Waste Water Laundry Provision

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2019 Water, Environment & Transport Conference
25 February 2019

Conference, the Water Industry has for some time turned a blind eye to the fact that waste water employees are taking work wear home to launder. It is understood the reason for this is that the waste water industry has not whole heartily been able to find a laundry provision that accommodates the ability to wash and dry all waste water work wear and PPE clothing.

The fact is that employees across the waste water sector are washing contaminated work wear in their own domestic washers which are also used to wash their families clothing. Many of these employees are not always in the knowledge of the risks it poses to their family’s health, safety and well-being.

This motion is an important part of Central Water branch’s strategy to put pressure on the employer. Central Water branch will be looking to use it in mobilising stakeholder pressure on the employer, and persuading non-members they are tackling this key workplace issue.

What should be in place:

1) Information and guidance readily available for waste water employees, to further understand the risk of taking soiled/contaminated work wear home

2) Each employee to be issued enough work wear and PPE to enable a wear and wash rotation throughout the week

3) A fit for purpose laundry provision for all waste water employees. Depending on space and head count, the laundry provision at each operational site should include:

a) Category 5 Industrial washers and dryers for commercial use that can wash at higher temperatures that will kill any bacteria that gets into the fibres of the clothing;

b) Enzyme loaded washing detergents that target and kill the bacteria during the washing cycle.

Allow all waste employees the ability to wash and dry work wear and PPE at their workplace.

Remove the risk of cross contamination in the home environment on a daily basis.

This conference calls on the service group executive, to conduct a health and safety campaign for the provision of fit for purpose laundry provisions across the waste water industry.