County Durham car wash closed over concerns for staff welfare

Credit: Durham Police

A County Durham car wash has been temporarily stopped from trading following concerns over working conditions.

Police carried out a visit to A T Car Wash Ltd in the village of Pickering Nook on Wednesday 15 June, after concerns were raised over the welfare of staff and working conditions.

The visit, carried out alongside at the National Crime Agency, Health and Safety Executive and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, found several hazards including live wires hanging from ceilings and badly burnt plugs.

The owner has been issued with a prohibition notice to temporarily stop them from being operating until the faults have been resolved.

The owner has been issued with a prohibition notice to temporarily stop them from being operating until the faults have been resolved. Credit: Durham Police

Kevin Benson, the Government Agency Intelligence Network co-ordinator from North East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU), said: "This is another fantastic operation alongside our partners which has seen more workers protected from harmful working conditions that not only endanger them but the lives of customers.

"This type of robust action will continue and this Prohibition Notice reinforces the messages that anyone found to be exploiting people or putting people at risk will face the consequences of their actions.

"I want to thank those who reported their concerns, and I would ask members of the public to continue to help us and act as our eyes and ears in the community.

"If you see something suspicious, or you have concerns about someone’s welfare, you should always report it."

Officials from Health Safety Executive (HSE) visited the site and identified several dangerous electrical faults putting workers and customers at risk.

HSE served a prohibition notice to stop the use of the dangerous electrical systems. The notice stops the car wash from operating until the identified faults have been resolved.

HSE inspector Ash Ali said: “Electrical systems must be installed and maintained by trained professionals. The electrical system we found at the car wash was extremely poor and could have resulted in someone being seriously injured or killed.”

Members of the public who have concerns about local businesses or individuals who might be at risk of exploitation are asked to call the police on 101.