Health And Safety In The Commercial Laundry Industry
The commercial laundry industry has like most industries, had to change its attitude to the way it carries out its operation by a strong adherence to a strong health and safety regime. This is not only because there are several legal requirements in the commercial laundry operation but also because it is a safe and efficient way of operation. A good adherence to a good health and safety operation will not only please the workforce it will invariably reduce the cost of operation and clean up. It is no longer acceptable to consider that everything is safe as laundry can be contaminated prior to leaving the customer and its soiled condition can be transferred to washing equipment and then both operators and other laundry very quickly. The checking system starts at the beginning and the source of the washing should be checked for any stray problems. These can be from minor problems through to blood and airborne pathogens and these must be dealt with correctly. If in doubt then make sure that there is a separation of products from different customers and different items. Firstly the laundry staff must be protected from coming into direct contact with soiled laundry and if there is any chance of airborne contamination the laundry must be covered throughout the period where the operator can be at risk. This is particularly important where washing from such places as hospitals and care homes are regularly dealt with. In these environments there must be a good separation and in certain cases a completely different production line. All the containers should be lined and linings discarded after use and containers regularly cleaned and all chutes cleaned and disinfected on a standard basis. The washing machines available these days can deal with almost all contaminants and the programmes are such that they can vary between a complete range of products and amount of soiling. There are some excellent soap and detergent injectors which can provide the correct amounts of the appropriate fluid to the wash. There is a serious waste water issue that must be addressed as there are very strict environmental rules as to what and how much of any waste product can be discharged into the waste system. Fortunately the good equipment suppliers are set up to advise on these issues and can clarify what is required or what the rules are, they are also available to advise on the best equipment for the purpose.