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Get your paint shop in complete compliance through safety focus

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 08:00
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One of the biggest challenges when dealing with shop safety is not knowing you have a problem until after it's too late. Consider the Montana shop that grabbed industry attention in late 2013 after a paint department explosion killed one employee and left another seriously injured.

(Photo courtesy of Lefler Collision and Glass) - An effective safety program will help create a problem-free, profitable paint department. 

The workers had been pouring lacquer from a barrel through a funnel into a smaller container when fumes from the lacquer ignited. An investigator from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) later determined a lack of grounding and no physical clip between the containers were the cause. These violations were among the nine OSHA issued the shop, along with a proposed fine of $51,000.

While it may be convenient to write off this accident as a rare occurrence, repairers need to keep a couple of things in mind. One, this was no fly-by-night shop. It had been in business for over three decades and was very successful, commanding over thirty percent of its market. In the previous five years, the shop had received no OSHA citations. Finally, how many shops can say, in complete confidence, something like this could never happen in their paint departments?

Strictly adhering to regulations set by OSHA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and state and local governments is the cornerstone of your shop's safety. Considering the number of regulations, along with new rules being added, this can be difficult ‑ especially considering you need to make sure every one of your employees sticks to them. Managing an effective shop safety program in your paint department, as part of an overall safety plan for your business, is your answer. Here's what you need to know and do to put one in place.

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