A representative of GMG Envirosafe warned attendees of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held April 9–10, 2014, that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is cracking down on body shops to ensure workers are protected from isocyanate exposure.
Brandon Thomas, GMG chief operations officer, a company that offers OSHA, EP,A and DOT compliance solutions, said a study done by an OSHA counterpart in Britain found that painters in a body shop environment have 80 times the risk of occupational asthma from isocyanates than industrial workers. It’s precisely for that reason, Thomas said, that OSHA is targeting the collision industry more aggressively than others.
According to Thomas, OSHA has fined body shops $1.6 million over the last three years. The OSHA enforcement division has increased inspections 25 percent over the last four years because they have a bigger budget, and there is an average of 4.33 citations per inspection. The OSHA goal, Thomas said, is to eliminate isocyanate exposure altogether in two ways: engineering controls (spraybooth, mixing rooms, ventilation, gun washers, etc.) and administrative controls (PPE training and processes).