OSHA Proposes $62,500 in Fines Against Splash Handwash
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 OSHA Proposes $62,500 in Fines Against Splash Handwash

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OSHA Proposes $62,500 in Fines Against Splash Handwash

:: 02 October, 2009

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Splash Handwash in Fairfield, Conn., for $62,500 in fines after investigating an employee injury at the carwash. OSHA proposed the fines for alleged "repeat and serious violations of safety standards,” according to a press release. The carwash facility is operated by Clearwater Management Inc.

A Splash employee suffered foot and ankle injuries after he became caught in an unguarded opening on an operating conveyor track, according to OSHA investigators. The opening should have been covered or guarded to prevent employees from getting caught in the conveyor, OSHA officials said.

“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, Conn. "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 issued the company 11 serious citations ($29,500 in proposed fines) for the unguarded conveyor opening, as well as 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 valves on air compressors; and lack of an emergency eyewash for employees working with corrosive cleaners, the release said.

Three repeat citations, carrying $30,000 in fines, were issued for lack of eye and face protection for a worker spraying chemical cleaners and for not training workers on chemical hazards and required personal protective equipment.

OSHA cited the company in 2008 for similar hazards at Splash locations in Norwalk and Greenwich, Conn. Five other citations, totaling $3,000 in fines, were issued for incomplete and uncertified injury and illness logs.

Clearwater Management had 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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