Fixed Ops Journal - April 2021 - F24

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

SAFETY PATROL

&
QA
GLORIANNA
CORMAN

How dealerships can navigate COVID rules, new federal regulations

G

COVID hazard assessment and COVID training
for all workplaces to implement.

lorianna Corman is a senior risk
management consultant at KPA,
an environment, health and
safety, and work force compliance software and services provider for midsize businesses, including franchised dealerships. KPA is based near Boulder, Colo., and performs audits across all 50
states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Corman, 40,
spoke with Fixed Ops Journal about what the
pandemic means for workplace safety as well
as how the Biden administration may affect
dealership service departments. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: What could the new administration in
Washington mean for franchised dealerships
in terms of regulation and compliance?
A: Generally, under Democratic leadership
we expect to see increased regulations and increased [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] and EPA enforcement. Franchised dealerships in the U.S. will need to be
prepared for stricter regulations across the
board, but especially around COVID-19 and
respiratory projection.

What should dealerships do now to prepare
for any new enforcement?
 Every dealership should have, at a minimum, the required OSHA and EPA programs
on file, and all staff should be trained. Create a
safety committee to evaluate the workplace for
safety hazards, and have them meet regularly.
 Because of COVID-19, paint departments
and body shops are having a hard time finding
the correct respiratory equipment. OSHA requires this equipment to be used on the job.
Body shop workers who don't paint or prime
should be using masks like N95s, while painters and primers should be using respirators.
Anyone using a respirator must be medically
cleared, annually fit-tested, respiratorytrained and clean shaven. Keep extra stock on
hand of all respiratory protection equipment
to avoid any type of OSHA citation. Do not
share respiratory equipment.
 Often, detail departments are staffed by
younger people who don't have a lot of experience. This is where I see the most violations
- things like chemical bottles being labeled

PAGE 24

What are some of the challenges for dealerships when it comes to OSHA enforcement
and compliance?
Simply put: Dealers don't know what they
don't know when it comes to OSHA and EPA
enforcement and compliance.
One of the biggest challenges for dealership
leaders is that they may not know how to be in
compliance if they're too busy managing their
day-to-day work. That's why, usually, dealers
look for consultants for support on understanding and managing environmental health
and safety programs.

incorrectly (bottles must have the name of the
product and hazard warning and/or statement), or there's an electrical cord in bad condition running across a wet floor. Make sure
your detail department knows what they
should be doing or looking out for to ensure
everyone's safety on the job.
 Check out OSHA's top 10 most frequently
cited violations of 2020 to get an idea for
where [they] will likely be focusing enforcement efforts.
How will new COVID rules impact dealerships?
COVID safety programs are migrating from
" nice to have " to " essential " for dealerships
across the country. OSHA published a National Emphasis Program on March 12, which enforces and fines workplace violations centering on COVID-19. There will be a focus on industries that present high risks to people and
the environment - meaning dealerships are
going to be more closely monitored. They are
not directly on the [North American Industry
Classification System] watchlist, but there is
always potential.
OSHA is also set to announce an emergency
temporary standard [soon]. The ETS will likely
require employers to create a company-specific
plan to minimize worker exposure to COVID19. The rule is expected to mandate mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing breaks
and communication procedures for workers
during outbreaks. The standard is expected to
require a written COVID plan, a workplace

What are some tips for dealerships to make
sure they have a safe and healthy workplace?
 A safety culture starts with your dealership's core values. These values should emphasize adhering to employee safety, knowledge of safety protocols and proactive risk
elimination. Pair your core values with recognition to encourage employees to take part in
your core value program.
 Recognize employees who go above and
beyond when it comes to workplace safety.
And make sure to do it in front of the entire
dealership and at monthly safety meetings.
This recognition should highlight how that
employee's actions benefit the dealership.
 Instead of focusing on negative reinforcement or punishment for bad behaviors, focus
on rewarding employees for good behavior.
While your safety program should be set up to
avoid accidents, it should prioritize rewarding
safe behaviors.
 It's not enough to just put safety in your
core values. Start with meeting the basics, like
taking part in training and being fully OSHA
compliant. Keep your records public and visible to make sure that your employees care as
much about safety as you do.
 Safety comes from the top down, and upper-level management must be involved in
safety programs and initiatives. By management setting a positive example by prioritizing and practicing safety, employees will be
most likely to follow suit. 

APRIL 2021

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Fixed Ops Journal - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - April 2021

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2021 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2021 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2021 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2021 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2021 - F4
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