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What Dry Cleaners Can Do to Protect Against Chemical Hazards

This past January, Minneapolis, Minnesota, became the first city in the United States to ban a certain chemical used in dry cleaning. Perc (or perchloroethylene), an effective chemical used as a solvent in the dry cleaning industry, was deemed by the EPA as a chemical that’s damaging to the brain and nervous system and could possibly cause cancer.

This news has put the spotlight on dry cleaners to adjust their cleaning methods as well as protect themselves in times of liability claims. While dry cleaners insurance is helpful when it comes to financially backing up a business, taking steps to avoid risks and keep customers safe should be the priority.

Avoiding Various Chemical Hazards

Dry cleaning businesses face a number of risks given the variety of chemicals that are used to complete their daily tasks.  Not only are customers becoming aware of the effects that chemicals like perc can have on their health, but also dry cleaning shops have the potential to be exposed to fires.  From ignition sources to oxygen to all the elements used to clean inventory, dry cleaners have other relevant threats lingering around the clock.

To avoid fire risks, dry cleaners can check equipment for leaks and repair them right away.  Businesses should also practice keeping heating elements clear of clothing and lint so heat does not build up and cause a fire.

Also, given the fact that dry cleaners are full of many different elements, from heating to chemicals as mentioned above, it should be noted that employees should avoid exposure for long periods of time. Employees should be encouraged to take intermittent breaks to make sure they are not inhaling the chemicals or even to take a break from the hot and humid environment.

Spills are another risk that chemicals pose within the dry cleaning industry. Like many other kinds of businesses that deal with liquids, such as cleaning companies, bars, restaurants, and hotels, it’s important for dry cleaners to practice diligence when keeping work areas safe.

Managers and employees should do regular sweeps of work areas to clean up debris and make sure nothing becomes a fire hazard, as well as checking for leaks and wet spots. Slip and falls are always prevalent, but harsher risks, such as falling ill due to chemical exposure, leaves open the door to major health and financial issues.

While having dry cleaners insurance is a helpful to protect against legal claims, dry cleaners should also practice safety on every level in order to look out for the health and safety of both employees and customers.

About Irving Weber Associates

At Irving Weber Associates, Inc., we understand what it takes to run a successful Dry Cleaner, Coin Operated Laundromat, Linen Supply business, or Commercial Launderer,  including investing in a comprehensive Insurance Program to ensure that you are financially protected against claims. Our program, Fabricare Advantage™, offers overall business insurance coverages including General Liability, Property, Site Pollution Liability, Boiler & Machinery Equipment Breakdown, Workers’ Compensation, Business Auto, and many more. For a detailed look at how we can help you safeguard your business with a custom-tailored package, please contact our experts today at (800) 243-1811.