snow.

Water Supply
Potable Water

  • Drinking water must be provided (at all times, especially in hot and dry weather conditions)
  • Water fountains must be clean and sanitary
    • If providing water bottles instead of drinking fountains is more feasible, it is technically acceptable.
    • Potable water in bathrooms must be provided for hand washing

Non-potable water

  • Non-potable water must be clearly labeled

Food and Beverages

  • No employee is allowed to consume or store food or beverages in any area exposed to a toxic material- this means the service area, paint room, and detail areas of the dealership.
  • No eating or storage of food in the bathroom
  • Any trash can used for disposal of food must be emptied daily.

 

Whose responsibility is it?

  • Ultimately, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a clean and safe work environment.

Resources:

Housekeeping: What It Means, and Why It Matters (Housekeeping Part 1)

2012-10-11 10.03 Yuck! Housekeeping Regulations for Dealers that You Just Have to Know [Webinar]

Spring Cleaning for Three Trouble Areas in the Service Bay

OSHA Fines Auto Parts and Used Car Dealer $49,000 for Safety and Health Violations: Conclusion

December Tip of the Month: Don’t Let Them Rig Your Lifts

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Overriding lift safety controls can be crushing. Never allow technicians to disable lift safety controls by using bungees or other devices to block them open. An OSHA local emphasis program for automotive lifts explains why:

Automotive service and repair work in the automotive industry exposes employees to crushing hazards with the use of automotive lifts. These hazards can be effectively controlled through proper maintenance of the automotive lifts and effective training for the employees on inspection and use of the automotive lifts. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a total of 15,000 people were treated in hospitals for automotive lift, jack, or jack stand injuries during 2003.

While focusing on lift safety, watch for these five common hazards:

  • Unapproved hoist accessories
  • Missing or damaged contact pads
  • Vertical catch on above-ground hoists
  • Lack of training documentation
  • Lost owner’s manuals

Read the full article, Automatic Lift Review: Five Common Hazards that Bring Big OSHA Fines in KPA’s newsletter.