Lockout / Tagout Systems and Car Wash Safety

The Guardian Wash Control System, and the Tommy Car Wash Systems equipment line as a whole, incorporate lockout/tagout (LOTO) devices and procedures as a critical part of both routine and urgent car wash maintenance activities.

If you aren’t familiar with lockout or tagout programs, the systems comply with OSHA Subpart J, 29 CFR 1910.147 “The Control of Hazardous Energy” and use either locks or tags to physically disable a powered device or system (including electrical, air powered, or hydraulic systems) so that that part of the car wash is unable to engage (power up) until the staff member who locked it is finished with their work, returns to a safe area, and removes the lock or tag from the system.

For those who have worked with them, the extra steps that LOTO involve when performing car wash maintenance can seem burdensome or over-the-top. But in the car wash tunnel or backroom, strict adherence to LOTO procedures is important for more than OSHA compliance. These procedures keep employees safe and prevent potentially deadly accidents every single day.

Car wash equipment is extremely powerful, involving high pressures, moving parts, and various voltages contained in a wet and potentially slippery environment complete with hoses (potential tripping hazards) and even a conveyor pit for good measure. Without a LOTO system in use employees working on equipment could potentially find themselves surprised or in a terrible situation with scant seconds of notice if a co-worker doesn’t realize where they are and what they are working on.

These hazards are real, and it doesn’t take long to locate real-world instances where poor, ignored, or lacking safety procedures resulted in employees suffering serious physical harm on the job. If you are in the process of developing your own car wash you must take the time to thoroughly review the appropriate regulations before developing comprehensive safety procedures and a training regimen to share them with your staff.

And, beyond these foundational steps, share with your team the principles and mindset of good car wash safety so that they are able to think, plan, and adapt to new or unexpected situations on their own. The physical well-being of your employees and customers must remain a core concern.

To learn more about the Guardian Wash Command system or to configure your own, visit washcommand.com.

Tommy Car Wash Systems

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