This article explains why solid preventive maintenance programs as part of a CMMS software solution are critical to avoiding liability from laundry accidents.
How CMMS Minimizes Industrial Laundry Accidents
Despite all the high-tech and industrial size equipment, the highest cost for laundry operations is still labor. Inherently, when you mix a labor intensive workforce and equipment there are accidents.
Laundry accidents can be caused by chemicals exposure, washers moving off their mounts, high pressure steam, sharp objects left in soiled linens, burns from ironers, conveyor belt falls and fires. The list is almost endless because of the sheer number of assets and the compactness of laundry facilities.
“From its major computerized machines down to the wheels on its carts, every laundry facility depends on mechanical and electric devices. These devices require a range of constant maintenance by skilled and certified technicians. Poorly maintained equipment can limit productivity and may even cause or contribute to injuries.”
Every once in a while tragedy strikes such as an incident in Louisville, KY where a laundry worker died after trying to clean a conveyor jam and falling into a dryer that closed behind him then tumbled him at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.
All of this makes safety and equipment maintenance a high priority for industrial laundry operators.
How a CMMS helps
Computerized Maintenance Management Software, better known as CMMS, gives laundry maintenance managers the tools they need to keep track and maintain everything from laundry carts parts to the largest assets. A CMMS will also ensure that all safety equipment is functioning properly.
In an example of what happens when machinery is not properly maintained, a California laundry employee was severely burned after a press came down on her hands unexpectedly (see OSHA report excerpt below).
“Cal/OSHA has determined that the laundry press involved in the accident was not properly maintained in a safe operating condition, resulting in the activation of the head of the press without initiation by the controls.”
Employing a CMMS into everyday laundry operations can help by:
- Automating the work management process of accepting work request, organizing them for review and subsequent scheduling of work orders.
- Enables maintenance to be scheduled to minimize downtime.
- Ensures each asset is receiving proper preventive maintenance.
- Allows for the setting of inspections to help identify small problems before they lead to an accident.
- Tracks the status of each work order.
- Keeps a record of all work performed.
One of the critical functions of a CMMS is to be able to provide laundry maintenance management with reports that identify where each asset is and its condition. Maintenance managers can easily identify which piece of equipment needs work and why.
CMMS also keeps track of the results of all work history. This is important for two reasons. The first is to mitigate accident claims. By being able to show consistent, regular scheduled maintenance on assets, claims of asset neglect can be minimized.
The second reason is that a CMMS will help laundry industrial management assign accountability. For example, the increased mobility offered by a CMMS enables assets to be scanned. This will provide a proof of presence that an actual person was there and doing the work required.