Benefits of a garments distribution system with respect to the Working Conditions Agency

Employees who’s daily activities include lifting or carrying objects are at an increased risk of (chronic) back problems. It is therefore important to avoid this type of physical strain as much as possible, or at least to manage it responsibly. Employers are required to take measures to ensure their employees lift and carry responsibly.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment is very clear on the maximum load an employee can carry (https://www.arboportaal.nl/externe-bronnen/instrumenten/niosh-methode).

So what does this have to do with a garments distribution system…? Logistics employees handle the process of loading and restocking clean garments.  The dirty laundry must be collected, which unavoidably includes lifting and carrying tasks. Employees are often on a tight schedule. Time constraints cause them to grab irresponsibly large piles of garments. Depending on the sector, garments or workwear can weigh up to 8 kilograms. The suitcase you take on holiday often weighs around 20 kilograms. Compare that to the total amount of garments in circulation in your organisation on a weekly basis, and the corresponding total weight.

Limited physical strain

Loading a garments distribution system requires minimum physical strain for employees. First of all, the LCT-Textilligence distribution systems indicate the actual supply necessary. This maximises the process efficiency, thus preventing users from taking garments they don’t need. The systems at one of our French clients report the necessary supply to the sorting system at the central laundry service. This way, only the amount of garments that is necessary is supplied. The distribution system is never filled to the rim and the chance of grabbing the wrong garments is minimised. Some laundry services in your region can also offer this provision.

Second, the LCT-Textilligence distribution systems can relieve physical strain on behalf of the employee. The systems for folded garments can only take single items or small piles of garments at once. The systems that can only be loaded one by one distributes each item to its designated place in the system. This limits the weight and loading is easy and fast.

For the systems that take in hanging garments, the distribution rail to which employees can present garments can be restricted to a maximum of 5 or 10 hangers. Nowadays, the loading of garments into the system is almost fully automated at all our clients’ facilities, completely eradicating any physical strain in the workplace. Loading the system manually is rare. The physical strain for employees is much higher than with automated restocking.

Also in the process of collecting the dirty laundry, the system can relieve the employee. The collection depot can be filled to the maximum capacity of the container. When possible, the collection depot then automatically transfers to the next empty laundry container. This relieves the employee from lifting heavy and fully-loaded laundry containers. Additionally, the employee is relieved from picking up garments off the ground, further eradicating the risk of injury or excessive strain.

It could even be useful for our current clients to reassess their systems and processes. In the past, there were fewer opportunities in terms of hardware and software solutions to limit physical strain to employees.