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Survey: Vast Majority of Operators Stay on Top of Safety Programs

CHICAGO — Workplace safety remains a top priority among institutional and industrial laundry managers and administrators, based on data from this month’s American Laundry News Wire survey.

For roughly 41% of respondents, it’s been more than 24 months since they last recorded a lost-time injury—a nonfatal traumatic injury that caused any loss of time from work beyond the day/shift during which it occurred—in their operation.

Only a small percentage (4.5%) have recorded a lost-time injury within the last 30 days, while other operations report having gone longer periods of time since their last such incident: one to six months ago, 18.2%; seven to 12 months ago, 13.6%; and 13 to 18 months ago, 9.1%. No one who responded to the survey reported having logged a lost-time injury 19 to 24 months ago.

Roughly 14% of respondents said they “don’t know” when the last lost-time injury was recorded in their operation.

The vast majority of laundry managers and administrators polled—90.9%—report that they provide safety training/testing as part of a new employee’s orientation to their laundry/linen services operation, as well as continuing safety education or training for workers.

“Proper body mechanics and safety lock-outs are the most important things for us,” says one respondent to the anonymous survey. Another describes the structure of his/her workplace safety program, saying, “We have a corporate safety manager, and each plant has a safety officer.”

Have you ever sought assistance from a consultant or other knowledgeable industry resource to visit your plant and assess its safety? Only slightly more than one-third of respondents (36.4%) to this month’s survey say they have sought such help to make their laundry/linen services operation safer.

More than three-quarters of respondents (77.3%) say their operation has never been fined by a regulatory agency for a safety violation during their tenure. Roughly 14% have been fined, and 9.1% of respondents “don’t know” if they’ve been fined.

A blocked electrical panel was the nature of one violation that drew a fine. Another manager explained that his/her operation’s citation stemmed from having “no tool rest on a grinder.”

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each month. All managers and administrators of institutional/OPL, cooperative, commercial and industrial laundries are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

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Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected] .