2016 was an anomaly, with decreased inspections locally of automotive facilities. Inspections increased around 50% in 2017, and we cannot assume those trends will decrease. Additionally, on October 1, 2017; the OSHA Region VIII Office renewed the Local Emphasis Program Targeting the Automotive Industry for 2018.
WHAT ARE THE KEY FACTS OF THE 2018 OSHA AUTOMOTIVE LOCAL EMPHASIS PROGRAM?
- Since the inception of the Local Emphasis Program on April 16, 2013, the OSHA Offices in the region have conducted 425 inspections. 6% of the time (in 313 inspections,) the inspection resulted in a citation.OSHA is taking enforcement seriously and will perform an aggressive inspection with the intent of finding a reason to cite you.
- The Local Emphasis Program describes the citations as driving the decision to renew the program again for 2018; because per their Regional Notice announcing the program’s continuation, “This demonstrates the existence of numerous safety and health hazards in this industry.”
- It includes automotive dealerships, general automotive repair shops, automotive transmission shops, quick lube and preventative maintenance shops, auto body repair and paint shops and tire dealers
- The inspections also noted that, “. . . serious health hazards have also been observed in many of these inspections with regard to lack of hazard communication programs, exposure to cleaning acids and lack of adequate respiratory protection programs. ” Many of the issues can be quickly and easily addressed right now before an OSHA surprise inspection results in your receiving a citation.
Nationally, OSHA is investigating facilities to protect employees from health hazards associated with diesel exhaust. While much of the publication addresses diesel engine use in other industries, such as mining, areas pertinent to automotive maintenance include adequate ventilation in areas where diesel engines run.
View the publication: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA-3590.pdf
As you will note in the report, there were some changes in enforcement from prior years. Particularly notable was the sizable increase over 2016 in inspections of:
- Automotive parts and accessories stores (plus an additional 21 investigations so far in 2018)
- Oil change and lubrication shops (plus an additional 4 investigations so far in 2018)
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IDENTIFY COMPLIANCE ITEMS IN YOUR FACILITY?
On AutoRisk’s website is a Mini Compliance Test which will help you to identify common areas OSHA issues citations in the Automotive Industry.
This is a first step in developing an internal safety plan for your business to deal with surprise inspections, which any regulator from OSHA to the fire department can perform. AutoRisk also can help you by bringing experience in developing risk management programs for the automotive industry that account for the fact that OSHA is ahead for automotive business in Colorado