By Toby Graham, Compli
No other part of a dealership can compare to the service department in terms of moving parts. I mean that both figuratively and literally. For as many nuts, bolts, pistons, panels, plugs, and springs your service team handles, there’s an almost equal number of rules and regulations to follow.
Make sure you know the following regulations to keep your team safe and operating on the right side of the law:
- The Clean Air Act reduces pollution by regulating air emissions. Under the Act, dealerships are forbidden from messing with devices, such as catalytic converters, air pumps, and positive crankcase ventilation systems, that limit emissions.
- The Clean Water Act regulates how your dealership can store and dispose of wastewater and oil, in order to reduce contamination of nearby water sources.
- The Department of Transportation requires that your employees are properly trained in hazardous materials handling procedures. The DOT broadly defines hazardous materials as those that “could potentially harm the public and the environment.” Examples include flammable, poisonous, and radioactive substances.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s tampering rules prohibit dealerships from tampering with any pre-installed safety equipment in used vehicles.
- The NHTSA also enforces tire rules that require dealerships to properly deal with and report information about defective and recalled tires.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s asbestos standards protect workers from asbestos exposure by limiting the equipment dealers are allowed to use during the cleaning of certain devices that may contain asbestos.
- OSHA Hazard Communication encompasses the many labels, data sheets, disclosures, training procedures, and other forms of communication that inform workers at your dealership about the presence of hazardous chemicals and how to safely handle them.
- OSHA’s lockout/tagout procedures explain how employees should safely shut off or isolate devices that otherwise have the potential to release hazardous energy.osh
- OSHA’s standards for workplace health and safety protect your employees’ well-being in all forms. These laws regulate everything from personal protective equipment use to accident reporting to proper workplace temperature—and much more.
What Dealerships Can Do to Manage All the Moving Parts
- Design compliance training with employee engagement in mind. Some organizations think of compliance education as an afterthought, treat it as a formality, and pay the price when an injury or legal claim occurs. Do not rush through regulatory information or present it in a dry, monolithic fashion, and assume your workforce understands it immediately. Effective compliance programs are built on training that engages employees through different learning styles, accounts for the limits of human attention spans, reiterates and reinforces critical information, and evaluates employees’ levels of understanding.
- Stay up to date on current laws and trends. Legislation does not remain static. Keep an eye out for new laws, regulatory guidance, and arbitration concerning business processes that may affect your dealership. An attorney or compliance expert can help you navigate updates as they arise.
- Regularly review your compliance program and take corrective action as necessary. Members of your service and parts department may forget or lose sight of their regulatory obligations over time, especially regarding certain situations that infrequently or hardly ever occur. Conduct periodic reviews of your compliance program to ensure your policies reflect the latest regulations, and that your workforce understands and acts in accordance with these regulations. Monthly or semiannual reminders or “refresher” courses may help employees better retain compliance information after their initial training.
- Embrace compliance automation. Workforce compliance and business growth should not stand in opposition to one another. An automated system can reduce the cost and burden of compliance by organizing policies and training materials and automatically scheduling, assigning, and tracking compliance activities throughout your workforce. Through real-time data about employees’ performance and rates of compliance, managers using an automated system can keep their teams more accountable.
The service and parts department is only one component of your dealership. Do you know the many other laws that your teams—including sales, F&I, and other consumer-facing employees—need to be aware of? To see a bird’s eye view of regulations across your dealership, click here or visit the Compli blog at www.compli.com/blog.
Toby Graham is Director of Marketing at Compli. She can be reached at Toby.Graham@compli.com. Complí provides a cloud-based solution that manages compliance activities across your workforce. This makes compliance hassle-free, saves you time and money, and protects your business