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Safety compliance companies urge dealers to keep lift safety a priority

March 28, 2014
Certain OSHA offices are about to launch a special emphasis program on automotive lift locations, to reduce injuries and fatalities, CATA allied member ComplyNet Corporation reports. Inspectors will select automotive facilities on a random basis.  
"Workers in the automotive industry are exposed to crushing hazards from automotive lifts when servicing and repairing lifts. These hazardous risks can be limited by properly maintaining automotive lifts and providing workers with effective training regarding the inspection and use of lifts," said Ken Atha, an OSHA regional administrator.
Since 2007, according to OSHA’s Fatality and Catastrophe Investigation Summary database, OSHA has conducted several automotive lift inspections, 11 of which followed fatal accidents. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a total of 15,000 workers in the past six years were treated in hospitals for automotive lift, jack or jack stand injuries. By targeting inspection activity to employers in the automotive industry, OSHA hopes to reduce the injury and fatality rates of employees who use these devices.               
There are special rules in place for lift regarding inspecting, maintaining and training employees. KPA, another CATA allied member, said dealers can avoid injury and financial risk by establishing periodic maintenance plans for their lifts. The plans should be performed by an employee qualified to operate a lift. 
A plan should be documented and should focus on replacing worn, damaged, or broken parts with approved parts that meet the original manufacturer’s specifications. 
KPA recommends that inspections be completed by a certified lift inspector who has significant technical expertise that includes:
Annual lift inspections should involve a Certified Lift Inspector with significant technical expertise including:
• Knowledge of personal safety practices necessary to perform routine and periodic inspections of existing equipment; 
• Familiarity with industry terminology; and
• Knowledge of the purpose and function of all lift components; purpose and function of all components; Knowledge of electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, and mechanical lift systems.