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TRSA: Textile Services Safety Data Highlights Importance of Association Membership

Staff Writer |

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Comparing Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) members’ workplace safety performance metrics with recently released incident rates for the textile services industry as a whole indicates that members are benefiting substantially from TRSA efforts to foster enhanced safety management practices, the association reports.

Industrywide, 2012 incident rates calculated by the federal Department of Labor are as much as 65% higher than those of TRSA members in the same year.

Data published in January by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, a Labor Department agency) covering the entire linen and uniform supply (LUS) business contained noticeably higher rates than the TRSA survey of members taken earlier:

  • LUS total reported incident rate (TRIR) of 6.2 incidents per 100 full-time workers vs. 5, or 24% higher.
  • LUS days away from work, reassignment and transfer (DART) rate, 4.4 per 100 full-time workers vs. 3.5, or 26% higher.
  • Industrial laundry segment of LUS: TRIR, 6 vs. 4, or 50% higher.
  • Industrial laundry, DART, 4.3 vs. 2.6, or 65% higher

Especially in the last decade, with the introduction of SafeTRSA online safety training resources, TRSA has enhanced member interaction on workplace injury and illness issues, the association says.

“We are pleased with our members’ response to TRSA efforts to foster enhanced safety management practices, and our annual survey has quantified their success,” says TRSA President and CEO Joseph Ricci. “Our track record of incident reduction indicates we continue to reduce risk and make headway in achieving zero-injury workplaces.”

From 2008 to 2012, TRSA survey respondents’ TRIR fell 36% and their DART rate dropped 33%, progressing toward that goal. It’s ambitious given LUS companies’ heavy-duty machinery and steep manual material-handling requirements in laundries and on the road making deliveries and pickups. The TRIR for all U.S. industry is 3.4, about one-third less than TRSA’s. In manufacturing, which faces safety challenges similar to those of large-scale laundering, TRIR is 4.3, only about 14% less.

Two years ago, TRSA introduced an annual Safety Summit meeting for industry executives to collaborate on new solutions to persistent risks such as driver safety, ergonomics, bloodborne pathogens and hazard communication. Facilitated discussions at these meetings develop best practices and policies: tangible, immediately applicable tactics participants use to enhance their companies’ safety cultures.

The 2014 summit is scheduled for June 18-19 at the Omni Nashville (Tenn.) Hotel.

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