Every October, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff. One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. Year after year, thousands of the same on-the-job hazards are cited, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury.
Accident 1: On the afternoon of February 22, 2016, a test drive of a Corvette from a dealership in Ontario, CA became a tragedy. Reportedly, the driver was driving at 70 MPH before the crash took place, which resulted in the salesperson losing his life. LA Times reported that the customer was treated for injuries at a local hospital and arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs.
Solution 1: While it may be difficult to recognize a customer being under the influence of drugs, salespersons should remain attentive to inebriated customers and decline any test drive in which drugs or alcohol may become a factor. Also, the dealership must constantly reiterate: “All test drives must be safe and within posted speed limits.”
Background: Many dealerships use a subcontractor on premises to wash automobiles and for other operations. Current law regulates the terms and conditions of employment and establishes specified obligations of employer and employees. Dealers can control the liability by having the subcontractor work under a written contract that indemnifies the dealership and also, provide the dealership with General Liability (GL) & Auto Insurance (dealer as additional insured) and Workers’ Compensation (WC) Insurance (with waiver of subrogation and dual employer endorsement). Dealers must maintain arm’s length distance with contractor operations so as to avoid active supervision. Also, liability accrues when the equipment provided by the dealership to the subcontractor, such as forklift or a ladder, is involved in an accident resulting in an injury to the contractor employee.
Civil & Criminal Penalties Increased for OSHA Violations
On October 5, 1999, Governor Davis signed into law a bill which increases the civil and criminal penalties for willful, serious and repeat violations of occupational safety and health (Cal-OSHA) standards. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2000, which gives the district attorneys more flexibility to prosecute as either a misdemeanor or a felony, willful violations of safety standards which result in a death or permanent/prolonged impairment.
Hazardous Waste Management — Cost Analysis
The California Attorney General’s Office has sent several automobile dealers notices regarding deceptive advertising practices being used for hazardous waste disposal charges. The Attorney General’s office is specifically concerned with advertisements (i.e. coupons) that list a price for a service with a notation “Plus Hazardous Waste Disposal.”