News & Views

Local Car Wash Workers deserving of a Bravery Award (…or wet behind the ears!)

DC
BY Douglas Cameron
Health & Safety
BG Orange

I decided to be lazy recently one Saturday morning. Well I deserved a ‘flumpy’ day. Garden tidy and looking good, shopping done a few days ago.

Oh drat, the car is filthy driving onto those construction sites! I deserve a treat…

I’ll take the car to the local car wash, it’s only a few minutes down the road and I can pretend, if anyone asks,…”of course I washed it myself”.

A very nice man greeted me as I asked for a Number Three. Then, ‘bang’, as two pressure jets hit both sides of my car at the same time. After the initial shock, I sat back to enjoy others doing my usual job.

As the water cleared from the windscreen I was shocked to see two guys happily operating the pressure jets with no form of personal protection at all. A public car wash and no one seems to notice.

Safety Helmet, Water Proof Gauntlets, Heavy Duty Water-Proof Overalls, Hearing Protection, Face Shield or Safety Boots? Nope, you have guessed it, none.

I glanced at the two large compressors…wonder when you were last inspected?

And as I left realizing even on a relaxing Saturday, safety thoughts seem to follow me about, I wondered if these guys even realised the danger in what they were doing.

The pattern of tissue damage from a high pressure water injury can be as extensive as a gunshot wound, with small entry and large exit points.

There is a high probability of infection from these injuries, as contaminants can be driven deep into the surrounding tissue travelling along visceral planes, nerves or tendon sheaths, resulting in vascular compression and local necrosis which could eventually lead to amputation.

Perhaps enforcement officers need to have a lazy Saturday and clean this danger up, before it is a mess that can’t be washed away.

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