A Brief Q&A: Can Service Technicians Wear Shorts?

I am asked this question a lot this time of year because the temperatures are rising. Here are a few things dealers should think about before letting their service technicians wear shorts.


As of right now, there are no rules that expressly forbid technicians from working in shorts in the shop.


However, the requirement for personal protective equipment stipulates in the first section that in the event of a hazard, the employee must be safeguarded by it. 1910.132(a) The


When it comes to dangers posed by processes, the environment, chemicals, radioactivity, or mechanical irritants that could injure or impair the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation, or physical contact, protective gear, including personal protective equipment for the eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, must be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable manner.


It’s ultimately up to you to decide.  It is acceptable for the technicians to wear shorts if the dealership determines that doing so does not put workers in danger.


It is crucial to remember that eliminating the additional skin protection could leave workers’ legs vulnerable to burns, chemicals, cuts, and other injuries.  Consequently, while enforcing a shorts policy, consideration should be given to the technician’s use of cutting tools, exposure to chemicals in the detail area, or work in the body shop near shattered glass or jagged metal.


However, keep a watch on your data. The dealership may wish to reevaluate the related risks and reconsider the policy if the frequency of these injuries rises after the policy’s adoption.


Other considerations for the summertime heat in the shop include:


Shoes for Summer: Leave the Flip-Flops at Home


Continue wearing non-slip footwear; the service and detail departments shouldn’t allow sandals or open-toed shoes.


In the Shop: Fans


Workers frequently bring fans inside to keep cool throughout the heat. It is your responsibility as an employer to ensure that the workplace is safe and that these extra fans do not pose a risk to employees’ safety.  Fans with exposed blades or belts without guards are things to watch out for.  These fans need to be taken out of the shop or fixed or repaired.  Additionally, fans shouldn’t be run in the lower eighteen inches of the store.  This is to ensure that combustible vapors that descend to the ground, such as propane, brake clean, and gasoline, are not ignited by the fans.


Keep in mind that OSHA is able to conduct inspections on days when the heat index is above 80°F.


Elevated summertime temperatures present a distinct set of difficulties that, if not properly managed, may result in heat-related illnesses and, in the worst situations, employee fatalities. It is crucial to remain informed about heat illness now that OSHA is implementing a National Emphasis Plan.


View our in-depth information on avoiding heat illness >


Keep your cool outside. And be careful!

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