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You are here: Home » Resources » Articles » Regulatory Compliance for Automotive Business Owners

October 27, 2017

Regulatory Compliance for Automotive Business Owners

By Matthew Genna


Automotive shops are especially vulnerable to environmental compliance and health and safety compliance issues. Health and safety regulations cover everything from letting employees know their rights to making the proper protective equipment available to workers. The regulations are continuously updated to keep up with changes in the industry. Failure to comply can result in a variety of penalties, and fines can be issued for each violation. Below is an overview of three of the most commonly overlooked regulations facing auto dealerships and automotive repair shops.

Hazard Communication

The purpose of the Hazard Communication Standard is to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced, imported, or used in the workplace are classified, and that information concerning the classified hazards is transmitted to the employers and employees.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard requires that employers classify the potential hazards of chemicals and communicating information concerning hazards and appropriate protective measures to employees consisting of:

  • Developing and maintaining a written Hazard Communication Program for the workplace.
  • Maintaining a list of the hazardous chemicals present in the workplace.
  • Ensuring all the hazardous chemicals are properly labeled in the workplace.
  • Preparation and distribution of Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
  • Provide employees with a Hazard Communication training program regarding chemical hazards and protective measures in the workplace.
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) hazardous chemical inventory reporting.

Respiratory Protection

Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dust, fog, smoke, mist, gases, vapors, and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death.

If employees need to wear respirators for their job, OSHA requires employers to ensure the employee has been medically cleared to wear a respirator, has been trained on proper use of the respirator and has been fit tested to wear their respirator. Additionally, OSHA requires the employer to have a written Respiratory Protection Program outlining their compliance, the operations requiring respirator use and the employees covered by the program.

SPCC Plans

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires facilities to have a written Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) plan if the facility could be “reasonably be expected to discharge harmful amounts of oil into navigable waters of the U.S. or adjoining shorelines.” Discharge entrance be direct or through a storm drain, oil water separator, etc. The facility must also have:

  • aboveground oil storage of more than 1,320 gallons but less than 10,000 gallons in 55 gallon containers or larger; or
  • underground storage greater than 42,000 gallons.

The plan should include information about the facility, oil and petroleum storage, emergency situations, fueling procedures, and a site map.

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