Lean Material Management


  Turning Data into Information

Because you can't manage what you don't measure!


Lean Material Management for the Auto Body Industry

Safety & Regulatory 

Workers in autobody shops are potentially exposed to a variety of chemical and physical hazards. Chemical hazards may include volatile organics from paints, fillers and solvents; diisocyanates, polyisocyanates, and hexavalent chromium from spray painting operations; silica from sandblasting operations; dusts from sanding; and metal fumes from welding and cutting. Physical hazards include repetitive stress and other ergonomic injuries, noise, lifts, cutting tools, and oil and grease on walking surfaces. At first glance this sounds daunting, but it isn't there are several simple steps to managing shop safety.

Q: What can I do to start a safety program in my shop?
A: One quick and easy step is to have regular "Tailgate" safety meetings. These are relatively short (15-20 minutes) topics. Our Lean Management team can provide you with over a years worth of meetings, with hand-outs sign-in sheets.

Q: What OSHA regulations are body shops subject to?
A: It would be impossible to list every regulation (Federal, State and Local) Here is a listing of the most frequently cited standards by Federal OSHA for Automotive Repair Shops Industry Group (SIC code 753) is available.

General Industry (29 CFR 1910)

Q: I am concerned about Isocyanates in my shop, what do I need to know?
A: Isocyanates
while very hazardous can be easily mitigated in the body shop environment. You MUST train your employees on proper handling and safety measures, including but not limited to respirator selection, fit testing and maintenance. Again OSHA has some great information available (click here).

Q: If I use Isocyanates in my shop do I need Fresh Air Supplied Respirators?
A: Maybe. The use of isocyanates in and of it self does not require the use of fresh air respirators. Air purifying respirators may be perfectly safe and acceptable.  The issue is really one of concentration and an employees exposure. The type of respirator and the change out schedule (if applicable) of cartridges can be determined after tests have been run and analyzed by an qualified laboratory.  Your local jobber should be able to help with this.

Q: Why doesn't the EPA reach out and inform business of regulations?
A: The EPA has some good information available on their web site, their Designed For the Environment partnership program publications are available at: http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/index.htm#auto

Q: What is an OSHA 300 form? My Worker Comp insurance carrier has asked for a copy.
A: All businesses are required to fill out an OSHA300 Log listing all work related injuries with any loss of work time regardless of if there was any loss of work time (yes you still need to fill it out even if it is all zeros). Businesses are required to post the summary form from February 1st  through April 30th during the following year.  Not to worry the form is very easy and OSHA has provided an MS Excel form and instruction. You can download them here (300 Forms, Instructions) or visit the OSHA we site: http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/RKforms.html

Q: How do we provide safety gloves and still control costs, it seems like we are spending more every month for latex gloves.
A: Buying the right Glove for the job is the best way to insure you are both proving good safety products and maintaining costs.  The cheapest gloves are not always the best way to save money. For example Nitrile is generally considered a "heavier duty" glove when compared to Latex, but in compliant areas where the main clean up solvent is Acetone a Latex glove (usually cheaper) provides better safety and lasts longer. For more information see our glove usage chart.

Q: What hazards should I be concerned with in my shop?
A: While every shop or business is unique and will likely have multiple potential hazards.  Here is our quick suggestion:  Do a safety walk through of your shop or business, we have a simple easy to use hazard awareness check list you can use.  Also consider contacting your worker compensation insurer, they most always have resources and can provide a consultant, often at no additional cost.

Q: What is Occupational Lead Poisoning and Prevention Fee (OLPPF) (California)
A: Even though the use of lead in vehicle manufacturing as well as refinish and repair materials has been virtually completely eliminated for years, the same can't be said for all industries. California among other states have determined that Lead Poisoning Regulations can be applied to body shops.  Since it is nearly impossible to "prove" that you have no or only "De minimus amounts", most shops have found that it is easier and more economical to pay the fee (another hidden tax on business).

Q: I have heard there are new OSHA labeling requirements, how does this effect my body shop operations?
A: Part of OSHAs Hazard Communication Standard 1910.1200 says that: "This transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include container labeling and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets and employee training."  At first glance it looks like this is something for the manufacturers to comply with.  It does apply very specifically to body shops as well. In the shop environment we often transfer materials into smaller working containers (squirt bottles, spray bottles, cans etc.)  Even when putting compound into a squirt bottle we need to be sure the new container must have the proper labeling to alert everyone of the potential hazards.  Most distributors/Jobbers can help provide labels for the most common materials. 1910.1200(b)(4)(i) Employers shall ensure that labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals are not removed or defaced;

Q: They have just announced VOC regulations in my area. We have been told that this will include reporting that needs to be maintained at the shop for all products used and that we need to keep these reports for two years. How do we do this all reporting and still keep the paint shop moving?
A: Almost painlessly with very little additional time!  Most of the major paint manufacturers paint mixing systems include some form of VOC tracking and reporting. (This may not be included in the "free" versions of their software). (If your not using the paint mixing system for ALL your mixing "on the scale" recording their usage, you are missing some great management tools.)  Barring this most distributors have either subscribed to a service or are otherwise able to help provide forms or tools for the required VOC reporting.  Or contact us for a sample of one of our forms!

Q: What are all these terms on these MSD sheets?
A: Below you will find an alphabetical listing of various terms used in Material Safety Data Sheets. Print it out, pass it around the shop and put a copy in your MSDS index book for future reference. Remember, you can't learn too much about this subject.

An Introduction to Various Terms Used in MSDS

ACGIH: Abbreviation for the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, a private organization of occupational safety and health professionals. The ACGIH recommends occupational exposure limits for numerous toxic substances, and it updates and revises its recommendations as more information becomes available. ACGIH limits are not legally enforceable.

Air Contaminant: Means solid or liquid particulate matter, dust, fumes, gas, and mist, smoke or vapor.

BAAQMD: Bay Area Air Quality Management District. An agency created by California state law to be responsible for management of air quality in the San Francisco metropolitan area.

Carcinogenic: Capable of causing cancer.

Ceiling Limit: The maximum amount of a toxic substance allowed to be in workroom air at any time during the day.

CERCLA: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (the original Superfund law). Certain releases of over 700 chemicals covered by this law require reporting to state emergency response commission, local emergency planning committee, and the National Response Center.

 CFR: Code of Federal Regulations.

CHEMTREC: Chemical Transportation Emergency Center. A public service created by the Chemical Manufacturers Association to provide 24 hour information to persons responding to emergencies involving chemicals.

Chemical Referral Center: A part of the Chemical Manufacturers Association which provides general, non-emergency information about chemicals through an 800 toll-free telephone number.

Combustible: Able to catch fire and burn. Materials with flash point above 100°F (Closed Cup Method) (D.O.T. regulation)

 Concentration: The amount of one substance in another substance.

Decomposition: Breakdown of a chemical.

Density: The mass of a substance per unit volume. The density of a substance is usually compared to water, which has a density of 1. Substances which float on water have densities less than 1; substances which sink have densities greater than l.

Dermal: By or through the skin.

DOT: U.S. Department of Transportation.

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

EPCRA: Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. A free-standing law enacted to encourage and support emergency planning efforts at the state and local level, and to provide citizens and local governments with information concerning potential chemical hazards present in their communities.

Explosive Limits: The amounts of vapor which form explosive mixtures. Explosive limits are expressed as LOWER EXPLOSIVE LIMITS and UPPER EXPLOSIVE LIMITS; these give the range of vapor concentrations in air which will explode if heat is added. Explosive limits are expressed as percentage of vapor in air.

Flammable: Catches on fire easily and burns rapidly. Materials with flash point below 100°F.

Flammable Limits: Same as EXPLOSIVE LMITS.

Flash Off Area: Space between the application area and source of application.

Flash Point: The lowest temperature at which the vapor of a substance will catch on fire, even momentarily, if heat is applied. Provides an indication of how flammable a substance is.

Fluid Ounce: Volumetric unit. 128 Fluid ounces = one American gallon.

Gram: The unit of mass in the metric system.

Health Hazard: Anything which can have a harmful effect on health under the conditions in which it is used or produced.

HMIS: Hazardous Materials Identification System

Hydrocarbon: Any organic compound consisting predominantly of carbon and hydrogen.

Ignition Temperature: The lowest temperature at which a substance will catch on fire and continue to burn. The lower the ignition temperature, the more likely the substance is going to be a fire hazard.

Ingestion: Swallowing.

Kilogram: 1000 grams = 2.20 lb.

LC50: The concentration of a substance in air that causes death in 50% of the animals exposed by inhalation. A measure of acute toxicity.

LD50: The dose that causes death in 50% of the animals exposed by swallowing a substance. A measure of acute toxicity.

MG/KG: A way of expressing dose: milligrams (mg) of a substance per kilogram (kg) of body weight. Example: A 100 kg person given 10,000 mg of a substance would be getting a dose of 100 mg/kg (10,000 mg/100 kg).

MG/M3: A way of expressing the concentration of a substance in air: milligrams (mg) of substance per cubic meter (m3) of air.

Milligram: One one-thousandth of a gram.

NFPA: National Fire Protection Association

NIOSH: Abbreviation for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIOSH does research on occupational safety and health questions and makes recommendations to OSHA.

N.O.S.: Not otherwise specified. Used for shipping hazardous materials if the material is not specifically listed in the DOT Hazardous Materials Table.

Occupational Exposure Limits: Maximum allowable concentrations of toxic substances in workroom air to protect workers who are exposed to toxic substances over a working lifetime.

ORM: Other Regulated Material. A material which poses a risk in transportation, but does not meet the definitions of any other hazard classes.

OSHA: Abbreviation for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA develops and enforces federal standards for occupational safety and health.

Oxidizer: A material which may cause the ignition of combustible materials without the aid of an external source of ignition or which, when mixed with combustible materials, increases the rate of burning of these materials when the mixtures are ignited.

PEL: Permissible Exposure Limit.

Polymerization: A chemical reaction in which individual molecules combine to form a single large chemical molecule (a polymer). Usually involves the release of a lot of energy.

PPM: Parts per million. Generally used to express small concentrations of on substance in a mixture.

Prime Coat: First film of coating applied in a multiple coat operation.

Proposition 65: California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Regulates certain chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

RCRA: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Act which regulates the handling, storage, treatment, transportation and disposal of solid waste.

Reactivity: The ability of a substance to undergo change, usually by combining with another substance or by breaking down. Certain conditions, such as heat and light, may cause a substance to become more reactive. Highly reactive substances may explode.

SARA: Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986. Title III of SARA is known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. Calls for facilities that store hazardous materials to provide officials and citizens with data on the types, amounts on hand, and specific locations of these chemicals.

SCAQMD: South Coast Air Quality Management District. Agency created by California state law to be responsible for management of air quality in Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Sensitizer: A chemical that causes a substantial proportion of exposed people or animals to develop an allergic reaction in normal tissue after repeated exposure to the chemical.

SIC: Standard Industrial Classification.

Solubility: The amount of a substance that can be dissolved in a solvent, usually water.

Solvent: Organic materials which are liquid at standard conditions and which are used as dissolvers, viscosity reducers or cleaning agents.

STEL: Short term exposure limit.

Suspect Carcinogen: A substance that might cause cancer in humans or animals, but has not been proven to do so.

TDG: Transportation of Dangerous Goods.

Teratogenic: Capable of causing birth defects.

Thermal: Involving heat.

TLV: Abbreviation for Threshold Limit Value. The average 8-hour occupational exposure limit. This means that the actual exposure level may sometimes be higher, sometimes lower, but the average must not exceed the TLV. TLVs are calculated to be safe exposures for a working lifetime.

Top Coat: The final film of coating applied in a multiple coat operation.

Toxic Substance: Any substance which can cause acute or chronic injury to the human body, or which is suspected of being able to cause disease or injury under some conditions.

Vapor: The gas given off by a solid or liquid substance at ordinary temperatures.

Vapor Density: The density of the gas given off by a substance. It is usually compared with air, which has a vapor density set a l. If the vapor is more dense than air (greater than 1), it will sink to the ground; if it is less dense than air (less than l), it will rise.

Viscosity: A relative measure of how slowly a substance pours or flows. Very viscous substances, like molasses, pour very slowly. Slightly viscous substances, like water, pour and splash easily.

VOC: Volatile organic compound. Volatile compounds of carbon.

Volatility: A measure of how quickly a substance forms vapor at ordinary temperatures.

WHMIS: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. Canadian system for providing information to workers on the adverse effect of hazardous materials through cautionary labeling. Material Safety Data Sheets and employee training.

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