12 key factors to elevate Infection Control in your Commercial Laundry.
July 27, 2023
Infection control in commercial laundries is of utmost importance, as these facilities handle linens, uniforms, and other textiles that may be contaminated with various pathogens. Proper infection control measures are essential to prevent the spread of infections and ensure the safety of both laundry staff and the end users of the laundered items. Below are some key practices and guidelines for infection control in commercial laundries:
Sorting and Handling: Implement a strict sorting and handling soiled laundry protocol. Ensure that contaminated items are kept separate from clean ones and handled using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and gowns.
Pre-Processing: Consider implementing procedures to reduce contamination before the actual laundering process. Shake out or rinse heavily soiled items, and place them in designated containers to prevent cross-contamination.
Proper Laundering: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for laundering different types of textiles. Use appropriate detergents, disinfectants, and water temperatures to ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection of the items.
Washing Cycles: Designate specific washing cycles for heavily soiled items and those potentially contaminated with infectious materials. These cycles should use higher water temperatures and adequate agitation to remove pathogens effectively.
Disinfection: Incorporate a disinfection step into the laundering process, particularly for linens used in healthcare facilities or other high-risk settings. Chemical disinfectants or high-temperature washing can be used depending on the type of fabric.
Dryers and Ironing: Make sure the laundry items are dried adequately, as pathogens can survive in damp conditions. Ironing at appropriate temperatures can also help in further disinfection.
Maintenance and Hygiene: Keep the laundry facility clean and well-maintained. Regularly disinfect laundry equipment and frequently touched surfaces. Laundry staff should practice good hygiene, such as handwashing and wearing clean uniforms.
Storage and Transportation: Use clean, covered carts or containers for transporting clean laundry to prevent contamination. Avoid storing clean and soiled laundry in close proximity.
Staff Training: Provide comprehensive training to laundry staff regarding infection control protocols, proper handling of contaminated items, and the use of PPE.
Monitoring and Quality Control: Regularly monitor the effectiveness of infection control measures through audits and quality control checks. Address any issues promptly to maintain a safe environment.
Documentation: Maintain detailed records of laundry processing, including wash cycles, disinfection procedures, and any incidents related to contamination or infection control breaches.
Regulatory Compliance: Ensure compliance with local and national regulations and guidelines related to infection control in commercial laundries.
By implementing these infection control measures, commercial laundries can play a crucial role in preventing the spread of infections and maintaining a safe environment for their staff and customers. It is important to stay up-to-date with the latest guidelines and best practices related to infection control in laundry facilities to adapt to any changes in the understanding of infectious diseases and the emergence of new pathogens.
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