By Terry Dortch
A recent report of the Occupational Health and Safety Admin says the federal agency’s inspections can save dealerships money. The report says OSHA inspections not only prevent workers from getting hurt on the job, but also save billions of dollars for employers through reduced workers’ compensation costs.
This research indicates:
- Workplace-injury claims dropped 9.4% in the four years following an inspection.
- Inspected companies realized a 26% average savings on workers’ compensation costs compared with similar, non-inspected companies.
- Inspections translate into a $355,000 average savings for an employer, small or large.
Here are some takeaways:
- Staff training and self-audits prepare a dealership for a successful OSHA audit. Preemptive OSHA audit-compliance reviews are measurable investments for dealers.
- Fines for dealerships audited and found in violation of OSHA’s many compliance mandates can be up to $90,000 per violation.
- Dealers who often mistakenly believe they are complying with OSHA are surprised when an audit shows otherwise. One way to be certain the dealership is in compliance and positioned to avoid or minimize penalties and fines is to make OSHA compliance mandatory.
- The agency’s inspectors rarely announce their visits. They want to catch any sloppiness or oversight in action. Audit activity has intensified since the recent recession. Periodic compliance audits by qualified third-party auditors can help identify any safety and health risks before OSHA does.
- OSHA makes employers responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces and sets certain standards to help ensure that.
- OSHA might visit for any number of reasons, including worker complaints, a high number of reported injuries or illnesses, repeat violations, a catastrophic event or, as mentioned, a random surprise inspection.
Former auto dealer Terry Dortch is president of Automotive Compliance Consultants and can be reached at [email protected]. Read the full article to find out what to look for and correct before OSHA arrives or an event occurs.