July 1, 2012
A new ARA Safety Committee, established in April, aims to educate members on how to provide a safe workplace for their employees and ensure that their facilities meet the regulatory requirements of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The committee, chaired by Immediate Past President, Doug Reinert, is made up of twenty members from over ten different states. It includes auto recyclers with businesses of ten to over 100 employees, as well as environmental and safety consultants and directors, a regional director and an affiliate representative.
“We’re finding that to become OSHA compliant and safety conscious doesn’t take a lot of money, but it takes some time,” said Doug Reinert, Safety Committee Chair. “The Safety Committee is not only giving more information on regulations but providing solutions and safety tips as well. Sometimes it can seem daunting to recyclers to think about taking on some projects that might take three months to complete, but we’re finding that many things can be done in two weeks or less, or even in one day.”
The Safety Committee has been very active since its inception with bi-weekly telephone conferences. It has made great strides in educating committee members on the requirements of OSHA and helping them understand why they are being fined, how to work with OSHA to possibly reduce the fine, and how to resolve and prevent the problem from happening again.
“During our first meeting we discussed ARA’s historical safety efforts and we did an overview on current-day OSHA,” said Betsy Beckwith, ARA’s staff liaison supporting this committee. “Since that meeting we have agreed that our committee will be sending out our own version of the top ten safety violations that OSHA records for automotive recycling facilities, along with safety tips on how to avoid them.”
The committee communicates regularly with ARA University (ARAU) Managing Director Ginny Whelan who promptly added 15 OSHA 30-hour safety courses to the current courses available through ARAU (www.arauniversity.org). These courses cover the top ten violations plus more.
They are also developing a new safety database that will be populated with the safety managers, not necessarily the owners of the business, and are working with the C.A.R. program to make sure its safety manual includes a page stating OSHA requirements and links to our tips and information as well as to other websites that could help a recycler resolve the problem.
Another task facing the Safety Committee is utilizing various media to get the information out to as many safety managers as possible. The committee plans to put the top ten safety tips in newsletters, email blasts and other sources of media to keep the information before recyclers on a continual basis, not just for 30-90 days.
“We’ve got a great committee with a variety of members and industry consultants and we are looking to get the information out to the affiliates as well,” said Reinert. “Some of this need for more information is driven by OSHA, but so much of it ties back to business insurance and safety plans. As you train your staff and get them involved implementing various safety and OSHA requirements you build employee confidence in your commitment to their safety. You also reduce workers comp and business insurance claims while continuing to become more OSHA compliant one day at a time.
“I would like to encourage everyone to read the articles we send out via e-mail and in Automotive Recycling magazine,” says Reinert, “keeping an open mind as we seek to provide not only the protocols but solutions to them. We are also seeking vendors to help us to meet regulations, using ARA’s BizUnite discounts.”
Michelle Keadle-Taylor is a freelance writer based in Northern Virginia.
ARAU New 30 Hour Safety Courses Helps Combat OSHA’s Top Ten List
Aerial Lift Safety
Hoist and Sling Safety
Hot Work Safety
Intro to OSHA
Process Safety Management
Go to www.arauniversity.org for details.
2011 LKQ Citation Hot List
C.A.R. Safety Standards
1) Utilization of basic personal protective equipment including gloves, hard hats, safety shoes, safety clothing, safety shields and goggles, when required.
a. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) also requires written PPE plan
2) OSHA approved 15-minute eye wash station(s) readily accessible near corrosive materials (i.e. battery storage, processing, and recharge areas).
a. Annual written Emergency Eye Wash Protection Plan & logged inspection
b. Grainger gives ARA discount (they distribute best hard-plumbed model)
3) Readily available, appropriately typed, and fully charged fire extinguishers.
4) Company will administer and sign the C.A.R. Torch-use Education & Orientation Protocol prior to an employee’s use of a cutting torch.
5) A properly stocked first aid kit that is in close proximity to the dismantling areas, and is adequately sized for the number of employees in that area.
6) Adequately sized Spill Kit(s) are available in close proximity to the storage and/or removal areas of the fluids listed in the environmental standards section of this application.
7) Self-Service facilities have posted safety reminders for customers.
8) A safety program in which a particular individual is in charge of regularly scheduled safety meetings and safety inspections. Name of safety supervisor must be listed on the front of this application.