With so many signs around your shop, it’s difficult to decipher between the ones you’re required by law to dangle in front of your employees and which ones can easily be discarded. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires various markings, postings, identifications and labeling throughout any typical business. And although it’s impossible to address every situation in every facility, many of the OSHA requirements refer to situations commonly found in collision repair shops. So listen up.
The best place to start our discussion is at the front door or any place your employees congregate. OSHA regulations (29CFR 1903.2) state that a Job Safety and Health Protection notice (Form 2203) must be posted in "a conspicuous place where notices to employees are customarily posted." Be warned: This is one of the most frequently cited OSHA standards. The notice informs employees of their protections and obligations under the act. It must be at least 8 inches by 14 inches with print in a 10-point font or larger and the caption portion of the posting in a font no smaller than 36 point.
Other notices that should be nearby include the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s "It’s the Law" poster, the Polygraph and Protection Act poster and any other state-mandated safety and health notices.
While you’re standing at the door, look up and make sure the emergency exits are properly marked. Exits must be marked with a readily visible sign illuminated by a reliable light source (internal illumination may also be required). The sign must have the word "exit" in letters at least 6 inches tall.
Next on the list is the OSHA Form 200 Injury and Illness Log. An annual summary of occupational injuries and illnesses must be posted no later than Feb. 1 of each year and remain posted until March 1. You don’t need to post the entire OSHA Log 200, just a summary of the information on the form. The actual OSHA form is marked with dotted lines and the statement "Post only this portion of the last page no later than February 1" indicates what part of the form should be posted.
There are many areas of your shop where danger, caution, safety and instruction signs aren’t only required but vital to employees. Similar to other signs, they also have standards describing the use, color scheme and design.
• Danger signs are red with black or white lettering and are used to warn of specific and immediate dangers.
• Signs marking fire protection equipment are also red and white.
• Caution signs are yellow and black and warn against potential hazards or unsafe practices.
• Safety instruction signs are green and white or black and white and are placed where there’s a need for general instructions and suggestions relative to safety measures.
Now the big question: Where do you put all these signs? The easiest way to identify the proper locations is to think in terms of workplace hazards and the basic description of the signs.
• No Smoking — post in or near paint booth, flammable liquid/compressed gas storage areas and battery charging areas.
• High Voltage — post near electric panels and breakers.
• Flammable (Liquids) Keep Fire Away
• No Open Flames
• Open Pit
• Welding Fumes May Be Present — post in welding areas.
•Caution Hot — post near parts and pressure washers.
• Floor Slippery When Wet
• Eye Protection Required — post near grinder, drill press, brake lathe or in areas where techs are cleaning with compressed air
• Watch Your Step
• Authorized Personnel Only
Safety Instruction Signs
• Battery Charger
• Spray Paint Booth Paint Fumes May be Present
• Respirator Storage
• Eye Wash Station
• Floor Load Capacity: ___ lbs. Per Square Foot — place in mezzanine storage areas.
• First Aid
• Safety First — Clean Up Spills
These are just a few samples of signs that may be required or recommended for your shop. If you’d like additional information on specific signage, contact OSHA’s national headquarters at (202) 693-1999.
Reprinted courtesy of Universal Underwriters Group.