Learning never ends. Growing pains don’t either. The latter breeds the former. I’ve had my share of both over the years. As I look back over my quarter century with my sign business, a number of these experiences stand out. Here’s one of them:
Rings, Pencils, and Paint
OSHA can teach you a lot. I wasn’t too happy about their unannounced visit and how I was to drop everything I was doing to host them and conduct a tour as well as provide documentation or answers to all their inquiries. But, hey, that’s how they do what they do. And that’s how they ended up teaching me—through fines, mandatory classes, and deadlines to respond to the fourteen citations they gave me.
The citations were eye-opening. For instance, I won’t go into detail, but if you have a grinder in your shop and you don’t know the ring test, or how to properly use the eraser end of a pencil for proper guard spacing, then you should consider not having one or learning real fast.
Paint and paint booths are another notorious source of potential issues, though for most shops they are an absolute necessity. If you need them, make them right and use them properly. Document use and material emissions. Enlist some help to get on track if you need it. I would not wait for OSHA to tell you what to do.
I did learn from that experience, and I did end up applying what I learned for the benefit of the company, our employees, and for building better impressions (especially better impressions upon OSHA should they ever come by for another visit).
To read Part One of Scott's “Growing Pains” series, click HERE.
To read Part Two of Scott’s “Growing Pains” series, click HERE.
To read Part Three of Scott’s “Growing Pains” series, click HERE.
To read Part Four of Scott’s “Growing Pains” series, click HERE.