Posts Tagged ‘OSHA’

Worth a Read

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Compliance Tip of the Month

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Training Requirements for Dealership EmployeesTraining Requirements for Dealership Employees
The quick guide to training: who needs it, in which areas and departments, for which enforcement agencies, and how often each training requirement must be renewed. Check the list at

Quick Take: Required PPE for Dealership Employees

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Employers are required to provide personal protective equipment at no cost to the employee [OSHA's Final Rule].

Substandard personal protective equipment (PPE) is the sixth most cited auto dealership violation for 2010. OSHA requires the use of PPE to reduce employee exposures to hazards in the workplace, and when used correctly, PPE saves lives and money.

For the most part, state regulatory standards are in line with federal OSHA standards for PPE, but it is a good idea to talk to the KPA engineer in your area to make sure that your facility is in compliance with state and local policies.

Each department at a dealership has to fill out a written PPE hazard assessment.  This assessment includes:

  • descriptions of the department’s  hazards that employees are exposed to on a daily basis
  • PPE provided by the dealership to protect the employee from that hazard.

A typical example of a hazard in located in the parts department would be a key cutting machine.  The hazard is the exposure of the eyes to metal shavings. The dealership would mark that safety glasses are provided to employees when using the key cutting machine.  These assessments must be renewed on an annual basis.

Here is the basic list of personal protective equipment at dealerships (assuming a service bay at the facility):

  • Respiratory: Proper respiratory equipment to protect against particulates and fumes depending on the job function. Make sure to that any employee needing a respirator completes a medical evaluation and a fit test before donning a respirator.
  • Noise exposure: ear plugs, ear protectors, or ear muffs depending on the noise level and length of exposure.
  • Eye and Face Protection: safety goggles, wrap around frames, visors, face shields, masks depending on risk exposures. [related article] Eye and face protection needs to be marked with a manufacturer’s brand (this helps the OSHA inspector determine that the PPE meets with ANSI standards).
  • Proper footwear: work boots, not tennis shoes in the service bay.  Work boots are currently under a cost exemption.  They are the only pieces of PPE that the employer is not required to provide at no cost to the employee.
  • Hand protection: Electric Shock Insulated gloves if working with electrical components [EV service technicians], protection against skin absorption of harmful substances, severe cuts or lacerations, abrasions, punctures, chemical burns, and thermal burns depending on risk exposure.
  • Training: [list of all required training for dealerships, including PPE requirements and frequency]

Watch this two minute video. It explains what kinds of personal protective equipment are needed at the dealership, how to comply with OSHA standards, and a real example of PPE that saved a technician’s head.


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

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Yesterday’s post discussed training violations OSHA issued to a parts and used car dealership in Illinois. Physical hazards were also a large part of the 14 safety and 6 health violations facing the company.
Here is the list of physical hazard citations from Bill Smith Auto Parts, Inc, along with recommendations for improvement.*


Violation image Violation descriptions and recommendations for improvement
Missing machine guarding 

This usually happens on parts grinders. Check the machine for side guards, correct adjustments on the tool rests and tongue guards, and proper anchoring. If in doubt, this 2 min. video gives a good overview of grinder safety.

Improperly maintained industrial trucks 

Check that forklifts and other lift trucks are maintained in working order according to the manufacturer’s recommendations through. You should include documentation of maintenance.


This could also be a housekeeping issue. Outdated and unused equipment should be removed from the premises.

Improperly stored hazardous materials 

If they are flammable, containers need to be grounded, or outfitted with a bonding wire.

All containers need to be approved for their contents, and they need to have lids. Document inspections storage areas, and everything should be labeled.

Lack of guarding on open-sided floors 

All elevated work surfaces, including but not limited to alignment or lube racks, in ground lube pits and storage platforms should have proper fall protection measures.

Failing to properly store compressed gas cylinders 

Compressed gas cylinders should be securely fastened to rigid structures so they won’t fall or be knocked over.

Lack of guarding on pulleys and other equipment lower than 7 feet from the floor: struck-by hazards 

Replace guards/restraints on pulleys to ensure safe operation.

Damaged electrical cords in use 

A very common problem that poses a serious shock hazard. The damaged cord should be replaced. Never splice an electrical cord as a repair method, and make sure the cord is the right length to avoid using extension cords as permanent wiring. This handy Extension Cord Checklist is available for more information about shock hazards.

Unlabeled hazardous material containers  

Apply a “Hazardous Waste” label to the container and fill out the required information. Typically, this violation is cited with language like “potentially hazardous waste” because in general, the inspector does not actually test contents of each and every barrel. That is why all containers need to be labeled, including “non-hazardous waste.”

Use your imagination. Unsanitary conditions in restroom 

You might not be familiar with OSHA code 29 CFR 1910.141, but it requires that all restroom facilities, particularly those accessible to employees, remain clean and sanitary at all times.

Failing to post visible “no smoking” signs in areas where flammable materials were present 

All areas where smoking is prohibited in the facility must be labeled “no smoking or open flame.” Including flammable or combustible storage areas.

For more information, read this post, “Danger in Detail.”

“Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their facilities and for following OSHA standards to ensure the safety and health of their workers,” explains Tom Bielema, director for OSHA’s Peoria office. While Bill Smith Auto Parts is working with OSHA to use the inspection report as an opportunity for improvement, all  of these violations are avoidable, and precautionary measures should be part of your facility’s daily routine.

This is an opportunity for you to look over your facility, check your paperwork, and share this list with your employees as an educational opportunity, because the best environmental health and safety strategies are supported at every level of the company.

Many, if not all, violations and workplace accidents are preventable with KPA’s services. KPA’s Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) service is designed for dealerships to effectively manage and document safety and environmental compliance. EHS services include regular on-site facility visits conducted by a professional with environmental safety compliance experience including OSHA and EPA, an electronic MSDS database, online training courses, required signage and labels, and 24 hour hotlines. All of this information is available at your fingertips through, which features a dashboard indicating your facility’s overall level of environmental health and safety.

In the event of an emergency – including inspection visits by federal or state inspectors – your KPA engineer is only a phone call away.
*images are from KPA’s database, and do not represent the exact conditions at Smith Auto Parts.

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

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Sometimes, good businesses make bad decisions. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to bad decisions in using substandard safety processes and systems. During a recent OSHA visit, an auto parts store in Urbana, Illinois learned the value of investing in safe operating conditions the hard way. Bill Smith Auto Parts, Inc. was fined $49,000 for a combination of 14 safety and 6 health violations.

On the list of violations are the usual suspects from OSHA’s top 10, and are things to watch for at any automotive parts or resale facility. Here is the list of citations from Bill Smith Auto Parts, Inc, along with recommendations for improvement.*

For this blog, the violations are discussed in two editions: training and physical hazards in the work environment.


In order to remain compliant with OSHA regulations and reduce losses at the facility, all regulatory programs should be in place and

implemented including:

• Hazard Communication & Emergency Response Program

• PPE Program & Hazard Assessment

• Ergonomics Prevention (if applicable)

• Powered Industrial Trucks (if applicable)

• Respiratory Protection Program (if applicable)

• Heat Illness Prevention Program (if applicable)


Violation image Violation description
No Documentation of Respirator Safety Program 

In order to comply with OSHA regulations for Respiratory Protection, every facility that requires employees to wear respirators should have at a minimum annual training and fit testing records, medical records, and respirator maintenance records for the past five years.

No Documentation of Hazardous Communications Program 

In order to comply with OSHA’s Hazard Communication requirements, every facility that stores or uses chemicals on site should at least have a written program, MSDS data sheets, labeling on all containers, annual and new hire training. This program needs to be accessible (most facilities post a MSDS access poster) and updated annually.


… and Lack of Hazardous Materials Training

Training should be completed for all employees involved in the transportation of hazardous materials every 3 years.

No Access to Material Data Safety Sheets 

MSDS sheets need to be available within 5 minutes and contain records for all chemical compounds on site.

Read the conclusion to this post at:

OSHA Cites Parker Hannifin $487,700. Fits Trend of Repeat Violations Across Multiple Locations

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued 33 citations to the Parker Hannifin Corp. plant in Batesville, Mississippi. Half are repeat citations (which come with much higher price tags) that are based on similar situations found during previous inspections conducted at other company locations. Ohio-based Parker Hannifin has 170 facilities throughout the U.S. and manufactures machinery for hydraulics, air conditioning, refrigeration and aerospace systems.
The list of violations are the usual suspects from OSHA’s top 10, and are things to watch for at any automotive repair or manufacturing facility (this is a good time to look over your facility and check your paperwork):
•    Air pressure is not to exceed more than 30 pounds per square inch for cleaning equipment
•    Failure to document periodic inspections of the lockout/tagout process in place to prevent accidental energy start-up
•    Failure to train workers on lockout/tagout procedures
•    Failure to unblock exit doors and routes
•    Failure to provide machine guarding
•    Failure to correct electrical deficiencies
•    Failure to attach hazardous warning labels to tanks containing hazardous substances
•    Defective safety latch on a hoist and damaged hooks on an overhead crane
•    Unapproved electrical equipment used in a hazardous location
•    Failure to post signage indicating the direction of travel to the nearest exit;
•    Failure to provide a danger permit-required confined space sign
•    Failure to mark a web sling with the rated load capacity
•    Failure to require workers to wear goggles or suitable eye protection while welding
•    Failure to provide personal protective equipment

Environmental Health and Safety Start At The Top

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

A successful environmental health and safety program has to start from the top.  Without executive involvement,  even those programs designed and implemented with the best of intentions,  sputter and frequently fail.  With the increase in regulatory audits management must be an active not a passive participant. Outsourcing training, facility inspections and using software to track and report on compliance can be a terrific cost and time saver but does not replace management oversight. If management is not actively engaged in ensuring a safe workplace employees will not be engaged.

For some great tips on how to create a safety culture in your organization with authentic management engagement watch this  short video by Wayne Curtis, Director of Client Operations for KPA.

The Pep Boys Story: A New Kind of Repeat OSHA Violation

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Recently,  OSHA cited Pep Boys for serious and repeat safety violations. The chain faces a total of $75,000 in fines. The unusual part of the report is the way that OSHA counted the violations.

What happened is that in 2009, a citation was issued to a facility in one location for OSHA violations. In 2011, a different Pep Boys facility was found to have similar hazards as the first facility. This second location was issued fines for serious and repeat violations because OSHA counted the violations as though all Pep Boys facilities are a single unit.

The implication is that OSHA expects company-wide communication from all businesses with more than one rooftop. This is why the Instant Compliance Visibility feature of MyKPAOnline delivers a quick snapshot of compliance for all levels of the organization down to the individual manager.

OSHA Training Video: Respiratory Protection

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

NIOSH respiratorThis 2011 video is an overview of the comprehensive respiratory protection program required of employers wherever respirators are used. It is smoothly presented, with some creative eye-catching visuals (by government standards). About a third of the hour long video is specific to the health care industry, but for the most part it is a very good general purpose refresher course for any EHS reporter.

More respiratory reporting resources are available at:

KPA Covers Electronic Devices In EHS Regulatory Audits

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

As part of a facility inspection report, KPA engineers always check for functionality and safety of standard electronic devices, and they are very instrumental in helping dealerships keep work environments clear of shock hazards to employees. This is very helpful because electrical and wiring methods are number seven on the top ten most frequently cited standards in workplace inspection.

While Federal regulatory agencies are increasing citations and penalties for electronic equipment malfunctions in the auto industry, it is important to remember that KPA is reliable and helps protect our client’s reputation for safety.