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Study reveals risk of workwear being washed at home18th of February 2014
A new report from the European Textile Services Association (ETSA) reveals a worrying confusion between cleanliness and hygiene in many people's minds. As many employers who rely on strict hygiene allow their employees to wash their own workwear at home this presents some risk, it says.
The study, carried out across four European countries, shows a number of potentially problem areas:
• Although many people understand that high temperatures kill bacteria, low temperature cycles (average of 48°C) are often favoured when washing workwear at home
• Only one in four consumers is concerned that workwear can contaminate their personal laundry
• Fifty-eight per cent do not consistently wash their workwear and personal laundry separately
• Only 48 per cent always sort their soiled workwear from their personal laundry
• Up to 50 per cent wear their work while travelling to and from their place of work.
The findings are of importance for companies that require strict hygiene levels, such as the healthcare sector, in food preparation or in the pharmaceutical industry, says ETSA. By allowing employees to wash their workwear at home, employers lose control of their responsibility for the health and safety of their employees and customers.