Special Topics in Safety Management

Washington L&I isues hazard alert for common carwash chemical

According to research by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ SHARP Program, a chemical commonly used in commercial car and truck washes can be dangerous to the health of people who work with it. What is this chemical, and are your workers ar risk?

A look at workers’ compensation injury reports over a 12-year period from 2001 to 2013 revealed that nearly 50 workers in Washington were burned after coming in contact with hydrofluoric acid-based car and truck wash products. SHARP, an occupational safety and health research program at L&I, found that seven of the injured workers required hospitalization.

According to the L&I press release, the chemical is often used in car and truck wash products to brighten aluminum and roadway grime. About half of those injured worked in commercial car washes; injuries also affected truck drivers and truck wash workers. Read more.