Operator charged after car wash fatality

A service station operator has been charged following the death of a customer using an automatic car wash at Springvale in November 2019.


The 73-year-old Mulgrave man had driven into the car wash before walking out to re-enter an access code.

As the man attempted to get back into his vehicle he was crushed when the wash cycle started and his car door was struck by a gantry.

He died from his injuries in hospital three days later.

WorkSafe has charged Chevron Australia Downstream Fuels Pty Ltd with four breaches of section 26(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to ensure a workplace was safe and without risks to health.

It's alleged Chevron failed to:

  • Erect signs instructing car occupants not to leave their vehicle while the car wash was in operation.
  • Fit anti-collision bars or other controls to detect impending contact between the car wash's moving parts and obstacles present in the wash bay.
  • Remove protruding brackets from inside the gantry legs.
  • Install boom gates that would only allow entry to the wash bay after a valid access code was entered.

The matter is listed for a filing hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 2 December 2021.