Next time you want to give employees a reminder about the hazards of loose clothing around machinery, you might want to use this story.
A car wash employee in Easthampton, MA, was nearly strangled when her scarf got caught in a rotating scrubber brush.
The brush latched onto Stephanie Carpluk’s scarf, cinched it tight and prevented her from breathing, according to The Republican.
Carpluk says she was walking through the car wash tunnel at the Golden Nozzle, on her way to the office to get change, when the incident happened.
She was rescued from the scrubber by a car wash customer. He jumped out of his car as it was going through the car wash, cut Carpluk free using a pocket knife, and performed mouth-to-mouth to restore her breathing.
Carpluk spent three days in a hospital and is recuperating at home. She has bruises around her neck and under her eyes.
OSHA has already visited the car wash to investigate.
Golden Nozzle owner Steven Roberts says his company has a policy regarding what employees should wear.
Carpluk said she often wore her scarf to work.
An incident involving a scarf is certainly rare. Loose-fitting shirt sleeves, pant legs or dangling jewelry are more likely to cause a problem that could lead to serious injury or even death.
While OSHA’s machine guarding regulations don’t address loose clothing or jewelry, if a company doesn’t address such hazards in its safety plan, it could be cited under the General Duty Clause.