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OSHA lists most common auto body shop safety violations

The most common health and safety citations issued to auto body shops in Florida and across the U.S. involve respiratory protection and hazard communication violations, according to statistics from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The statistics include all citations issued by the agency between October 2016 and September 2017.

OSHA requires that auto body shop employers create a written respiratory protection program. They must also train their employees on safety standards, have all respirators fit tested and provide medical evaluations that assess an employee's ability to use a respirator. However, many shops are cited for failing to comply with some or all of these rules.

After respiratory protection violations, OSHA says that the most common violations committed by auto body shops involve hazard communication, flammable and combustible spray finishing materials, powered industrial trucks and flammable and combustible liquids. Other possible violations for body shops include improper use of isocyanates, overexposure to crystalline silica, exposure to loud noise without proper ear protection and use of unsafe steps and ladders. A representative for OSHA said that auto body shops can use the agency's citation data to avoid violations and make their worksites safer for employees.

Auto body shop workers who are injured due to an unsafe working environment may benefit from speaking to an attorney about their legal rights. An injured worker may be eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits, which cover medical expenses and provide wage replacement payments while they recover at home. However, in some cases, a different legal action may be recommended. An attorney might be able to assess an injured worker's case and explain all legal options available.

Source: Body Shop Business, "OSHA in Auto Body Shops: Respiratory Protection, Hazard Communication Are Most Frequently Cited Violations, Josh Cable, April 20, 2018

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