Commercial Laundry Care Safety and Health Tips

A survey by the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) found that laundry work can be far more dangerous than many people realize.

The researchers found that commercial laundry work -- performed in hotels, hospitals, schools, as well as by cleaning professionals maintaining cleaning cloths, mops, etc. -- can include such hazards as handling laundry soiled with biological materials and contact with potentially dangerous chemicals.

Recognizing the risks involved with commercial laundry tasks, the following Safe and Healthy Laundry Tips are from AlturaSolutions Communications, a Chicago-based Communications firm. They are designed to help protect laundry workers in all types of commercial settings:

  • If provided, always read and understand the material safety data sheets (MSDSs) accompanying commercial laundry care products.
  • Follow the manufacturer's directions for use.
  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including protective clothing, gloves, and safety glasses.
  • Shoes should have a non-slip sole when working around slippery water and soaps.
  • Always keep laundry care products in their original containers and close the containers immediately after use.
  • Know what to do in case of an accident. Have the U.S. Poison Control Center phone number (1-800-222-1222) close at hand, as well as the product manufacturer's emergency phone number.
  • Clean up spills of laundry care products as they happen and immediately wash hands.
  • Try using less laundry detergent than recommended; some studies suggest that often too much detergent is used. This is not only wasteful, costly, and potentially harmful to the environment but can possibly damage washing machines and cause mold and mildew to develop.

Commercial laundry facilities also should consider transferring to green-certified laundry care products. While safety precautions still apply, if used properly, green-certified laundry products should be safer and have less impact on the user and the environment.

(The survey was reported in August 2011.)

AlturaSolutiions Communications, Inc., based in Chicago, is a communications, public relations, consulting, and marketing firm working specifically within the jan/san, hospitality, school, health care, and building industries. To contact the company, call 773-525-3021 or email [email protected]

Posted by Robert Kravitz on May 02, 2013