Posts Tagged ‘personal protective equipment’

Don’t Be Shocked! Rubber Insulating Gloves Are Required for Hybrids and EVs

Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Danger - Electric Shock - High Voltage Sign

The growing number of electric vehicles (EVs) increases the risk of electric shop in maintenance facilities. Be sure to provide your staff with the appropriate rubber insulating gloves.

The high-voltage systems on electric vehicles present a serious shock risk. In addition to training your staff in safety procedures, make sure they have the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including rubber insulating gloves. (See OSHA standard CFR 1910.137.)

What are they and how are they rated?

Rubber insulating gloves are designed to protect employees from electric current and are rated by the amount of voltage they are effective to protect employees:

Class    Maximum AC/DC Voltage
00              500
0              1,000
1              7,500
2           17,000
3           26,500
4           36,000

Which gloves are right for my service center?

Most manufacturers recommend rubber insulating gloves rated, at minimum, Class 0, but be sure to check your OEM’s guidance. Also, fit each employee with the right size of gloves.

What sort of maintenance is required?

OSHA requires very specific measures for proper glove care and maintenance. I can’t cover all the details in this post, but here are a few tips:

  • Storage: Gloves should be stored in cool, dark and dry conditions, in sealed containers.
  • Inspections: OSHA requires a detailed, manual glove inspection prior to each use. We recommend using a checklist, such as the one we provide.
  • Shelf life and certification: gloves must be placed into service within 12 months of production, or be recertified. After 6 months of use, gloves must be recertified or replaced.

Be sure to use the manufacturer’s guidance on proper safety processes. And as always, if you’re a KPA client, consult with your safety engineer about the training, safety processes and PPE needed for these vehicles. Or feel free to contact us regarding our environment and safety compliance services at (866) 356-1735.

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.


Hazmat Training – Lives depend on it

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Tech training in service areaYou know how the old adage goes: “Train as if your life depends on it, because it does.” This is especially true when it comes to hazardous materials training – many lives depend on the proper training of Hazmat Employees.

As we have mentioned before, if you have hazardous chemicals in your facility (and remember that acetone and gasoline are hazardous chemicals), you must comply with DOT hazmat rules (Title 49 CFR 172, Subpart H) and OSHA’s Hazard Communication (“Right to Know”) Standard. If you don’t regularly ship hazmat or you are not a manufacturer of hazardous materials, don’t think that your dealership is immune to the regulations. Whether you or ship hazardous materials once per year or every day; around the block or across the country; in a small package or in a tank: You must protect your employees and the public from any potentially adverse effects of the chemicals being handled.

The idea is pretty straightforward: Workers have a right to know about the substances and chemicals with which they come in to contact, and any risks they may be exposed to, as well as the proper protective equipment to use. Under the Hazard Communication Standard, shippers are also required to maintain a database of Material Data Safety Sheets (MSDS) and a facility-specific chemical inventory of the chemical products stored and used throughout their facility.

Every employee who affects the safety of hazardous materials transportation is a Hazmat Employee and must be trained. This definition also applies to the owner or the operator of the vehicle transporting the hazardous materials in commerce or any employee who, during his or her course of employment:

  • Handles, loads, or unloads hazardous materials
  • Manufactures, marks, classifies, labels, packages, or otherwise represents containers, drums, or packagings which are classified for use in the transportation of hazardous materials
  • Prepares hazardous materials for transportation
  • Is responsible for storage and disposal of hazardous materials
  • Is responsible for safety of transporting hazardous materials
  • Operates or owns a vehicle to transport hazardous materials

Take this simple quiz to see if your dealership could pass an OSHA/DOT audit:

  1. Do you have records confirming at least one employee has DOT Hazmat Certification?
  2. Is this training being updated every three years?
  3. Did this training include the newly required “Security Awareness” training?
  4. Are you following the proper procedures for hazardous shipments using the proper labels, classifications, identification numbers, and packing groups according to the DOT’s hazardous materials table?
  5. Do you provide the required 24-hour emergency contact phone number on your shipping papers?

Read more of our EHS DOT blogs.

If you are unable to answer “yes” to every question, contact us to learn more about our new standalone DOT and MSDS service.

OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program Now in Effect!

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

“The New OSHA” as described by many department heads is showing its colors and making good on its promises.  The recently enacted Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) is  now in effect and being enforced.  What exactly does this mean to you?

In the words of David Michaels, OSHA administrator, “SVEP will help OSHA concentrate its efforts on those repeatedly recalcitrant employers who fail to meet their obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It will include a more intense examination of an employer’s practices for systemic problems that would trigger additional mandatory inspections.”

In reality it means more inspections, bigger fines and larger inspection scope.  Basically if you’re not making real efforts to keep your employees safe, it’ll cost you.  Under this program OSHA has promised to visit more employers with higher incidence rates, automatically include employers for follow up inspections, visit other locations run under the same corporate umbrella and raise fines for the first time since the 1990s.  The fine increase is significant from a max penalty for a  willful violation from $70,000 to $250,000.

We’ll see how all of this pans out for our clients, although with what we’ve personally seen in the past few months in much of the country, this program certainly seems to be on track.  Have any of you seen an increase in regulatory pressure?

OSHA cites auto parts maker fot $135,900

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

OSHA has cited auto parts maker Sewon America Inc. in LaGrange, Ga., for a variety of safety violations after receiving a complaint. OSHA initiated a comprehensive inspection of the company’s facility in March. Penalties total $135,900.

Read more detail in an article posted in OH&S Magazine.

OSHA fine amounts increasing?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Just read an article in Tire Review that OSHA fined a Toledo dealer $177,800 as the result of an October 2009 accident in which four employees were injured. OSHA cited the dealer for three violations of worker safety regulations after investigating the accident. The employees suffered injuries when an agricultural tire being worked on exploded. No question that the accident was very serious as an OSHA spokesman said that the dealer did not provide a safety cage or barrier to protect employees working on large commercial tires, failed to ensure employees worked outside the trajectory path, and that the tire’s maximum inflation pressure was exceeded when the employees attempted to seat the tire’s beads. In addition, citations were issued because employees failed to wear safety glasses and not having a required valve pressure gauge.

My point here is only that I’m under the impression that the fines imposed by OSHA are increasing? Do you have similar experiences? What do you think? Please respond below with your comments.

Want to build a strong safety culture? Why not start with safety glasses?

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

I often talk with folks who are in charge of a safety program at a facility and really don’t know where to start.  I just read an interesting article in OH&S about building safety culture by starting with your safety eye wear policy.  Even though the study this article is based on was funded by an eye wear manufacturer, and may be  a little biased,  it still provides valid points.  I find that whenever we provide training on eye protection, the topic clearly makes an impact on the audience.  Eye injuries, more so than any others, make people squeamish, and they generally don’t need much convincing that it’s important to protect the eyes.

Building a safety culture relies on forming consitant habits, much like putting on a seatbelt whenever you get into  a car.  You don’t have to think about it, it just happens automatically.  Putting on safety glasses should work the same way.  By taking the first step with an eye protection policy you’re on your way to building a safety culture among your employees.   Hopefully, if you’re able to convince them to perform one safety task, other tasks will fall in place more easily.  You just have to start somewhere to get everyone thinking about safety on a regular basis.

Buying spraying equipment? Think respiratory protection

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Ran into a vendor at NADA yesterday that sells Spray-on bed liner systems.  This particular vendor sells complete systems and all necessary Personal Protective Equipment.  This was the first time I have ever seen a vendor sell appropriate supplied air systems as a piece of their package.  In most cases dealerships are left to determine for themselves what protection is needed when they purchase a bed-liner application system.  While most newer spray on bed liners are VOC free they still contain many chemicals that can pose inhalation hazards for employees.  Much like vehicle undercoating, with the right products this is one of those situations where you may be able to get by with a designated area with great ventilation, but the potential hassles just aren’t worth it.  By spending a little extra time to setup a respiratory protection program and protect your employees, the dealer will have the peace of mind that employees are protected, and the dealership is not subject to future complaints, lawsuits or citations.

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 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.