Author Archive

Eric Schmitz

Posts by Eric Schmitz:

Determining DOT Civil Penalties

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

civil penalties

To prepare yourself against Department of Transportation (DOT) violations, it is not only important to understand how to stay in compliance, but also to understand how a DOT investigator weighs and determines citations. (more…)

Staying Safe with Car Jacks

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

carjack

When working on automobiles, it is often necessary to use car jacks. While these tools are easy to use, they also create potential danger if used inappropriately. Without knowing load capacities, operators may overload the jack and cause the automobile to fall. It is imperative that car jack operators know prior to use if the jack is capable of lifting and sustaining the load.
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Avoiding DOT Penalties

Friday, September 19th, 2014

penalty

Last week, you learned how a Department of Transportation investigator will decide what your citation is. Understanding penalties is only half the battle; you should also focus on implementing a hazardous shipping program that will be compliant and protect the environment and your employees. (more…)

Possible Ban of Harmful HFC Greenhouse Gases

Monday, September 15th, 2014

forbidden

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the ban of certain hydro-fluorocarbon chemicals (HFCs). This is the second time that the EPA has tried to reduce emissions of HFCs, which the EPA claims significantly contribute to climate change. If the ban is implemented, the action is estimated to reduce greenhouse gases by up to 42 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020, equal to the carbon dioxide emissions from the annual electricity use of more than five million homes. (more…)

OSHA Announces New Workplace Hazard Identification Tool

Monday, September 8th, 2014

announcement

OSHA has created an interactive training webtool in an effort to teach employers and employees hazard identification skills as well as hazard abatement and control. OSHA also hopes to increase awareness of the types of information and OSHA resources available about workplace hazards with the use of the new tool. (more…)

Automotive Parts Warehouse Cited for Unsafe Forklift Operation

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

violationcompliance

After an OSHA inspection on February 12, 2014, an automotive parts warehouse was cited for unsafe forklift operation with the possible penalty of $52,000. The inspection occurred after multiple complaints of a forklift incident at the facility. (more…)

Heat Related Deaths Due to Lack of Acclimatization Programs

Monday, August 25th, 2014

extreme heat

A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the primary risk factor for heat related illness and deaths is due to the lack of acclimatization programs. Acclimatization is an important part of heat safety, allowing workers to gradually build up their workloads and exposure to heat through the use of frequent breaks for water and rest in shade or air conditioning.
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Protect Yourself and Your Employees with Respiratory Protection

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

records

OSHA has instilled a variety of requirements for shops that have employees who wear respirators. This applies to any facility that conducts any spray coating operations including painting, priming, or rustproofing. (more…)

Is Your Dealership Exempt from Keeping an OSHA 300 Log?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

records

Many businesses, including dealerships, are currently exempt from keeping an OSHA 300 Log, depending on which SIC code their accounting department uses. All business activities that generate revenue are assigned a SIC code, based on the activity that generates the most revenue. Applicable dealership Exempt OSHA 300 Log SIC codes include New and Used Car Dealers (SIC Code 5511), Used Car Dealers (SIC Code 5521), and Motorcycle Dealers (SIC Code 5571). (more…)

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.