Take 5 Car Wash workers exposed to deadly electrical hazards, feds say

The Department of Labor said employees at an Ohio location were "exposed daily to electrical hazards likely to result in electrocution."
Car in a car wash.
Posted at 10:56 AM, Sep 11, 2023

The Department of Labor said a Take 5 Car Wash "repeatedly ignored reports of employees suffering electrical shocks for more than 14 months" at one of its Ohio locations. 

The agency said it investigated a location in Beachwood, Ohio. Inspectors said employees were subjected to rusted electrical boxes with live wires, improper use of flexible cords, and restrooms without properly grounded outlets. The Department of Labor said employees were "exposed daily to electrical hazards likely to result in electrocution when working near unguarded live parts of car wash equipment."

Inspectors found multiple energized electrical cabinets, and boxes were not guarded to prevent contact with live parts, the Department of Labor said. 

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All told, the location was cited for 13 safety violations. 

“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.”

The Department of Labor issued a fine of over $256,000 against the company. 

Take 5's parent company, Driven Brands Inc., is also the parent company of Meineke Car Care Centers, Maaco and other auto service brands. Driven Brands operates nearly 5,000 stores throughout the U.S. 

According to an August investor report, the company is expected to have $2.3 billion in revenue this year, bringing in over $500 million in earnings.