CORTLAND, N.Y. — A Bismark, N.D., area office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has signed an alliance with the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) and automobile dealer associations in North and South Dakota to reduce and prevent workplace hazards associated with automotive lifts. The participating automobile dealer associations are the Automobile Dealers Association of North Dakota, South Dakota Automobile Dealers Association and South Dakota Independent Automobile Dealers Association.
One of the Alliance’s goals is to add automotive lift safety information to the curriculum of trade schools and career education centers. To that end, the Alliance participants worked with the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education to add information on automotive lift training to its safety and health curriculum.
To further the Alliance’s goal of disseminating automotive lift safety information, ALI has distributed its automotive lift safety training materials to other Alliance participants, companies throughout OSHA Region VIII (which includes North and South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming), On-site Consultation Programs, and OSHA staff around the country.
ALI President Bob O’Gorman gave a presentation at the OSHA On-Site Consultation Training Conference in Seattle, Wash., on April 30, 2008. The presentation was designed to educate On-site Consultation Program staff on the hazards and safe work practices associated with automotive lifts. ALI also sent its lift inspector/operator training package to the On-site Consultation Program offices in all 50 states.
In July 2008, ALI shipped its automotive lift safety training package to every OSHA Area Office. This material will help OSHA’s Compliance Assistance Specialists and other staff learn about the safety hazards associated with automotive lifts and provide outreach to employers and employees in this industry.
In addition, ALI developed a 16-page pamphlet called "Service Bay Safety How Safe Is Your Shop?" This pamphlet was originally distributed in April in a national automotive trade publication. ALI shipped copies of the pamphlet to approximately 120,000 automotive shops across North America. ALI also shipped 1,000 copies to the Bismarck Area Office and 100 copies to each OSHA Area Office across the country.
"As a result of ALI’s Alliance with OSHA, there has been a significant increase in interest from lift users and owners in ALI’s mission to promote the safe design, construction, installation and use of automotive lift products," said Bob O’Gorman.
During 2007 and 2008, OSHA staff from the Bismarck Area Office met with representatives from the automobile dealer associations participating in the Alliance to provide information on the Alliance and the Area Office’s Local Emphasis Program on automotive lifts. OSHA staff also provided these associations with information about automotive lift safety to publish in their newsletters and websites. In addition, Area Office staff provided training to the North and South Dakota On-Site Consultation Programs on automotive lift inspections and the ANSI/ALI standards.
As part of the Alliance’s goal to promote the national dialogue on automotive lift safety, Scott Overson, an OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer from the Bismarck Area Office, serves on the review committee for the ANSI/ALI ALOIM Standard. "While we still have work to do to improve safety in automotive shops," said Overson, "this Alliance has been successful in raising awareness concerning inspection and maintenance procedures in companies that are members of the automobile dealer associations participating in the Alliance."