[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]   Chairman's Message

“I'm from the Government...”

Posted 1/16/2001
By Howard Lewis, AAM

Howard Lewis With tongue in cheek, Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative, likes to say, “I'm from the government and I'm here to help.”

As business owners, particularly shop owners, you and I are subject to a number of government regulations. I was reminded of this when a representative from the State of Washington's Department of Labor and Industries (DLI) paid a surprise inspection visit to my shop in November. The Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA), which was enacted way back in 1973, gives the DLI the authority to “ensure that Washington's employers provide a safe and healthful workplace for their employees.”

The longer I'm in this business and the more experiences I pile up, the more I appreciate ASA and what it means to my business. I was ready when the DLI inspector unexpectedly showed up at my shop. I was ready because when I first joined ASA, the New Member Handbook I received contained information on how to comply with worker safety regulations. I was ready because ASA has conducted shop safety programs.

It's important to note that there's a difference between having information vs. doing something with it. Had I not implemented the safety procedures and precautions that I learned from ASA, I undoubtedly could have received substantial fines from the DLI inspector.

My shop was not perfect. The inspector pointed out two minor infractions. But, because I had obviously taken the steps necessary to ensure a safe shop, he gave me a chance to correct the problems rather than issuing a fine.

Another important point the inspector shared with me was this - my attitude made a difference. I did not treat the inspector like he was the enemy. Rather, I welcomed him into my shop and made it clear that I want to do everything possible to provide a safe workplace for my employees. In short, my attitude made a difference.

The mission of WISHA is to “save lives, prevent injuries and illnesses, and protect the safety and health of Washington's workers.” Because I share this mission - my conscience won't allow anything less - the surprise inspection was painless. I was shown two potential problem areas that could easily be corrected and thereby further ensure that my employees have a safe environment.

After this experience, I can tell Bob Redding that it's sometimes true, the government is here to help.

ASA Turning 50
Later this year, ASA will officially turn 50 years old. You can look forward to retrospective coverage in the May issue of AutoInc. Because this is the first issue published in our anniversary year, we didn't want this milestone to pass without some fanfare. Please be sure to read Don Seyfer's guest editorial. Don is a former chairman who remains very active in our industry. His knowledge and insight helps us understand how ASA makes each of our working days better.

share your thoughts...


What do you think of this article? Your input will help AutoInc. develop additional articles on this subject. Share your thoughts!

Your name

Your e-mail address



[an error occurred while processing this directive]


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

AutoInc. Web Site | ASA Web Site | Transmission Fluid, Pressure and Problems | E-commerce and Its Influence on the Collision Repair Industry | The Future of Shop Web Sites | AutoInc.'s Annual Top 10 Automotive Web Sites | Guest Editorial | Tech to Tech | Tech Tips | Shop Profile | Net Worth | Stat Corner | Chairman's Message

[an error occurred while processing this directive]