Taking work uniforms home to wash feels second nature for most employees. But when the job involves risky chemicals, flammable gases, or potentially life-threatening pathogens, employees should think twice before leaving the workplace in their uniforms or throwing them in their home’s washing machine.
Spreading these hazardous materials and chemicals can lead to fire hazards, ill family members, or uniform degradation, all of which are costly. Here, we discuss the importance of laundry provisions for the workplace and provide insight into the risks associated with forgoing these on-site offerings.
The Importance of Jobsite Laundry Services
Hazardous materials on a job site are common and range in severity and purposes. Many industries and jobs rely on various chemicals, solutions, and highly flammable gases to achieve job demands and orders. These materials, in most cases, are a fundamental component of production or maintenance needs.
A problem that many workers face with these hazardous materials is what they should do with them at the end of the work day or how to avoid bringing these hazards home. If workers bring these chemicals home without realizing it, everyone is at risk of chemical exposure. That’s why a proper disposal process is essential.
Understandably, disposing of work attire after each workday is costly and unnecessary. So, the rightful solution is offering laundry trailers and services to keep employees from bringing chemicals home and reduce out-of-work exposures. Companies and jobsite managers can invest in portable, reliable laundry services that help workers accommodate their laundering needs, maintain familial safety, and reduce the amount of stress and waste that comes with replacing work attire.
Below, we take a closer look at some of the critical benefits of laundry trailers for job sites and how these units reduce hazardous material risks and concerns.
Health Concerns for the Home
As we mentioned above, taking home dirty, hazard-filled laundry can put the family and home at risk. There are a number of variables that come into play when these chemicals or solutions come into contact with pets, children, partners, and even the contents inside the home, such as bedding or sofas. Exposing anything or anyone to these hazards can open the door to chemical reactions, illnesses, or possibly long-term infections.
How high the exposure risk is will vary based on the work environment and the chemicals used, but workers and managers alike should take these risks seriously. Setting up a laundry facility and investing in multiple sets of work uniforms can help workers leave the day’s dirty attire behind and return home in clean, risk-free garments. They can return to work the next day in a clean uniform and pick up their freshly laundered work attire from the previous day.
There is always a level of risk associated with highly flammable matter and materials. While in the workplace, these materials require proper care and handling to ensure worker and workplace safety. Work uniforms and garments are some of the first items that make contact with flammable chemicals. Therefore, the ability to wash these garments on-site contains the spread of these flammable chemicals and reduces the risk of carrying these pollutants home.
Conversely, most workplaces with frequent contact with flammable chemicals require workers to wear flame-resistant clothing. Flame-resistant workwear protects workers who work closely with combustible sources or electrical hazards and are self-extinguishable. However, normal clothes and fabrics don’t have these properties. Taking FR workwear home invites flammable matter into the house, puts other items in the home at risk, and damages the integrity of the FR workwear.
Home-based detergents do not have the power to adequately remove these chemicals from the garments, and this compromises garment integrity. Another issue with home-based soaps, such as softeners or starches, is they leave coatings on the flame-resistant garments. This can further enhance their ignition factors and put workers and families at risk.
Workwear Integrity Challenges
Depending on the industry, the workwear required for workplace safety may contain specific materials that you can’t easily wash at home. We discussed flame-resistant materials, but a few other common workplace options include heavy-duty denim, polyester-cotton blends, and pure cotton. While most of these are machine washable with home appliances, these work-related garments will contain reinforcement stitching, additional hemlines, or finely threaded zippers and buttons. Mingling these garments with streetwear in a home machine can increase the amount of wear they encounter and degrade their integrity.
An easy solution would be to wash work uniforms separately from all other garments, but the machine and home-based soaps will not thoroughly remove the chemicals or debris. Investing in mobile laundry trailers for on-site purposes can alleviate the demands of in-home laundering units and sustain the integrity of all workwear garments.
Home Appliance Concerns
In-home appliances will struggle to cleanse all work-related garments properly. Typically, these machines are for everyday street clothes, home towels, and light bedding. It’s uncommon that home appliances can keep up with industrial demands without long-term physical or financial consequences.
Many people who take their work garments home and increase their washer’s demands experience an issue with their machine well before its expiration. Additionally, regardless of the industry, the removed contaminants can leave residue inside the home washer or dryer, which can further spread the hazardous materials to other garments. It’s best to avoid using home facilities for any work-related garments, especially where hazardous, infectious, or toxic chemical exposure is likely.
The Lavatory’s Laundry Trailers
The Lavatory features a unique solution to on-site laundering demands for almost every hazardous job or material. Our 8-station laundry trailers feature industrial washers and dryers, a full menu of wash and dry cycles to create flexibility and efficiency, space to fold finished laundry, and functioning climate control. These custom trailers allow us to serve a wide variety of industries and demand wherever access is necessary.
Laundry trailers help job sites with hazardous materials by keeping employees and their families safe and providing peace of mind to management teams and project managers. A company’s most valuable asset is its employees. Let The Lavatory help you keep them safe today.