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Routine Safety Checks Are Worth The Effort

Newton, Iowa - Survival of the fittest is a basic rule of thumb. To laundry managers it means that they must actively seek opportunities to enhance their facility's reputation, while fully utilizing the facility's resources for the good of their customers. Those goals can be met by keeping a properly maintained and safe laundry.

One way to work towards keeping your laundry fit, working at its maximum potential and safe for employees is to conduct timely safety checks. Although this may seem like a standard component of any laundry's operating procedure, it often seems to be the most neglected. In a small establishment, manpower is lacking, and in large, high-volume facilities, time is the issue.

EQUIPMENT INSPECTION

A routine safety check, or facility walk-thru, will not only alert you to any safety hazards, but also to preventative maintenance needs. While inspecting laundry equipment, it is important to take note of whether or not the machinery and its safety devices are functioning properly or if there is anything out of the ordinary. For example, when you lift the lid of a running washing machine, does it stop spinning or does it remain in motion? An employee who inadvertently sticks a hand or arm in a spinning washtub could easily suffer serious injury. You should also look to see if any broken ground wires have been left exposed as a result of the equipment being moved, which could result in electric shock. And inspect your machinery to see if there is any unnecessary dust or lint built-up around a motor, burner or drain, which could result in motors over-heating or a potential fire or flood.

 

Once all safety areas have been inspected, continue to take advantage of this opportunity to take note of the overall condition of the machinery and its components. Do any of the belts look worn? Is lubrication needed? This can help you to identify minor repairs before they turn into major expenses.

CLEANLINESS

Cleanliness is also a key factor in keeping your facility safe and running at its potential. It can make the difference between meeting your laundry goals for the day or having to deal with that untimely flood or equipment fire, caused by dust and lint build up. Some keys to easy and effective cleaning are equipment placement and proper lighting. If logistically possible, washers and dryers that have a clear path behind them are easier to be kept clean. The wider path allows more room to place pipes and vents as well as the ability to access this area to clean out unwanted debris. Dark and dingy areas are less likely to be cleaned. Many of us tend to fall into the misconception of, "If I can't see it, then there must not be a need."

 

PROPER LIGHTING

Proper lighting not only makes cleaning easier, but a well-lit laundry offers other advantages. In a well-lit laundry you will be able to clearly see a discoloration or stain that is present on the laundry, which will immediately alert laundry staff that additional cleaning measures need to be taken. It also enables staff to more easily detect standing water or spilled detergent on the floor which could lead to a slip or fall.

 

COMMUNICATION

If a safety concern does arise or if a machine is out of order, it is good practice to have an outlined process for staff to follow when communicating this information. Provide your laundry staff with the tools, e.g., repair or accident report forms, maintenance log, a suggestion box, to get their needs, ideas and concerns across. In turn, you can address these comments in a timely manner.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.

“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”

“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”

Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.

“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”