By Toby Chess
I was asked recently what the penalty from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would be for a shop using an illegal air blower. After checking with an OSHA office in California, I discovered the offending shop could get a fine of up to $7,000.
If your shop isn’t meeting OSHA compliance, you could be a prime target for some very expensive penalties. Of course, you shouldn’t be looking at OSHA compliance alone as a monetary issue. Being compliant translates into maintaining a safe, organized workplace that’s also more productive.
Let’s look at some of the more common violations in the body shop:
- Check all extension cords for damage. Cords repaired with electrical tape and with broken grounds are both serious violations.
- All high voltage boxes must be labeled with a DANGER sign.
- All outlets must have covers installed.
- All energized parts of electrical circuits and equipment must be guarded with approved cabinets or enclosures to prevent accidental contact.
- Make sure that all in-ground pulling pots are flush with surface when not in use. Many times, the covers are bent and they are out on the floor, which creates a tripping hazard.
- Maintain approved spill containment containers. Absorbent material in a small garbage can sometimes works, but it must be marked and placed in an accessible area.
- Be sure to maintain ungrounded flammable storage containers. Make sure the lids on these containers are always closed and that there is signage on the wall identifying them.
- Fire extinguishers must be mounted within 10 feet of any inside storage area containing flammable materials; they must be charged and properly tagged
- Maintain a class D fire extinguisher for a magnesium fire.
Body shop specific
- Make sure all respirators are placed in a secured bag when not in use.
- Containers holding solvent need to be sealed.
- Label all bottles in your shop.
- Batteries must be stored on a spill containment tray.
Keep in mind that meeting OSHA compliance is an everyday endeavor. It’s something you have to work for, and being compliant isn’t an easy chore, nor is it exceptionally difficult.
Toby Chess, an I-CAR program instructor and Training Specialist, can be reached at [email protected]. Be sure to here.