Rhonda Lindsay of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Ontario shops got a chance to preview the redesigned provincial safety inspection standard this weekend at a jam-packed symposium organized by the Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario (AARO).
The AARO Symposium, held at the Holiday Inn Oakville Centre, in Oakville, Ont., attracted more than 60 attendees for presentations on a wide variety of topics, from workplace safety to the latest in vehicle technology.
The most anticipated presentation was a thorough analysis of changes to the provincial safety inspection standard by Rhonda Lindsay and Robert Stickan of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The inspection is required when vehicles change ownership or are brought into the province.
CARS magazine will offer a more detailed article on the changes to the light vehicle inspection process in the December issue.
The new standard, developed over the past several years, with input from repair shop owners, comes into effect on July 1, 2016.
Lindsay warned shop owners that it may take some time for the 33,000 technicians at 12,000 inspection facilities across the province to get used to the new standards.
“You won’t start using the new standard until next year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start practicing now,” she said.
The new standard was designed with a lot of collaboration from industry.
“The last thing we wanted was a new standard that made sense to government but made no sense to people on the floor,” she said. “So it was field tested. We will still need your feedback once you start to use it.”
Rob Stickan, an investigator with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Stickan said the new standards will be primarily available as a searchable PDF document which will enable technicians to look up specifics very easily.
He covered what is new in all 11 sections of the inspection, including power train, suspension, brakes, steering, and instruments.
The only new piece of equipment that will be required by shops conducting inspections is a window tint measuring device, but that won’t be needed until 2017.
In spring there will be information sessions organized for shop owners and technicians across the province, offering detailed explanations of what the new inspection entails.
“This is the first major change in 40 years and it’s not going to be perfect out of the gate,” Stickan said. “Your feedback will be important to us.”
Mike Cook of the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
In other presentations, Mike Cook, an inspector with the Ontario Ministry of Labour, gave an overview of recent changes that affect small businesses in Ontario.
For example, he pointed out that all critical injuries now need to be reported to the Ministry of Labour – not just those suffered by workers.
That means if a customer falls and breaks their arm on your premises, that needs to be reported as a critical injury. Cook said that’s the kind of thing that often goes unreported because business owners assume only injuries to employees need to be reported.
Another detail that is often overlooked is that businesses with more than six workers must develop a policy with respect to workplace violence and harassment. Furthermore, they must put that policy in writing, have it posted in a visible spot, and review it annually, with a defined process for reporting and investigating incidents.
“We used to leave it at that but we’ve discovered over the years that is a problem. So we are digging in harder,” he said. Now the ministry may want to know details about how incidents are reported and investigated by management, to ensure resolutions are being reached.
“The ministry is very big on this right now,” he said. “It is on our radar, so make sure you have your ducks in a row.”
Cook also gave out training booklets for small businesses aimed at improving health and safety awareness in the workplace.
Mike Butler of Parson’s Protect Air Co. gave an update on the provincial emissions program, Drive Clean, covering the most recent program changes affecting the 1,776 active Drive Clean facilities in the province.
Joe McQuaid of Pace Consulting Benefits and Pensions, offered some facts about the proposed Ontario Registered Pension Plan – although he prefaced his remarks with a caution that everything could change, depending on the results of today’s election.
Robert Cairns, of Cairn Control Systems, gave a presentation on the state of facility security systems, with a particular examination of camera technology.
Malcolm Sissmore, of Delphi, outlines telematics opportunities for aftermarket shops.
Malcolm Sissmore, of Delphi, offered an overview on telematics and the potential opportunities for the aftermarket.
He encouraged repair shops to adopt a four-pronged approach to integrating telematics into their businesses:
1) Practice over-the-phone diagnostics, which will be increasingly important as consumers have immediate access to vehicle data;
2) Embrace telematics-connected customers who have reports they could make available to you as a trusted service provider;
3) Segment your customers according to who are more likely to need or want a telematics solution from you.
4) Investigate the viability of offering a plug-in telematics program; and
5) Get ready for the future when embedded telematics data is on every car.
Tom Deans, author of Every Family’s Business, and Willing Wisdom.
The day ended with a presentation on business succession by best-selling author Tom Dean, whose books Every Family Business and Willing Wisdom were given away to all attendees.
The AARO Symposium is expected to become an annual event. The association’s first efforts were praised as a good model for future symposiums.