- Created on Wednesday, 02 November 2005 16:45
- Written by Kim Shady
Developing a Training Program Promotes Efficiency
Wouldn’t it be scary if we just let 16 year-olds drive without taking driver’s education? It’s just as scary as letting an employee operate equipment without proper training. By implementing a training program, you will experience fewer workplace accidents, lower employee absenteeism, lower machine downtime and you may even save money on your Worker’s Compensation premiums.
A good place to start when developing a training program is with your laundry equipment distributor. Many offer training on the equipment you purchased. Require that that every employee who will come in contact with the laundry equipment attends this training. Also, manufacturers typically include operation manuals with new washer-extractors and tumblers. You can use these manuals as a guide to develop an on-going training program.
Some repetitive tasks can become monotonous and this monotony breeds complacency. Along with complacency comes the potential for not paying attention to established safety procedures. To help combat this, train employees in more than one area of the laundry room and rotate them throughout the shift.
When it comes to training, the best things come in threes. It’s generally recommended that you verbally present the main training points twice and to reinforce it, post signage in the laundry room highlighting the key aspects.
Through continuous training you not only show your commitment to your employees, but you ensure the efficiency of your laundry room.
Keep Equipment Working in Good Condition
Accidents can occur when equipment isn’t properly maintained. By creating a preventative maintenance schedule and sticking with it, you increase your department’s efficiency, reduce the risk of injury and illness, minimize unscheduled interruptions and prevent larger more costly repairs.
In addition to training, to help employees avoid injury while using laundry room equipment, there are certain things to look for. Listed below is partial list of general maintenance/safety tips. Consult with your distributor for a complete list.
- Include on the dryer maintenance schedule steps to ensure your equipment has unrestricted airflow. While you may clean the dryer lint screen several times a day, it is equally important that at least once a month the entire exhaust duct is inspected. A restricted exhaust duct from lint reduces airflow and increases the chances of creating an unsafe condition. In addition to the exhaust duct, it’s recommended that every six months you vacuum behind the tumbler.
- Perform safety checks on tumblers. Try opening the door during the dry cycle. The machine should stop when the door is opened.
- Remove hot laundry. Always unload a tumbler immediately after cycle completion. Never leave a hot load sit in a tumbler or laundry cart unattended.
- Throw out rags. If you have rags that have been used to clean up or apply a chemical, don’t wash or dry them. For safety reasons its best to throw them out.
- Use tumblers for intended purposes. To reduce the risk of fire don’t dry plastics, articles containing foam rubber, rags contaminated with gasoline or other flammable solvents or mop heads.
- Every 200 hours of use grease the bearing and seals using a manufacturer recommended grease.
- On a daily basis look for leaks. Besides the obvious puddle on the floor, inspect hoses for water and chemical leaks. Don’t use the equipment until it is repaired by your service technician.
- Every three months, check the belt condition, clean water inlet screens and inspect anchor bolts.
- Check the door interlock. When testing the door interlock, attempt to start the machine with the door open, close the door and without locking it, attempt to start the machine. If the equipment starts during either of these tests, contact your service technician. Also, try opening the door during the wash cycle. The door should stay locked.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Never under any circumstances operate your washer-extractor if any of the following conditions are present: There is excessively high water in the laundry room area and if the machine is not connected to a properly grounded circuit.
In addition to implementing and posting a preventative maintenance checklist and safety procedures, post clear directions for operating conditions such as start-up and shut down procedures.
With rising healthcare costs on the job injuries need to be prevented. No matter the size of your on-premises laundry through proper training, maintenance, and by working with your staff and distributor, you can design and operate a laundry room that is safe, efficient and productive.
Kim Shady, National Sales Manager for UniMac has worked in the commercial laundry industry for more than 18 years.
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.”