December 20, 2012
Understanding the potential for violations can help you avoid them.
By Lucas Deal, Associate Editor
You never want to have to shut down your service department due to OSHA citations or violations. Time lost due to violations can take a technician out of a service bay and slow down your turnaround times — hurting your business.
According to Eric Schmitz, vice president of product and business development at KPA Online, every business will deal with OSHA citations at some point in time. The key, however, is knowing what causes those citations, how to quickly correct them and avoid them reoccurring in the future.
OSHA can show up at your door at any time, Schmitz says. You need to be prepared.
One important step in preparing for an OSHA inspection is learning what citations are most commonly cited, and where in your business they can occur. Specific aspects of a service business are more prone to safety risks and must be handled with care.
In November KPA released a list of the 10 most common citations for service providers. Schmitz described the list in detail this month during a KPA webinar, highlighting the areas where any service facility can fall victim to mistakes. He describes the top citations for 2012, and how to avoid them, as follows:
According to Schmitz, all of these citations can be easily avoided with smart and practical safety techniques. The key is making sure everyone is on the same page.
Doing that is simple, and it doesn’t take much time. You can create written safety programs for your facility that detail at length exactly how you want each possible risk to be handled. Then once you’ve completed your program, you can take your employees through it and provided them extra detail on what they need to do.
Once everyone in your facility understands the rules, it’s just a matter of policing what you’ve instituted and updating the program as necessary.
Schmitz says OSHA has more than 2,200 licensed inspectors, and the government organization held more than 92,000 inspections last year.
With numbers like that, it won’t be long until an OSHA inspector shows up at your facility. By following KPA’s guidelines and being smart, you can make sure he leaves your facility without issuing any violations.