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Launch of UTSA's Laundry Safety ESP Program Reaches 60,000 Workers

Bruce Beggs |

WASHINGTON — The Uniform and Textile Service Association (UTSA) reports it has successfully launched the Laundry Safety ESP (Effective Solutions + Prevention) program, a safety initiative for the industrial laundry industry.
UTSA and the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) — which earlier this year launched its own safety program called SafeTRSA — are working independently to sharpen the industry’s focus on safety.
The UTSA program debuted in May during the industry’s first Laundry Safety Awareness Month.
Nearly 1,000 industrial laundry and linen supply plants have joined Laundry Safety ESP, says David Hobson, UTSA’s president and chief executive officer, adding that all participating companies implemented a series of interactive review programs for employees to focus on safety awareness, lockout-tagout, confined space and fall protection.
Programs, presenters’ guides and promotional materials for plant facilities were available in English and in Spanish.
“Members of the industry are currently expected to provide all worker safety training required by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA),” Hobson says. “Laundry Safety Awareness Month safety review programs supplemented and reinforced existing employee safety training. However, Laundry Safety ESP is much more than a one-month effort.”
He called the program “a long-term, comprehensive road map to world-class safety for the industrial laundry industry, designed to reduce work-related injuries and illnesses. Our primary means of achieving that goal is helping participating companies go beyond required safety processes in all areas, including training, internal inspections, awareness, safety-related employee activities and general employee involvement in safety issues.”
“Worker safety is a core value of the industry,” says UTSA Chairman Jeffrey L. Wright, who is senior vice president and chief financial officer of G&K Services. “We are very pleased that more than 60,000 laundry plant workers participated in the interactive safety review sessions covering four important topics. The feedback from employee participants and from company managers was very positive.”
The next phases of Laundry Safety ESP will include data collection from participating companies, Hobson says. Development of industry-specific training programs on a variety of safety topics also will be a primary focus.
TRSA recently launched the SafeTRSA website, www.safetrsa.org. The repository of information highlights its new Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) program, which provides operators with extensive, free documentation useful in setting up their own program.
Visitors can find nearly a dozen articles on safety, plus six training resources previously sold by TRSA that can now be downloaded free. A comprehensive bloodborne pathogens compliance program similar to the LOTO program is due to be unveiled soon.
 

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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