Why Employees Shouldn’t Launder PPE at Home
Across the UK, there is a worrying rise in the number of employees taking their technical workwear home to be washed.
This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but it is an issue that should be taken seriously by businesses. This is because at home washing can reduce the effectiveness of PPE clothing while breaching the legal responsibilities of employers.
A survey by the European Textile Services Association found:
- Only 1 in 4 people were concerned that workwear could contaminate their personal laundry.
- 58% of workers are washing their workwear with their personal clothing on low temperature cycles.
- 50% of workers also wore their work clothes when travelling to and from work.
As the UK’s leading commercial laundry service provider, phs Besafe uses cutting edge laundry technology to ensure all PPE garments we service maintain the highest standard of safety compliance. Here we explain the risks of laundering at home, and how employing phs Besafe’s PPE laundering services can eliminate these risks and ensure your employees are protected.
Why shouldn’t PPE be washed at home?
> To meet legal responsibilities
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 & 2022
state that ‘every employer shall ensure that any personal protective equipment provided to their employees is maintained (including replaced or cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order, and in good repair.
Washing at home poses a major risk to businesses, as they have a legal responsibility to ensure that the PPE provided to employees is cared for, maintained, and fit for purpose.
At phs Besafe, we use a unique wash process which respects the fabric of the workwear, including PPE garments. Our service preserves the waterproof and high visibility properties of the garment, extending its life in the process.
> To ensure safety in the workplace
Domestic washing and detergents can significantly reduce the effectiveness of specialist workwear’s protective qualities, putting employees at risk on the job.
Washing at home also means that workwear is not being inspected or repaired as needed. Resulting in businesses losing sight of the number of washes a garment has had, or when it needs to be replaced. This is a dangerous position to be in.
Throughout the phs Besafe laundry service, we carefully inspect and repair every garment before it is returned to the customer. This also allows us to carry out any alterations such as leg or sleeve shortening if required.
> To maintain hygiene standards
Home washing is not a substitute for an industrial laundry. It is unlikely to properly remove contaminates like oil or chemicals, meaning the wearer’s safety is compromised.
It can also contaminate other items put in the wash with it, or after it, extending that risk to others in the home, as well as the liability of the business.
At phs BeSafe we hand sort and segregate every garment to ensure it is laundered on the correct wash cycle according to its specialist properties, including flame retardancy and high visibility.
How to prevent at home washing
Businesses need to take control of their entire PPE process to ensure they are compliant with health and safety regulations. Providing training is a good place to start. As more than often, a lack of understanding about the risks of at home washing is to blame.
By making the risks clear with formal training in the workplace, the culture of home washing can be broken.
Ensuring measures are in place on site to make removing and bagging workwear as convenient as possible will also help regain control of PPE and keep risks to employees and the business to a minimum.
For example, phs Besafe offers a managed locker service which delivers freshly laundered garments directly to an employee’s locker, ready to wear. We also provide separate lockers for garments that need laundering, and storage for heavily soiled garments to be kept as they await collection
Why choose phs Besafe?
phs Besafe is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of specialist workwear and laundry solutions. Our in-house laundry and drying processes is unique to the industry. Offering a low energy, high quality service to sectors including transport, construction, utilities and petrol-chem, manufacturing, aggregate, and rail.
By choosing phs Besafe, your business will benefit from receiving the highest standard of care for your PPE garments, giving you peace of mind that the workwear you supply to employees is safe and fit for purpose. Our 7-day turn around – from collection to return – also offers you efficiency and reliability, ensuring your workwear is always in sufficient supply.
Want a tailored service that meets your individual business needs?... We have several service options to suit all sizes of organisations and industries.
> Option 1: Full Service Rental
An all-inclusive garment rental and laundry service. Providing a cost-effective workwear solution.
We take care of all your needs at every stage, from measurement and supply of high quality, branded workwear to scheduled laundering and disposal of worn-out garments.
> Option 2: Direct Purchase
Workwear garments are available for purchase when committing to a bespoke laundry service.
> Option 3: Clean and Maintain
A managed laundry service for workwear garments that are already owned by you and in circulation or those that have been purchased outright with us.