CHICAGO — Virtually everyone who responded to this month’s Wire survey says his or her laundry uses some form of cooling equipment for the benefit of production workers, but only a little more than half (55.2%) say they display instructional posters about avoiding heat stress and/or offer employees instruction or training in how to keep cool while on the job.
Roughly nine out of 10 managers or administrators (89.7%) polled say their laundries are cooled in some way. The tools they use to accomplish this are varied. Approximately 32% of respondents report their facilities are air-conditioned, and 30.2% report using fans. Spot coolers are used by 17% of respondents, and mobile evaporative coolers are used by 9.4%.
Roughly 11% of respondents replied “other,” with many elaborating that they use more than one type of cooling equipment, most often fans combined with something else.
One of every three managers or administrators who were polled (33.3%) says their plant adjusts its production schedule during extended periods of hot weather. Among those who elaborated, their adjustments include having workers take more frequent breaks, starting work an hour earlier or even working nights.
Production changes are often based on the temperature exceeding a certain limit. Some managers provide free bottles of water, Popsicles, frozen fruit and even “cool rags” for workers during hot weather.
As an aside, respondents were asked what destination they had picked for their summer vacation. Spots were wide-ranging, from Jamaica to the Jersey shore. A few said they were staying home this year, while others said summer vacations aren’t possible because their laundries are located in popular tourism destinations.
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