By law, all employees are entitled to a safe workplace. Creating that safe working environment for employees is as important as the brand of tires you sell.
Safety doesn’t happen in a vacuum or by hanging a few posters on the wall, and it won’t happen until your shop’s leadership takes steps to create a culture of safety, complete with ongoing training, policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance.
When people talk about employee safety, OSHA usually comes to mind. The agency typically gets involved when there is a workplace health or safety concern reported, or when an employee is injured on the job. They also perform workplace inspections.
Keeping up with OSHA requirements and expectations can be essential yet daunting for independent tire dealerships. Failing an inspection can result in stiff fines, citations and penalties.
But how do you know what the inspectors are looking for and how your shop can do better without the risk?
To help small businesses take an active approach to employee safety and maintain the highest standards, OSHA offers a no-cost on-site consultation program.
Unlike regular inspections, these consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations.
Consultants from state agencies or universities on behalf of OSHA will work with your shop to identify workplace hazards and provide advice on how to comply with OSHA standards most effectively. The process is free and helps shops establish and improve their approach to health and safety.
Most importantly, the on-site program is confidential -- none of the information you provide on unsafe conditions is reported routinely to the OSHA inspection staff. Your only obligation is to correct all serious job safety hazards in a timely manner and before your next regular OSHA inspection.
So, why would anyone invite OSHA into their shop? Going through an on-site consulting process has a number of high-value benefits.
- It shows your staff how serious you are about safety and how important it is to you to create the safest environment possible for them.
- It becomes a talking point for recruiting new technicians and the lengths you will go through to ensure everyone and everything is as safe as possible. This can be a differentiator when competing for top talent.
- It helps make sure you do things right, constantly improving shop safety by being advised on and implementing the highest industry standards and recommendations.
- Taking an active approach on safety by partnering with OSHA may help minimize the likelihood of a negative outcome during an actual inspection by OSHA.