August 1, 2016
Employer name: Swifty Athens LLC, doing business as Swifty Car Wash LLC
Inspection site: 2434 W. Broad St., Athens, Georgia 30606
Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to Swifty Car Wash on July 30 for 10 serious and one other-than-serious safety violations.
Investigation findings: OSHA began an investigation after learning an employee suffered the amputation of two fingers on May 28, 2016, a workplace injury that required hospitalization. The 21-year-old attendant was working near a ventilation fan when he slipped and his hand entered the fan. The fan’s unguarded blades caused the severe injury.
After its investigation, OSHA identified violations that led them to issue serious citations for:
Exposing employees to unguarded machine parts and equipment.
Exposing worker to falls due to missing safety rails.
Not providing appropriate eye protection for employees using corrosive chemicals.
Failing to provide written energy-control procedures to prevent machinery from starting during maintenance and servicing.
Exposing workers to electric shock hazards.
Not developing a written hazard communication for workers handling chemicals.
The other violation was cited for failing to report a work-related hospitalization and amputation to OSHA within 24 hours.
Proposed penalties: $42,700
Quote: “Hoping that no one gets hurt is not a safety program. Every employee deserves a workplace free of hazards that may cause injury, illness or worse. Employers must identify and remove hazards before their workers can get hurt,” said William Fulcher, OSHA’s area director in the Atlanta-East Office. “Even Georgia’s small businesses can receive free consultation services to help find and correct these same hazards. We encourage business owners to go to www.OSHA.gov and visit our consultation assistance page for more information pertaining to the services in your state.”
The citations can be viewed at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/newsroom/newsreleases/OSHA20161547.pdf
The company operates five car wash facilities in Georgia and employs approximately 45 workers. The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Atlanta-East Area Office at 770-493-6644.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.