Safety issues revealed as checks are carried out at Hartlepool car washes
Health and safety issues surrounding electrical equipment were uncovered at Hartlepool car washes in checks aimed at keeping staff from harm.
Officers from Hartlepool Community Safety Team were part of multi-agency visits to two car washes in the town on Thursday, September 5.
The inspections were launched to check they were running safe working practices and ensure that there were no safeguarding issues for employees.
The operation was carried out alongside the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Cleveland Fire Brigade, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), the RSPCA and the Environment Agency.
Police say no safeguarding issues were found on these visits but action was taken by the HSE at both car washes.
Sergeant Adrian Dack, from the Hartlepool Community Safety Team, said: “Today’s operation was carried out alongside partner agencies with the aim of identifying any safeguarding issues and to ensure safe working practices at two car washes in Hartlepool.
“As a result of today’s action, no safeguarding issues were found, however, action was taken by the HSE relating to the electrical systems being used.
“We would always encourage anyone who may have concerns regarding safeguarding issues or working practices at local car washes, to get in touch with police on 101.
“People can also use the Safe Car Wash app to report any concerns.”
Cleveland Police and Cleveland Anti-Slavery Network, which was established by Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, support and promote the free app.
Users answer questions, including some about workers’ behaviour and appearance, which could reveal those working in the car wash are victims of modern slavery.
Members of the public are also asked if workers are wearing protective gloves and suitable clothing and to enter details about how the car wash is run.
This includes if the manager seems controlling and if minors appear to be working there.
Police say it is important people use the app when at the car wash so it can log the location and that people make sure they enter the car wash name.
Concerns can be raised anonymously.
More information is available via www.theclewerinitiative.org/safecarwash
Anyone who has concerns about human trafficking or forced labour can call 08000 121 700 or in an emergency 999.