OSHA regulations mandate that virtually every business have an emergency action plan. This regulation applies to car dealers as well. If you have employees working in an office or retail space of any kind, you need an emergency plan.
Many car dealers are poorly prepared for emergencies. In the daily grind of the car sales business, it can be easy to put emergency planning at the bottom of the to-do list. However, managers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees, and your business has a legal obligation to meet OSHA requirements.
What does an emergency action plan include? There are many factors to consider, both in the plan itself and in training and upkeep. A few points to consider for your OSHA emergency action plan should be,
• Plan should consider different types of emergencies including fire, hurricane, floods, riots, civil unrest, and any other emergency that may be relevant to your region and business.
• Post a copy of your emergency action plan in a prominent location where employees can easily access it. Or, give each employee a printed copy of the action plan.
• Create a safety committee that meets on a regular basis. This should include a designated emergency response coordinator and a backup coordinator, and employers should be sure that all employees know who the coordinators are.
• Employers should be prepared with records and backups in the event of an emergency. Records should include an inventory of important business assets like cars, computers, and equipment.
• Emergency training should be conducted regularly - at least once per year. Training must also occur when new employees are hired, and when employee job roles change. Any major changes in facility, equipment, or procedure should also require training updates.
These are just a few points to consider when creating an emergency action plan. OSHA’s regulations include many more specific points to consider, and making an emergency plan should be considered a serious requirement for any auto dealership.
Dealerships that do not respect OSHA’s guidelines and rules could find themselves facing fines and penalties. More importantly, poor preparation in the event of an emergency could lead to injury and even death. Don’t wait until it’s too late - contact Total Dealer Compliance today for a complete OSHA compliance audit and action plan.