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Region 1 News Release:    09-1134-BOS/BOS 2009-308
Thurs., Sept. 24, 2009
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074


Splash Handwash faces nearly $63,000 in U.S. Labor Department OSHA fines following worker injury at Fairfield, Conn., carwash

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Clearwater Management Inc., doing business as Splash Handwash, for alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards and proposed a total of $62,500 in fines after an employee was injured at the company's Fairfield, Conn., carwash.

OSHA found the worker suffered foot and ankle injuries after he became caught in an unguarded opening on the operating conveyor track that moves vehicles through the carwash. OSHA's inspection found that the opening should have been covered or guarded to prevent employees from being caught in the conveyor.

"You might not think of a carwash as a particularly dangerous workplace, but hazards can be present in any workplace if the proper safeguards are not provided and maintained," said Robert Kowalski, OSHA's area director in Bridgeport. "In this case, in addition to the unguarded conveyor opening, OSHA identified mechanical, chemical, electrical and other hazards associated with the equipment and chemicals used in carwashes."

As a result of its inspection, OSHA has issued the company 11 serious citations, carrying $29,500 in proposed fines, for the unguarded conveyor opening and the following conditions: uncovered electrical outlets in wet areas; misused extension cords; energized grounding terminals; a locked emergency exit; a too narrow exit aisle; unmarked exit doors; tripping hazards from uneven concrete and hoses and cords lying in work areas; unguarded belts and pulleys and untested safety val