In this section are tools that you can download and print out to help in the management of your shop and employees. Helpful hints are given for most.
All employers are required by OSHA to develop and carry out programs and policies to protect your workers from hazards. Two important programs are highlighted and explained here. You can download the OSHA standards, as well as fill-in-the-blanks sample written programs for each.
Hazard Communication Program
We all know that there are many hazards in any autobody shop. This HC Program contains an inventory of the hazards and what you are doing in your shop to notify and protect your workers.
- First, you need to identify and make a list of the hazards in your shop. A great deal of helpful information is contained in Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) that come with each product. Read more about MSDSs…
- Now that you have a list, you can easily fill in the blank Hazard Communication Program for your shop.
Get started on your Hazard Communication Program…
Respiratory Protection Program
Since you cannot completely rid your shop of toxic dust and fumes in the air, workers must at times wear respirators to protect themselves. There are several steps that OSHA requires before your employees can wear respirators:
- First, you must decide what hazardous tasks your workers are performing, and what respiratory protection is needed for each.
- Your employees must have medical clearance to wear a respirator and proper training in respirator use.
- Each employee must be fitted to a proper respirator at least once per year.
- And, you must have a written plan for all these steps.
The Hazard Communication Program and the Respiratory Protection Program are required by OSHA - and you have to have the written programs available in a notebook someplace where your employees can see them. You can be fined if OSHA visits your shop and doesn't see them!
To protect workers from the hazards of the workplace, every shop should have a plan for providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and training workers when and how to use them. Respirators are covered above. This section provides some helpful tips on creating a program for coveralls and head covering, gloves, eye and face protection, and hearing protection. Read more…
Posters have been shown to be effective in reminding workers of good work practices when tacked up in strategic spots around the shop. We have created and collected posters for specific topics, which you can download here (see posters…). If you have ideas for other posters, please let us know (contact us…).
Changing Work Practices
A great deal of research has been done (and continues) on ways to change workers' behavior in the workplace - not an easy task. There may be some work practices that you would like to improve and encourage in your workers, such as getting them to use the protective equipment that you provide for them. Our experience has shown that giving the workers personal positive feedback when they are doing what you want can be effective. We have supplied some of the methods, forms and tools we used in case you might want to try this technique. Read more…
Workplace Testing in Your Shop
We have done a great deal of environmental sampling in autobody shops (see some results…). Tests can be done to see the amount of isocyanate, dust or solvents in the air during certain tasks in your shop. We have also found that a simple wipe pad can be used to detect isocyanate on surfaces and skin. Read more about these tests…