Friday, 21 March 2014 14:25

GCIA Provides Preparation Tips for OSHA Isocyanates Inspections in Georgia Body Shops

Georgia collision repair facilities can expect increased levels of inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to continue in 2014. OSHA issued its annual inspection plan under the Site-Specific Targeting 2014 Program and its current list of National Emphasis programs to direct enforcement resources to workplaces where the highest rates of injuries and illnesses occur.

The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) has provided the following OSHA inspection preparation recommendations:

  • Have painters use supplied or fresh/purifying air systems while in the booth to reduce isocyanate exposure and avoid the dual-cartridge and half-mask respirators, which are the least-effective means of protection against isocyanates. If these are the respirators in use, the documentation should reflect accurate change-out schedules.
  • Keep all Respiratory Protection Program documentation, such as fit tests and medical evaluations, in order.
  • Clean the shop regularly as the inspector could swipe test shop areas.
  • Improve ventilation in the mixing rooms by keeping the pickup vents as clear as possible. If ventilation is questionable, have the painters wear respirators while mixing.
  • Have employees use personal protective equipment (PPE) for eyes and skin as well as respiratory. Painters should be fully covered and some preparation area employees should be wearing gloves and eye protection as well.
  • Change paint suits once a breech (tear or paint in the suit) has occurred.
  • Do not wear paint suits in the break area and keep food and drinks out of the preparation and paint areas—you should keep food and drink out of the entire body shop and only in break rooms. Only those employees who need to be in preparation and paint areas should be in those areas.
  • Make documentation available for all booths (closed systems), including maintenance records, filter change outs, etc.
  • Keep paint and other chemicals that may contain isocyanates closed at all times when not in use.

Contact Howard Batchelor at howard@gcia.org if your shop is inspected.