- Written by Rich Fitzmorris
Question: What is a good industry standard for soiled weight vs. clean weight in terms of percentage of poundage higher as soiled. I've been told as low as 6% and as high as 10 - 11% I work in a health care setting so what would be the situations that might make this be off 3 - 4 % from one hospital to the next? Thanks,
- David L Lindsay, Regional Director of Environmental Services/Linen Services Franciscan Health System, Tacoma, WA
Answer: David, Thank you for your excellent question. Comparisons' relating to soil vs. clean linen weight has always been a controversial issue. Many factors should be taken into account when determining an appropriate soil / clean analysis:
- Amount of garbage in your soil linen (disposable chucks, paper, etc.)
- Types of patients (high elderly incontinent patient population).
- Teaching facility performing heaving surgical procedures such as open heart, hip replacement, OB, utilizing reusable surgical linens?
- Community Hospital with few surgical procedures?
- Surgical procedures using a majority of disposables?
- Use of resuable adult underpads and/or diapers vs. disposables
Soil weight factors range from 5% to 12% depending on your type of facility. If you start with 5% as an average, add ½ % for heavy garbage, ½ % for heavy mix of elderly patients, 2% for a teaching facility utilizing reusable O.R. linens, and 2% for use of adult underpads. Of course these calculations are "rule of thumb". Why not take 5 carts of soiled linen (with an average hospital mix), and then weigh the contents; remove garbage, launder goods, and finally re-weigh to achieve an average for your institution.
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Laundry to Reduce Air Emmissions and Fund Cleaner Burning Wood Stove Purchases
BOSTON, Mass. — Alltex Uniform Rental Service, an industrial laundry in Manchester, N.H. has agreed to settle claims by the US Environmental Protection Agency that it violated the Clean Air Act by paying a civil penalty of $65,000. They will also be undertaking a Supplemental Environmental Project with a value of at least $220,000 to replace old, polluting wood stoves in southern New Hampshire with new, cleaner models. Additionally, the company will install equipment at its facility to remove approximately 20 tons per year of emissions of volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”). G&K Services is the parent company of Alltex Uniform Rental Service Inc. The EPA action grew out of an EPA inspection of the facility in July 2008.