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A car wash attendant dies when pulled into a side arm rotating brush in a car wash.

Public Health Institute
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 05CA004, 2005 Nov; :1-5
A 23-year-old Hispanic car wash attendant died when he was pulled into a side-arm rotating brush in a car wash. The victim was washing down the floor of the car wash tunnel with a hose. He had turned on the car wash equipment in the tunnel to flood the floor to make it easier to clean. The hose the victim was using got caught in the side-arm brush and it pulled him into the rotating motion of the brush. The company did not have a specific lockout/tagout program or a written wash down procedure that indicated that the wash equipment must be turned off when employees enter the tunnel to clean the floor. The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers, as part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), should: 1. Develop and implement an audit and inspection program. 2. Develop and implement a lockout/tagout program for the car wash. In addition: 3. Owners of older car washes should consider modifying their systems with updated safety equipment.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Equipment-operators; Warning-devices
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-05CA004; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008468
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division