Disregard for Workers

Nationwide auto services provider exposed workers to potentially deadly electrical hazards at Beachwood Take 5 Car Wash, federal inspectors find

Driven Brands subsidiary faces $256K in penalties for 13 safety, health violations

BEACHWOOD, OH ‒ While the potential deadly risks of mixing electricity and water are well known, Take 5 Car Wash, a Beachwood company operated by a subsidiary of one of the nation’s largest automotive services companies, ignored reports of employees suffering electrical shocks for more than 14 months, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation has found.

In response to a complaint of unsafe working conditions, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an inspection of the car wash in March 2023 and learned that employees were assigned to clean the walls of the facility with high-pressure water near electrical equipment, including a 480-volt electrical panel not rated for wet or damp locations and showing signs of deterioration.

“Our investigation found that Take 5 Car Wash’s management knew that live electrical hazards existed throughout the facility, and that employees suffered electrical shocks repeatedly, yet allowed them to continue working in these conditions and took several weeks to make repairs after a worker suffered electrical shock,” said OSHA Area Director Howard Eberts in Cleveland. “It is unsettling that a company with such vast resources would expose employees to the potentially deadly risks of electrical shock.”

Inspectors also found rusted electrical boxes with live wires, improper use of flexible cords, and restrooms without properly grounded outlets, all of which exposed workers to potential shocks. Additionally, inspectors found multiple energized electrical cabinets and boxes were not guarded to prevent contact with live parts.

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