New standards in the textile industry are more important than ever.
Every year, industry moves forward and more compliance obligations need to be met. Regulations and standards start with high risk industries such as chemicals, mining, and oil and gas, but inevitably continue until all industries are forced to improve.
One of my favourite parts of my job is learning about hidden industries that are absolutely essential to human civilization. Large scale laundry facilities are one such industry. The largest laundry facilities in the world can process upwards of 1 million (lbs) or 453 000 kgs of laundry per week.
The textile laundry industry is famous for low costs and large scale production, but even this industry is getting new and improved standards. For example, the Hygienically Clean TRSA group has issued multiple standards to help companies ensure that their textiles are clean. Within these standards there are specific standards for Food, Hospitals, and Hospitality sectors. With COVID everywhere, the use of Hospital grade hygiene on the textiles is absolutely critical. But despite what you might think, complying with these standards is not as challenging.
One requirement from the Hospitals standard for Laundry Facilities is:
“126.96.36.199. Functional separation of soiled and clean areas
The QA manual must describe how the soiled and clean areas of the laundry are functionally separated. Functional separation can be obtained in several ways, including establishing a physical barrier between clean and soiled areas of the laundry, a negative air pressure system in the soiled linen area, or a positive air flow from clean through soiled areas. Whatever system is implemented, the laundry must document and demonstrate to the inspector the functional separation is effective. Soiled textiles must never be transported or stored in the clean areas of the plant, and clean textiles must never be transported or stored in the soiled areas of the plant. Flow of textiles must always be from soiled to clean.”
Our customer in the laundry industry mentioned that a hospital had 250,000 disposable gowns in their pandemic inventory. They went through that in about 1 month and because of demand it was nearly impossible to order more. They have now replaced the 250,000 disposable gowns with 8,000 reusable gowns. 2,5000 are at the hospital at any given time while the others are being laundered and transported. This is of course better for the environment and the local economy, and offers security to the hospital as well. Thanks to the Hygienically Clean standards from TRSA and thanks to the auditors and teams that inspect the facilities, hospitals can be assured that their textiles are clean and safe for use.
Download and use Hygienically Clean Audit Templates on Nimonik here:
- Standard for Producing Hygienically Clean Reusable Textiles for Use in the Healthcare Industry
- Standard for Producing Hygienically Clean Reusable Textiles for Use in the Hospitality Industry
- Standard for Producing Hygienically Clean Reusable Textiles for Use in the Food and Beverage Industry (Apparel)
- Standard for Producing Hygienically Clean Reusable Textiles for Use in the Food and Beverage Industry (Napery)