OSHA 1910.269: Why Industrial Laundry is Not the Answer
Under the new 1910.269 and 1926 subpart V ruling, OSHA clarified its stance that FR and arc-rated clothing should reasonably and appropriately be treated as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This designation reinforces the employer’s legal obligation to provide, pay for, and retain ultimate responsibility for care and maintenance of FR and arc-rated clothing.
When considering strategies to comply with the new care and maintenance requirements, consider the facts:
- Fact: OSHA is clear that “the final rule does not require employers to launder protective clothing for employees” (p. 287). Further, OSHA neither “impose[s] the cost of laundering on employers” nor expects the requirements to generate “additional cost to employees [and, by extension, employers] over that of laundering normal (that is, non-flame-resistant) clothing” (p. 287).
- Fact: Whether employers take advantage of the convenience and cost-effectiveness of home laundry or choose to pay for industrial laundering, OSHA is clear that employers–not service providers— must inspect the clothing on a regular basis to ensure that it is not in need of repair or replacement.
Think Industrial Laundry is the Answer to Compliance? Think Again!
While the designation of FR Clothing as PPE requires additional oversight, OSHA is clear in the Preamble that “the responsibility for maintaining PPE rests squarely with the employer” (p.187). As such, attempting to outsource care and maintenance to an industrial laundry service does not absolve employers of the responsibility to inspect PPE. Dangerously, industrial laundry service can provide a false sense of security.
Fact: As many as 50% of employees in industrial laundry programs do not utilize the service, meaning garments in the field may be unwashed and uninspected–not to mention cleaning costs wasted.
View Tyndale’s Webinar for More Information About the Shortcomings of Industrial Laundry
Protect your employees’ safety, their benefits associated with product choice, and your bottom line! Click here to view Tyndale’s webinar and learn how you can manage OSHA’s new care and maintenance requirements for FR/arc-rated clothing under a direct purchase program with home laundry.
How can I manage OSHA’s New Care & Maintenance Requirements With my Managed Allowance Program?
The most reliable solution for safety and compliance is to partner with an arc-rated/FR clothing supplier that can provide straightforward resources and care and maintenance instructions to support your company in educating employees and enforcing proper care and maintenance practices.
Tyndale has developed a video that outlines best practices for maintenance and inspection of FR and arc-rated clothing. For assistance training employees and managing OSHA’s requirement for employers to inspect PPE for proper care and maintenance, view Tyndale’s video.
Still think industrial laundry is the answer? Consider this before choosing an industrial laundry program for your company’s FR Clothing.
Currently in an industrial laundry program and questioning your program’s ability to reliably deliver safety and compliance? Consider these facts to see what else you may be missing, understand the pricing and costs, and explore these reasons to switch to a direct purchase program with home laundry.