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California’s Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) is a coalition of California state agencies formed in 2012 to combat the underground economy. The task force operates under the direction of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and conducts monthly inspections in high-risk industries. LETF member partners include DIR divisions Cal/OSHA and the Labor Commissioner’s Office, officially known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Contractors State License Board, the Employment Development Department, the California Department of Insurance, the Bureau of Automotive Repair, Alcoholic Beverage Control and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

This week, California’s Labor Enforcement Task Force has discovered safety violations during targeted inspections that put workers in immediate danger of fatal and serious injuries, including amputation and lacerations. The task force issued orders shutting down dangerous machinery at seven high-risk work sites in Southern California, including four car wash and three manufacturing businesses.

At four car washes, task force inspectors discovered that industrial water extractors for towels did not have functioning interlock devices to stop the machines when the door is unlocked or open. Inspectors issued stop orders known as Orders Prohibiting Use to Pasadena Auto Wash, Baldwin Park Hand Car Wash and Star Auto Spa in El Monte, and Fair Oaks Car Wash in Altadena.

Cal/OSHA removed the stop orders at Pasadena Auto Wash and Fair Oaks Car Wash after the machinery was adequately repaired. The other two businesses have not corrected the hazards.

Inspectors also cited Baldwin Park Hand Car Wash $6,000 for violation of child labor laws after finding minors working in dangerous occupations. “LETF monitors not only for safety violations, but also for violations of wage, tax and licensing laws,” added LETF Chief Dominic Forrest. “We issue stop orders when we find hazards that require immediate action to prevent serious injury and we also offer information that helps employers understand and follow their responsibilities.”

Imminent safety hazards were also discovered when LETF inspected three manufacturing companies located in Santa Ana: Maximum Security Safes, Trinity Window Fashions and Pierre’s Fine Carpentry. Inspectors issued orders to shut down woodworking table saws that were not properly guarded. The orders were subsequently lifted after the hazards were corrected.

LETF inspectors also issued stop-work orders and cited Trinity Window Fashions $3,000 and Pierre’s Fine Carpentry $1,500 for failure to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. The orders were lifted after the companies provided proof of insurance.