Editor’s note: Repairer Driven News regularly features pieces by prolific national columnist Gene Marks. While despite not being directly related to collision repair, they should still prove valuable…
Workplace safety standards allegedly violated by a Pennsylvania Dent Wizard were among the most commonly breached concepts by the auto body industry in 2014-15, OSHA data shows.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration statistics indicate that the broader auto body and paint industry received a combined 653 citations following 124 inspections between October 2014 to September 2015. For that, it was fined a total of $431,619.
The data encompasses all businesses classified by the feds as ” all businesses classified under NAICS code 811121 as “Automotive Body, Paint, and Interior Repair and Maintenance.” Statistics include the number of citations, inspections, and penalty dollars registered under general federal standards, such as those related to finishing using flammable materials.
|Total||653||124||$431,619||All Standards cited for Automotive Body, Paint, and Interior Repair and Maintenance|
|19100107||51||26||$62,817||Spray finishing using flammable and combustible materials.|
|19100305||21||14||$22,841||Wiring methods, components, and equipment for general use.|
|19100106||15||13||$17,980||Flammable and combustible liquids.|
|19100157||13||10||$8,654||Portable fire extinguishers.|
|19100133||10||10||$8,371||Eye and face protection.|
|19100253||9||8||$13,405||Oxygen-fuel gas welding and cutting.|
|19100242||8||8||$14,674||Hand and portable powered tools and equipment, general.|
|19100151||6||6||$3,450||Medical services and first aid.|
|19100215||6||3||$7,660||Abrasive wheel machinery.|
|19100304||6||5||$5,835||Wiring design and protection.|
|5A0001||6||5||$15,468||OSH Act General Duty Paragraph|
|19100037||5||2||$4,520||Maintenance, safeguards, and operational features for exit routes.|
|19100023||4||3||$40,540||Guarding floor and wall openings and holes.|
|19101020||4||1||$0||Access to employee exposure and medical records.|
|19100095||3||1||$1,470||Occupational noise exposure.|
|19100244||3||1||$12,600||Other portable tools and equipment.|
|19100178||2||2||$1,275||Powered industrial trucks.|
|19100212||2||2||$3,430||General requirements for all machines.|
|19100219||2||1||$3,430||Mechanical power-transmission apparatus.|
|19100334||2||2||$2,600||Use of equipment.|
|19040001||1||1||$0||Partial exemption for employers with 10 or fewer employees.|
|19040039||1||1||$700||— No Description Found —|
|19040040||1||1||$0||— No Description Found —|
|19100036||1||1||$1,960||Design and construction requirements for exit routes.|
|19100038||1||1||$0||Emergency action plans.|
|19100101||1||1||$0||Compressed gases (general requirements).|
|19100176||1||1||$3,060||Handling materials – general.|
|19100243||1||1||$3,430||Guarding of portable powered tools.|
|19100254||1||1||$0||Arc welding and cutting.|
OSHA on June 1 told Dent Wizard it planned to levy $51,000 in fines after allegedly discovering 31 serious and nine minor violations at a Manheim, Pa., location.
Many of the alleged “serious” violations at the branch involved paint operations, including fire hazards, while others involved employee protective gear or the employer’s handling of it.
“Dent Wizard is committed to the safety and well-being of our employees,” Dent Wizard said in a statement provided to the Lancaster County Business Journal. “We have cooperated fully and have taken, or are taking, the necessary actions to correct any and all perceived deficiencies.”
The Manheim Dent Wizard allegedly racked up the most violations under the “Spray finishing using flammable and combustible materials” standard, which was the third most frequently cited standard for the auto body and paint industry.
The industry received 51 citations in 26 inspections for a combined $62,817 penalty.
Next for the Dent Wizard came alleged violations under “Respiratory Protection,” the most commonly cited standard in the industry. Auto body and paint operations earned 250 citations in 92 inspections and owed $78,156 in penalties during the fall 2014 to fall 2015 period.
Dent Wizard saw just two citations from OSHA under the “Hazard Communication” category, but its peers made that the second most often violated standard, posting 146 citations in 74 inspections. Altogether, $50,173 in fines were levied.
The data and Dent Wizard example indicate areas to which collision repair shops and similar workplaces might wish to pay particular attention to avoid nasty surprises from inspectors — or worse, an injured employee.
Double-checking with local regulators or consulting with various compliance or industry experts to ensure employees truly have the right safeguards in place might not be a bad idea.
Other OSHA records seem to indicate the agency conducted 363 total inspections over the year. As noted earlier, 124 inspections produced citations, which means about 34.2 percent were out of compliance.
However, it appears that a shop failing on one part of an inspection probably failed another part of it. Given the 653 citations found in 124 inspections, citeable shops averaged 5.27 violations.
Of course, some violations are what OSHA considers “other-than-serious” which in the Dent Wizard allegations weren’t paired with a proposed fine. (One, for example, involved an allegation that a port-a-potty lacked proper hand drying equipment.)
Details/help/reporting/complaints: 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, June 7, 2016
OSHA, June 1, 2016
OSHA, June 1, 2016
Occupational Safety and Health Administration statistics, October 2014-September 2015
OSHA statistics, October 2014-September 2015
Featured image: It’s easy to be safe in a workplace whose business is just these four tires. (Franck-Boston/iStock)