Questions and answers about the corona pandemic
The global coronavirus (COVID-19) affects ours and our customers’ daily lives in many ways. To this article, we have gathered questions and answers we hope can ease the uncertainty caused by the exceptional situation.
Our Finnish, over 170 years old family business, has experienced both World Wars, our country’s independence and several economic recessions, and a disease outbreak. As a company operating in long-term, a good future for people and the environment is of importance to us. We build our future together with our customers and partners.
We believe that life goes on also after this epidemic – and in this situation, we want to make sure that our service is easy and safe for our customers.
Hopefully, you will find an answer below to your question.
How are you prepared and how do you prevent the spread of the coronavirus in your operations?
We have comprehensive hygiene guidelines for all staff, including hand hygiene, properly targeted and used protective equipment such as gloves, work clothing, and possible respiratory protection. We follow government communications to keep our travel, remote work, and telecommuting policies up to date. Naturally, people at Lindström do not come to work if they are sick.
What guidance and measures do you currently have in place for transport personnel and equipment?
For transport personnel and equipment, the management of microbiological cleanliness is part of our normal operations.
What do I need to do if a workwear item has been exposed to a coronavirus? How are such textiles delivered to your laundry? And how do you operate with these clothes in your laundry?
Please notify our contact person immediately if you have any clothing from an employee exposed to the coronavirus!
Lindström has a clear policy regarding the handling of various textiles. Laundry bags are color-coded – the yellow laundry bag is for infection laundry. The customer always seals infectious laundry in a yellow, washable plastic bag before our service representative comes to pick it up. In acute cases, if, for example, yellow bags are not immediately available, the infected laundry should be carefully isolated from other laundry and sent to the laundry marked as infected laundry. Download the Guideline for handling infection laundry.
Our customer manager informs the customer about this course of action and agrees with the customer on the details regarding the handling of dirty laundry. Please, also inform the customer manager if the distribution service representative is required to provide special protection at the customer’s premises and when picking up dirty textiles. In this way, we also protect our staff and other customers.
Maintenance and laundry processes
How do you ensure that the clean textiles that come from your laundries are not infected with the virus?
All Lindström´s service centers follow the EU standard EN-14065, which ensures microbiologically clean textiles the required hygiene level throughout the entire service process. Textiles are disinfected during washing by either thermal or chemical disinfection, which destroys viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Quality control and inspections of the washing process are carried out regularly, both by our own measurements and by evaluations carried out by an independent laboratory. Our internal quality control monitors constantly washing temperatures and washing time, pH values and the amount of disinfectants used. We take bacteria samples regularly and all the samples are analysed in an external laboratory.
Standard EN 14065 is generally applicable when offering textile service to industries requiring particularly high hygiene in the pharmaceutical, medical, food, and cosmetics industries, as well as in healthcare. We at Lindström have a hygiene management method that complies with this hygiene standard and covers all our rental textiles. Thanks to this, professionals in many critical industries always have access to researched hygienic and user-designed workwear.
Do you wash the bags that are used to carry the textiles?
Yes, we do wash those with a washing program with disinfection.
Products and deliveries
How are you prepared for arranging food and freight transportation if your warehouse, transport or other personnel become ill or is subject to quarantine?
In both the laundry and distribution service, we have deputy staff plans to ensure that we have sufficient personal capacity in each situation. Any quarantine situations that would have to be carried out by the decision of the authorities are always communicated to our clients.
Does the current corona situation have an impact on product availability? How do you see product availability changing as the corona situation progresses?
We have already started supply chain continuity planning at the turn of January and February. It is possible that some product groups may face accessibility challenges. We are actively monitoring the situation and informing our customers of any availability issues. For textiles that are in use, there are no challenges in the availability. There are also no challenges is detergent availability and washing the textiles that are in use.
Do you think that coronavirus has an impact on your workwear services and what do you think the impact is?
Coronavirus can influence textile supplies to our central warehouse and, consequently, new product deliveries. We are actively monitoring the situation and informing our customers. The products we supply meet microbiological purity standards, so our customers do not have to worry about the virus being transmitted through our products.
How do you plan to avoid or compensate for these potential impacts?
In the event of any lack of product, we will try to supply a replacement product and we will inform the customer accordingly.
Which of the above products or services can the coronavirus have an effect and to what extent and at what cost?
In the short term, Lindström ensures the smoothest possible operation. Special arrangements may have cost implications, which we notify in advance and agree with our customers.
Will the corona pandemic cause any changes to your products and/or services?
The challenges to the availability of materials and products caused by the corona pandemic are also reflected in Lindström’s products and services. Both material production facilities and manufacturing plants have had to be closed in some places, and this inevitably causes both material and product deficiencies in our portfolios.
The impact is greatest in healthcare workwear where the demand has increased significantly. We strive to use substitute materials in our products where possible, and our product specialists validate all materials and products used, ensuring that the user experience of the product remains as similar as possible to the end user.
Unfortunately, however, some slight differences in the products are likely to occur. We want to ensure that our customers business runs smoothly and that our service is not interrupted, and in critical areas such as care, we may in some cases have to provide a replacement product with similar features.
However, they do not affect the hygiene, safety or quality characteristics of our products / services. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this may cause.