Posts Tagged ‘general duty clause’

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.

General Duty Clause in Plain English

Monday, November 14th, 2011


The General Duty Clause explained for dealerships and service centers by an OSHA enforcement expert. This video covers how dealerships get cited for General Duty Clause violations, and how to identify and address issues before they become citations. General Duty Clause is one of the top OSHA violations for 2011.

Our engineers have found some rather unusual instances of general duty clause issues at dealerships. How does you facility identify and address general duty clause issues?

Missing face plates on electrical outlets: $52,500 fine

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Okay. It’s not exactly that. OSHA proposed the $52,500 penalties for four violations: a repeat violation is for failing to provide functioning safety latches on the hydraulic automobile lifts, a serious citation is for missing face plates on electrical outlets, and two other-than-serious violations are for recordkeeping deficiencies and hazard communication deficiencies. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Two learning lessons from this press release:

(1) OSHA is STILL providing you the opportunity to reduce the fine by complying or contesting. HOWEVER, the damage is to your reputation is already done when a press release like this goes out from OSHA

(2) These violations are just a few in pretty much an end-less, and growing, list of potential violations. You can use EHS checklists but that gets you only so far.These checklists typically don’t cover the  General Duty Clause very well, and makes it virtually impossible to rely on checklists alone. For reference, the general duty clause states that “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees”

My advice: stop playing whac-a-mole with regulations, do a risk assessment, and engage in a formal safety program.

OSHA’s Top Most Cited Violations

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

EHS Today published an article on October 29 about the Top 10 Most Cited Violations for 2009. According to Richard Fairfax, director of OSHA’s directorate of enforcement programs, 81 percent of the violations OSHA recorded throughout the year were either serious or willful violations. The number of top 10 violations has increased almost 30 percent over the same time period in 2008.

We though you may find it interesting to see the top 10 for Auto Dealers:

  1. Hazard Communication
  2. Electrical safety requirements
  3. General Duty Clause
  4. Personal Protective Equipment
  5. Spray finishing using flammable and combustible materials
  6. Abrasive wheel machinery
  7. Respiratory Protection
  8. Portable fire extinguishers
  9. Exit routes, emergency action plans and fire prevention plans
  10. Machinery and Machine Guarding

Consistent with inspections by KPA’s engineers and registrations in myKPAonline.com dashboards, OSHA found that by far the most common violations by Auto Dealers are related to hazard communication. Details of OSHA requirements are outlined in OSHA’s Inspection Procedures for Hazard Communication Standards. Violations include deficiencies in chemical inventories, written hazard communication program, material data sheets (MSDS), and employee training.